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What you need to know for 11/20/2017

Spiers owns state championships' course's record

Spiers owns state championships' course's record

Niskayuna senior won a race earlier this season at Wayne Central School
Spiers owns state championships' course's record
Abigail Spiers races in the 2017 area championships.
Photographer: Erica Miller/Gazette Photographer

NISKAYUNA — The conditions expected Saturday for the cross country state championship races are unfavorable.

The terrain at Wayne Central School is likely to be muddy.

It’s going to be cold.

Snow’s not out of the question.

“But,” Niskayuna girls’ senior Abigail Spiers said, “everyone’s running the same course.”

And nobody’s done that better than Spiers — ever.

Like, literally.

The Niskayuna senior ran the course as part of the Wayne Eagles Invitational back in mid-September. Spiers won that race in 18:05.94, a girls’ record for the course that stands heading into Saturday’s races.

“That was kind of the cherry on top,” Spiers said. “It’s great to finish in first, especially when it helps out your team, but hearing you got the course record makes you feel excited.”

The boys’ record on the course is 15:43.4.

Spiers qualified for the state championships with a second-place finish in the Class A race at the Section II championships. Her mark of 17:30.40 landed her behind Saratoga Springs junior Kelsey Chmiel, the reigning state champion.

Along with Chmiel, North Rockland sophomore Katelyn Tuohy is a favorite in Saturday’s noon race.

“I know there are going to be some great competitors for the girls,” Spiers said. “Katelyn Tuohy and Kelsey Chmiel, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls are always so good. I’m really hoping to place well, race well, and improve my time the best I can.”

When Spiers set her course record, it was a hot day. This race will be different.

“It’s going to be really slippery. I’ll have to be aware of my surroundings more, but not restrict myself too much because of the mud,” Spiers said. “I want to be smart, but not hold myself back because of the mud.”

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Michael Kelly at mkelly@dailygazette.net or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

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