SARATOGA SPRINGS — Mohonasen High School's first Section II cross country champion had mixed emotions Monday afternoon as she gathered with her teammates just beyond the finish line on the Saratoga Spa State Park course.
Kate Sherman had just run her fastest time there with a history-making effort. The Mighty Warriors placed second to Burnt HIlls-Ballston Lake in the Class B girls' race for the third year in a row, though, after thinking this was going to be their time to finally break through.
"You have to balance it," Sherman said. "It's important to be sad for the team. Me? I'm happy for the win. All of the girls are happy for me."
That victory on the same course where Sherman snagged the Colonial Council title was all but assured when she moved past Logan Barsalow of Averill Park and Stephanie James of Scotia-Glenville a little less than a mile into the 3.05-mile race.
"I was trying to see how the other girls were running. Since we moved to the Colonial Council I don't get to see them as much," Sherman said. "I did a surge on the crest of the hill and then I tried to distance myself. I felt really good while running."
"In about 600 meters she went from third to first, and I couldn't believe she was so far ahead after that first hill," the young runner's dad and Mohonasen coach Bill Sherman said. "In the beginning of the year she said, 'I am not going to finish second.' "
Sherman placed second at last year's sectionals and was third in 2017. Since-graduated Rory Graham of Burnt Hills won both of those races.
"I led a little of the race [last year] and Rory got me in the last 600 meters," Kate Sherman said. "I was happy I made it to states, but it's not the same as winning. My goal was to win."
Sherman clocked an 18:04.03 to beat out Barsalow (18:20.11) and James (18:25.68), two of Section II's promising freshmen. Sherman won the Colonial title Oct. 25 in a then-best 18:33.10.
"I had a little back thing and in the middle of the season I wasn't running as well as I wanted to," the 16-year-old said. "I feel like I am back. My legs are fresh. I feel good and strong."
Mia Paolino of Burnt Hills placed fourth (18:32.50) and the Spartans had their top five all in the top 14, scoring 40 points to Mohonasen's 47.
"Our goal the past couple of years was to win it," Sherman said. "We felt our team was strong this year, and we knew it would be hard, but we thought we had a chance. It seems like Burnt Hills always shows up at sectionals. There's something about sectionals."
Burnt Hills earned its sixth consecutive team title.
"I've got to give tons of credit to Burnt Hills," Bill Sherman said. "They put it together."
Mohonasen will have four of its five scorers from Monday's meet returning, and reinforcements are on the way.
"We need to add more depth," Bill Sherman said. "We've got some young hotshots on the way up. I think the future is bright."
SPARTANS ROLL A SEVEN
With its revamped lineup, Burnt Hills extended its Class B boys' team win streak to seven years, and Spartan Ryan Allison cruised to a victory in 15:15.85 after winning the Suburban Council title on the same course.
"After the first mile I had a pretty solid lead, and from there I built my distance," Allison said after adding yet another win to his superb sophomore season with the meet's fastest time. "I expected to be out in front."
"Coming into the season, people were looking at Ryan and saying he's come out of nowhere," Burnt Hills coach Chip Button said. "He had a very good track season last year. His improvement came from indoor to outdoor."
As a team, Burnt Hills has won the sectionals in 11 of the past 12 years and 21 times overall. The three-time defending state champion Spartans scored 21 points to Scotia-Glenville's runner-up 64 and had five runners in the top seven, as well as seven runners in the top 13.
"It definitely feels good to win all these races and see the team have success," Allison said.
Will Marchant of Burnt Hills (15:49.33) and Noah Greski of Scotia-Glenville (15:51.94) placed second and third, respectively.
"Our goal coming in was to dominate," Allison said.
The Shenendehowa boys defended their Class A team title by nipping Guilderland 48-49. Shenendehowa's top runner, Ryan Shanahan, placed fourth in a race won by Tom Ragone of Niskayuna. Guilderland's Sean O'Brien and Jack Parsons followed Ragone.
"We have a lot of depth," Shenendehowa coach Lance Jordan said. "We put 10 guys on the line and don't know who is going to score."
Jordan took note of Anthony Barbera, a junior who finished 11th overall and fourth among the Plainsmen.
"Guilderland was ahead at two miles, and it was a matter of how many can you get up there from two miles to three miles," Jordan said. "Barbera picked off three or four guys. That was big for us."
Saratoga Springs won its second consecutive girls' Class A team championship and 19th in 20 years with 30 points accumulated by runners ranging from eighth through 10th grade.
The Greenwich girls won the Class C and Class C-CC overall team titles, marking 16 years in a row the Witches have been crowned a Section II champion. Ichabod Crane was the girls' Class CC team winner.
The Fonda-Fultonville boys won the Class C and Class C-CC overall team titles, earning sectional hardware for the first time since 2011. Schuylerville topped the boys' Class CC teams.
"We've been working at it for a while," said Braves junior Shane Viscosi, who, with a 16:23.85, was the Class C individual winner and Class C-CC overall runner-up. "We knew it would be pretty close between four or five teams. We scored less points than we expected."
The Lake George boys and Berlin girls captured Class D team titles.
Niskayuna senior Tom Ragone, who didn't finish last year's Class A boys' race after taking a tumble, made a late move past Guilderland 12th-grader Sean O'Brien to win in 15:18.87.
"It's just redemption," Ragone said. "Last year I was in the top five two and a half miles in and I fell down. Thirty guys passed me and I was hurting, and I dropped out, so this feels great. I have been dreaming about this for a year."
Ragone got around O'Brien (15:21.62) with about 100 meters to go.
"This is third time I've been here this year, so I had an idea what I wanted to do," Ragone said. "I ran my pace and moved up as the race went on. I got to the the final stretch and let it rip."
Saratoga sophomore Ella Kurto won the Class A girls race (17:02.30), giving the Blue Streaks another champion after Kelsey Chmiel took the race in each of the previous four years.
Sophomore Gitch Hayes of La Salle (15:34.20) was the boys' Class CC and Class C-CC overall winner. Greenwich senior Brynne Wright of Greenwich (17:46.91) was the girls' Class C and C-CC overall winner. Wright made it five sectional titles with the fastest time she ever ran on the course.
"I tried not to think about it all day," said Wright, who won three Class D titles before taking the last two Class C titles. "It's nice to take a deep breath and say I did it."
Schuylerville freshman Megan Vianese (19:57.16) was the girls' Class CC winner
Mayfield junior Madison Relyea (18:31.21) won her second straight girls' Class D title. Duanesburg senior Andrew Drescher (16:05.5) won the boys' Class D race after placing second last year and third in 2017.
"It feels pretty good, but I still have races to run," Drescher said. "States are coming up and top five hopefully. I'll have to work for it."
Teams: Shenendehowa 48, Guilderland 49, Shaker 83, Niskayuna 106, Saratoga Springs 114, Bethlehem 199, Ballston Spa 201, Schenectady 224, Columba 241, Queensbury 246, Colonie 299, Albany 357.
Individuals: Ragone (Nisk), 15:18.87; O'Brien (Guld), 15:21.62; Parsons (Guild), 15:28.81; Shanahan (Shen), 15:29.76; Mendonca (Shak), 15:34.29; Franjieh (Nisk), 15:35.19; Tindale (Guild)15:35.87; Brimhall (Shen), 15:39.21; Spence (Shen), 15:39.78; Permaul (Schen), 15:43.15:43.17.
Teams: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 21, Scotia-Glenville 64, CBA 114, Averill Park 128, Albany Academy 138, Mohonasen 149, Glens Falls 194, Schalmont 239, South Glens Falls 256, Amsterdam 263, Cohoes 300, Hudson Falls 320, Lansingburgh 385.
Individuals: Allison (BH), 15:15.85; Marchant (BH), 15:49.33; Greski (SG), 15:51.94; Ostrander (SG), 15:53.75; Rounds (BH), 15:58.43; Board (BH), 15:59.13; Ubriaco (BH), 16:21.43; Bonesteel (AP), 16:21.70; Tebano (SG), 16:23.18; Grock (BH), 16:23.55.
Teams: Fonda-Fultonville 70, Greenville 85, La Salle 116, Schuylerville 119, Ichabod Crane 149, Catholic Central 166, Johnstown 175, Broadalbin-Perth 230, Cobleskill-Richmondville 230, Voorheesville 311, Taconic Hills 323, Stillwater 324, Corinth 337, Fort Plain 359, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 379, Rensselaer 432, Whitehall 439, Coxsackie-Athens 450.
Individuals: Hayes (LSI), 15:34.20; Viscosi (FF), 16:23.85; Russell (Greenv), 16:47.36; Melita (FF), 17:00.34; Headen (Schuy), 17:05.31; Gannon (Still), 17:07.60; Daley (CCHS), 17:21.81; Russo (TH), 17:26.43; Foote (CR), 17:28.44; Catapano (Greenv), 17:31.88.
Teams: Lake George 54, Chatham 75, Maple Hill 77, Duanesburg 91, Berlin 113, Mayfield 144, Saratoga Central Catholic 212, North Warren/Johnsburg 220, Hadley-Luzerne 243, Hoosic Valley 267, Warrensburg 282, Germantown 287.
Individuals: Drescher (Dua), 16:05.50; Decker (Gal), 16:28.56; Albanese (MH), 16:57.98; Abdella (May), 17:06.36; Cocozza (LG), 17:08.38; O'Keefe (LG), 17:15.70; Douglas (Ber), 17:23.78; Jeralds (Chat), 17:35.73; Rubeti (May), 17:42.97; DeFayette (LG), 17:46.34.
Teams: Saratoga Springs 30, Shenendehowa 78, Niskayuna 101, Bethlehem 103, Shaker 112, Ballston Spa 165, Columbia 190, Colonie 219, Albany 259, Guilderland 271, Queensbury 318, Schenectady 396.
Individuals: Kurto (Sara), 17:02.30; DeMars (BS), 17:24.54; S. Wheeler (Sara), 17:24.92; Jada Dennis (Shen), 17:27.09; Griffin (Shak), 17:31.81; Mariano (Shak), 17:34.78; M. Wheeler (Sara), 17:41.10; Davis (Beth), 17:43.23; Belisle (Sara), 17:47.85; Hart (Sara), 17:53.17.
Teams: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 40, Mohonasen 47, Emma Willard 94, Scotia-Glenville 119, Averill Park 122, Glens Falls 174, South Glens Falls 181, Holy Names 184, Amsterdam 236, Cohoes 283.
Individuals: Sherman (Moh), 18:04.03; Barsalow (AP), 18:20.11; James (SG), 18:25.68; Paolino (BH), 18:32.50; Vendetti (BH), 18:40.49; Berg (BH), 18:41.70; Sinisgalli (Moh), 18:47.91; Smith (EW), 18:52.66; Dailey (EW), 18:57.01; Miller (Moh), 19:00.89.
Teams: Greenwich 20, Greenville 84, Ichabod Crane 119, Voorheesville 130, Broadalbin-Perth 131, Cobleskill-Richmondville 153, Stillwater 177, Schuylerville 179, Albany Academy 222, Fonda-Fultonville 236, Fort Plain 313, Mechanicville 364.
Individuals: Bry. Wright (Greenw), 17:46.91; Fitzmaurice (Greenv), 18:22.21; Collins (Greenw), 18:51.56; Bro. Wright (Greenw), 18:57.58; T. Wright (GReenw), 19:22.73; Sayahi (Voor), 19:30.02; Skiff (Greenw), 19:38.26; Goyette (Greenv), 19:49.73; Vianese (Schuy), 19:57.16.
Teams: Berlin 60, Mayfield 67, Lake George 90, Berne-Knox-Westerlo 114, North Warren/Johnsburg 139, Catholic Central 145, Hoosic Valley 147, Duanesburg 183, Saratoga Central Catholic 190, Hadley-Luzerne 203.
Individuals: Relyea (May), 18:31.21; Pusateri (MH), 19:04.31; Czub (HV), 19:07.83; Puzulis (BKW), 19:33.88; Corbett (Ber), 19:51.45; Radyn (LG), 19:54.20; Gulick (Arg), 20:00.11; Jordan (Gal), 20:05.75; Schreiner (HL), 20:48.88; Beckwith (Ber), 20:53.29.