It’s impossible to measure how many hundreds of kilometers Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons’ senior trio had logged since they were seventh graders.
Five more, and one sore foot, couldn’t keep them from their most important goal.
Jason Lange shrugged off a foot injury, and the Golden Knights won the Class B state championship at Elma Meadows Golf Course on Saturday, one week after winning a Section II championship for the first time in 29 years.
Bishop Gibbons scored 63 points to 84 for East Aurora and 89 for Pittsford Mendon.
“It was a big win, and everybody stepped up,” Bishop Gibbons coach Jon Broderick said. “Yeah, they were really excited. This was something they wanted since the top three seniors arrived in seventh grade.
“It shows what happens when you have a lot of dedication to one thing, and it’s really big for the school. We probably should be a Class C or D school. Everybody’s been rooting for us, checking for results online.”
Team success for Section II was not confined to the Class B boys.
Saratoga Springs won the Class A boys team title by one point over Fayetteville-Manlius, and Holy Names won the Class B girls with a pretty convincing score of 38 points to 66 for East Aurora.
Bishop Gibbons senior Jordan Pantalone came in fifth place, running 16:05 for 5k, and he was the top team competitor in a race won by Ryan Manahan of Marcellus (15:30.6).
Eighth-grader Jonah Allard really came through for the Golden Knights as the No. 2 man in eighth among team competitors and 18th overall, picking up some of the slack for Lange, who gutted out a ninth-place finish and 20th overall despite his injured foot.
“He hung in there,” Broderick said. “We basically had one guy ahead of all the other guys. After a mile and a half, Jason was right up with the leaders, but at the finish, you could see it in his face.
“Our eighth-grader was amazing, and the other guys did what they had to do. We knew he was really talented, but you never thought he’d be in the top 20 at the state meet. And he was really strong, he passed about 10 kids in the last 200, 300 meters. For 5-foot-2, that’s pretty good.”
Broderick said it was difficult to score the finishers as they came in because many of the t-shirts were the same or similar colors.
In fact, the Golden Knights didn’t find out they had won until they were informed by an interviewer for a web site.
“Everybody said, ‘We won?’ ” Broderick said with a laugh.
Also scoring for Bishop Gibbons were senior Matt Lange in 14th (33rd overall) and Nick Przekurat in 31st (65th).
Broderick said that Bishop Gibbons will skip the Federation meet next weekend so Jason Lange can rest his foot. They’ll point toward the Nike Cross Nationals regional qualifier.
The Saratoga boys squeaked out their one-point win in Class A by keeping close ranks to split up the Fayetteville-Manlius runners.
Although F-M’s Nick Ryan (15:07.9) won the race and Bryce Millar was third among team runners and fourth overall, Jay Navin, Aidan Tooker, Brent Freestone, Evan Quinones and Gavin Gaynor each got in the chute before F-M could get another runner in.
Colin Fitzgibbons, Connor Farrell and Adam Hunt were each within a mere four seconds of Gaynor, but couldn’t beat him and settled for second place by one point.
Section II champion Philo Germano of Albany finished 13th overall, one place behind Tooker.
Holy Names’ Catherine Maloy (18:29.6) and Kaylee Scott (18:31.4) came in third and fourth behind Nanuet’s Megan Young (18:22.6), and Lydia Williams, Estela Smith and Leah Triller were also in the top 24 overall for Holy Names.
Three Section II schools finished second in the team standings.
Multiple national champion Fayetteville-Manlius scored 32 points to 56 for Saratoga Springs in girls’ Class A, the Fonda-Fultonville boys were second to Pawling by just 24 points in Class C, and the Greenwich girls were just 21 points behind Maple Grove in Class D.
Taylor Driscoll of Saratoga was fourth overall and third among team runners in a time of 17:46.4, 12.1 seconds behind winner Megan Reilly of Warwick Valley.
Maryanna Lansing of Shaker was 12th overall in 18:19.5.
Also scoring for Saratoga were Olivia Morrow, Keelin Hollowood, Sarah Morin and Spencer Hayes.
Fonda senior Matt Hoffman ran 16:22.5 to finish fifth overall and second among team runners behind Jeffrey Antolos of Notre Dame-Batavia (15:41.5).
Jordan Healy of Maple Hill was eighth overall, followed by Matt Watson of Schuylerville in ninth.
Madeline Montague (18:24.5) and Tori Spiezio (18:48.3) of Greenwich finished 1-2 in the Class D race.
Jeremy Spiezio of Greenwich was second in the boys’ Class D race with a time of 16:15.0.