The witches (or Witches, as the case may be) weren’t the only ones who got out their broomsticks on Friday.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake made a clean sweep of Class A with Section II championships in both the boys’ and girls’ races at Saratoga Spa State Park, each with predictably tight competition from Queensbury.
Shenendehowa took both individual titles in Class AA, but only the nationally ranked Plainsmen boys’ team will go to the state meet next week, as the Lady Plainsmen, for the second meet in a row, fell nine points short of Saratoga Springs, which won its ninth straight title and 12th in the last 13 years.
The Greenwich Witches, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class D all season, turned in the most dominating performance, sweeping through the front of the D race so thoroughly that they placed six before anyone else, and had seven of the top eight.
The Burnt Hills girls beat Queensbury by three points at this meet last year, and it wasn’t much different this time, as the Spartans South beat the Spartans North by four, despite the fact that Queensbury had five runners in before Burnt Hills did, barely.
Danielle Winslow of Queensbury posted the fastest girls’ time of the day in 17:00.9, but BH got senior Sam Roecker (17:21.4), Molly Pezzulo (17:24.6) and Meaghan Gregory (17:54.9) in the next three slots, with Alyssa Drapeau and
Riley Wilk finishing eighth and 11th, respectively.
The Burnt Hills girls spoke with admiration for what they consider to be their toughest rival in the state, not just Section II.
“It’s disappointing that one of us has to stay home every year,” Roecker said.
“We respect them so much,” Gregory said. “It stinks that we both can’t go to states.”
Gregory showed her guts by getting in the top four despite what she described as a bad day, the last of her high school career on the state park course.
“I had to beat Queensbury’s two and three, so I was pretty much just trying to hold on the entire race,” she said.
“It’s the third year in a row that Queensbury took it out hard,” BH coach Shaun Zepf said. “They don’t give you an inch. But I was extremely happy with the way the girls recovered and battled back. Three of the top four was our goal, then personal battles after that.”
Burnt Hills boys’ coach Chip Button called his team “by far the best team we’ve had in the storied history of the program, and the Spartans needed to be to get past three-time defending champ Queensbury.
Sophomore Otis Ubriaco (15:26.1), junior Scott Maughan and senior Kent Harlow took the top three spots, and, as in the girls’ race, Queensbury got five in before BH did, but Sean Pezzulo and Anthony Romeo finished quickly enough to help BH beat Queensbury by 10.
“The last few years, they [Queensbury] really raised the level, and if we were going to do it, we had to do the same thing,” Button said.
“When I started cross country two years ago, even at the start of the season, it was ‘Queensbury, Queensbury, we lost to Queensbury last year.’ And I wasn’t even on the varsity yet, it was hearing the older guys talk about it,” Ubriaco said.
“This year, I felt more confident than I did last year, but still, even though we were ranked ahead of them, it’s still Queensbury, they always know how to run sectionals and they ran phenomenal today, too. They went out hard and stuck to us.”
In Class AA, Shenendehowa’s Alex Leuchanka posted a 15:09.3 to beat Saratoga’s Demetri Goutos by 8.1 seconds, and Shen freshman Lizzie Predmore won the girls’ race in 17:21.9, 11.1 seconds ahead of Blue Streaks sophomore Sydney King.
The Lady Plainsmen will send four individual runners to the state meet, but Saratoga’s Keelin Hollowood, Cassie Goutos, Amanda Borroughs and Brianne Bellon finished in the top eight to help the Blue Streaks score 25 points to Shenendehowa’s 34.
“Me and Demetri pretty much battled the first two miles, and that was the plan, to go to work on the last mile,” Leuchanka said.
“When I saw him after two miles, he went to work, put the hammer down and did his thing,” Shen coach Mark Thompson said. “The back end gave me everything they had, because they’re fighting for two state meet spots. From what I could see in their faces finishing, they
really gave everything.”
Predmore ran 23 seconds slower than her sub-17:00 that won the Suburban Council Championships last weekend on the same course, but that was part of the plan.
On Friday, she said her first-mile split was 10 seconds slower in case she needed more in the end, but she didn’t.
“Our goal is to beat Saratoga this meet, but sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and it’s great that we’re bringing as many girls as we are,” she said. Cara Janeczko, Jordan Westcott and Alex Burtnick will also run next weekend.
“We knew it was going to be hard,” said King, who ran about a 40-second personal record to lead the Saratoga charge.
By far the closest race of the day also produced the only repeat champion.
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons’ Jonathan Aziz held off Cobleskill-Richmondville’s David Richards by one second in 15:48.4.
“I had people shouting that the next three guys were 25, 30 meters behind me,” Aziz said. “Then the numbers kept getting smaller and smaller. You’re a lot more nervous the second time, knowing you’re the defending champ.”
Team results: Shenendehowa 19, Shaker 72, Saratoga Springs 73, Colonie 120, Guilderland 179, Columbia 188, LaSalle 188, Ballston Spa 189, Bethlehem 210, Albany 284, Schenectady 297.
Alex Leuchanka (Shen), 15:09.3; Demetri Goutos (Sara), 15:17.4; Dan Harris (Shen), 15:31.5; Brian Trainor (Shen), 15:33.4; Mike Danaher (Shen), 15:35.2; Jamie Glover (Shen), 15:43.9; Ryan Egan (Shaker), 15:51.2; Yosef Zaid (Beth), 15:57.4; Craig Weiss (Shaker), 15:58.1; Sam Place (Sara), 15:58.9.
Team results: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 30, Queensbury 40, Niskayuna 69, Scotia-Glenville 115, Averill Park 121, Amsterdam 217, Mohonasen 240, South Glens Falls 247, Troy 261, CBA 274, Gloversville 277.
Otis Ubriaco (BH), 15:26.1; Scott Maughan (BH), 15:28.0; Kent Harlow (BH), 15:33.0; Brian Gallagher (Q), 15:34.0; Kevin Sprague (Q), 15:37.8; Chris Taylor (Q), 15:46.7; Louis Serafini (Nisk), 15:49.5; Marshall Pagano (Nisk), 15:50.2; Kyle Gutbrodt (AP), 15:57.1; Sean Pezzulo (BH), 15:59.6.
Team results: Broadalbin-Perth 57, Ichabod Crane 67, Lansingburgh 107, Albany Academy 111, Glens Falls 152, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 172, Cohoes 203, Cobleskill-Richmondville 212, Canajoharie-Fort Plain 241, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 259, Hudson 286, Schalmont 292, Catholic Central 392, Hudson Falls 422, Johnstown 451.
Jonathan Aziz (BG), 15:48.4; David Richards (CR), 15:49.4; Alney Tobias (Lans), 16:04.0; CJ Sousis (Lans), 16:16.9; Andrew Goodspeed (BP), 16:25.0; Zach Nelson (AA), 16:28.6; Justin Ferguson (BP), 16:34.2; Kalib Failing (IC), 16:39.3; Dylan Antalek (C-FP), 16:46.5; Cody Price (IC), 16:48.5.
Team results: Berne-Knox-Westerlo 46, Voorheesville 47, Schuylerville 121, Fonda-Fultonville 136, Galway 175, Tamarac 189, Chatham 218, Catskill 222, Lake George 226, Schoharie 252, Corinth 258, Greenville 271, Watervliet 346, Stillwater 378, Cairo-Durham 426, Hoosic Valley 443.
Conor Cashin (V), 15:58.0; Steve Petramale (LG), 16:05.3; Willie Underwood (LG), 16:10.7; Ian Powell (V), 16:41.0; Connor Devine (BKW), 16:50.2; Sean Kehhler (Schuy), 16:56.2; Jeff Moller (BKW), 16:58.7; Josh Glick (BKW), 17:05.8; DJ Reilly (Schuy), 17:10.8; Taylor Treadgold (V), 17:12.5.
Team results: Hawthorne Valley 36, Berlin 50, Schenectady Christian 78, Mayfield 91, Duanesburg 170, Maple Hill 191, Whitehall 193, North Warren 200, Middleburgh 211, Hadley-Luzerne 284.
Casey Gilbert (Ber), 16:07.0; Austin Lane (Green), 16:15.0; Kyle Galarneau (SC), 16:27.0; Johannes Zygla (HV), 16:55.0; Jesse McNamara (May), 17:19.0; Tomas Oelhaf (HV), 17:20.0; Cody Blain (Ber), 17:21.0; Curt Thompson (White), 17:22.0; Max Ocean (HV), 17:33.0; Martin Holdrege (HV), 17:34.0.
Team results: Saratoga Springs 25, Shenendehowa 34, Guilderland 96, Colonie 106, Shaker 148, Bethlehem 194, Ballston Spa 212, Columbia 215, Schenectady 261.
Lizzie Predmore (Shen), 17:21.9; Sydney King (Sara), 17:33.0; Cara Janeczko (Shen), 17:39.6; Keelin Hollowood (Sara), 17:42.7; Cassie Goutos (Sara), 17:54.5; Amanda Borroughs (Sara), 17:57.1; Jordan Westcott (Shen), 18:06.1; Brianne Bellon (Sara), 18:15.0; Mikala Anson (Colonie), 18:21.8; Alex Burtnick (Shen), 18:22.4.
Team results: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 28, Queensbury 32, Holy Names 108, Niskayuna 110, Averill Park 135, Scotia-Glenville 143, Amsterdam 191, South Glens Falls 224.
Danielle Winslow (Q), 17:00.9; Sam Roecker (BH), 17:21.4; Molly Pezzulo (BH), 17:24.6; Meaghan Gregory (BH), 17:54.9; Morgan Mueller (Q), 18:01.4; Chelsea Trant (Nisk), 18:02.7; Carly Wynn (Q), 18:05.0; Alyssa Drapeau (BH), 18:11.6; Katie Messina (Q), 18:12.3; Brittany Winslow (Q), 18:14.6.
Team results: Broadalbin-Perth 19,
Cobleskill-Richmondville 44, Lansingburgh 124, Schalmont 166, Ichabod Crane 170, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 182, Emma Willard 203, Cohoes 234, Hudson Falls 237, Canajoharie-Fort Plain 260, Catholic Central 272, Albany Academy 282, Ravena-
Erika Kuhn (GF), 18:37.7; Gina Cristaldi (BP), 18:48.2; Opal Jessica Bogdan (BP), Emily Baker (BP), 19:14.7; Nicole Wojciechowski (BP), 19:41.9; Analiese Mau (CR), 19:49.6; Larissa Melendez (CR), 20:00.1; Taylor Florio (BG), 20:00.6; Sandra Garcia-Fine (CR), 20:01.4; Julianna Mendez (BP), 20:02.0.
Team results: Voorheesville 46, Schuylerville 78, Berne-Knox-Westerlo 97, Hoosic Valley 111, Galway 155, Catskill 162, Lake George 173, Corinth 200, Stillwater 211, Schoharie 247, Chatham 251, Tamarac 280.
Samantha Watson (Schuy), 18:18.6; Emma D’Ambrio (HV), 18:41.5; Rachel Wysocki (Schuy), 18:51.7; Courtney Tedeschi (BKW), 19:06.4; Michelyn Little (V), 19:24.4; Christina Bartonice (BKW), 19:47.2; Kimberly Geniti (FF), 20:04.7; Casey Morrison (V), 20:20.7; Schae Auffant (Cats), 20:31.7; Kacey O’Brien (LG), 20:38.8.
Team results: Greenwich 15, Duanesburg 79, Berlin 83, Maple Hill 130, North Warren 132, Argyle 133, Mayfield 158.
Roxanne Henningson (Green), 17:25.4; Cady Kuzmich (Green), 17:57.5; Brittney Lane (Green), 18:52.4; Betsy Edinger (Green), 19:11.1; Britney Henderson (Green), 19:33.1; Madeline Montague (Green), 19:38.5; Lauren McGarry (D), 19:44.1; Candace Haskell (Green), 20:26.0; Kelsey Demick (Ber), 20:44.1; Ashley Rokjer (Ber), 21:05.7.