Leading off today:
Well, we finally found a way to slow down Katelyn Tuohy
. And then we learned there was still no way to contain her.
Running in muck that only an onion farmer could love and overcoming being spiked in the first strides of what proved to be a false start, the North Rockland cruised to yet another course record and captured the NYSPHSAA girls Class A cross country championship Saturday at Wayne High School in Section 5.
She finished in 17:51.4 for five kilometers, easily outdistancing defending champion Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga (18:32.2) in a reversal of last season's finish.
"It was pretty bad," Tuohy said of the course, mashed up by the previous week's Section 5 meet and then more rain followed by snow during the week. "Honestly, I wanted to win. I went out from the gun but it changed how I ran it. I definitely tried to stay to the edges but we were the second-to-last race and every part was so chewed up there was no way to get out of the mud."
The Class A field was recalled after a handful of falls at the gun, attributable to the course conditions, temperatures just above freezing and general jitters.
"They were all fidgety, all over the place," starter Rick Smith said. "I just had to calm them all down a little. Second time, no problem. It happens quite a lot."
When it was over, the team result was no different than it had been the previous 11 years: Fayetteville-Manlius posted another commanding win, scoring just 24 points as Claire Walters (19:11.6), Rebecca Walters (19:18.1), Sophie Ryan (19:19.0) and Phoebe White (19:22.8) locked down the four spots behind Tuohy and Chmiel.
More on the team results: In all, Section 3 picked up four team championships. Besides F-M, the winners were the Syracuse CBA and South Lewis girls in Class C and D, respectively, and the Beaver River boys in Class D.
The championship was the 16th for Beaver River, which was led by Colton Kempney with a fourth place finish (17:19.0).
The girls Class B title went to John Jay Cross River on the strength of one of the better individual stories of the week.
Pippa Nuttall had struggled to the finish line as the team's No. 5 scorer a week ago at the Section 1 meet and ended up receiving intravenous fluids at a nearby hospital. Going into the biggest race of her career Saturday with just one practice under her belt, she eschewed coach Tom Nohilly's recommendation to run conservatively.
Nuttall sat at about 30th half a mile into the race but picked off runner after runner the rest of the way and placed fourth in 20:23 to lead the team.
"It was amazing. It was exciting. And I think her teammates fed off that," Nohilly said.
The other boys champions were Corning (Class A), Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (B) and Mount Academy (C).
Corning's win came in the day's biggest showdown, with the Hawks fending off Fayetteville-Manlius 38-40 for their second straight title.
Quinn Nicholson placed third in 16:21.9 to lead three Corning runners in the top nine.