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Sunday, Nov. 12. 2017: Big days for Tuohy, F-M girls, Corning boys

   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.


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  •    "We definitely went out as a pack, pushed each other and things worked out like we planned," Nicholson said.

       Said coach Ray Lawson: "We were losing that race in the last 200 (meters). It was just really a team effort, Quinn did great being up front, and our boys came to run, and they fought 'til the end and I'm proud of that."

       More individual highlights: Saturday's results bode well for the men's program Syracuse University, with incoming recruits Nate Lawler (Pittsford Mendon) and Silas Derfel (Ithaca) scoring victories.

       Second to Nicholson at the Section 4 meet, Derfel won his first NYSPHSAA championship in 16:00.2 for the second-fastest time of the day.

       Lawler defended his Class B crown in an even more impressive 15:58.2 to help the Vikings to second place. In better conditions, he could have challenged his course record of 15:43.4.

       "The course record was not on my mind, he said. "It was too muddy, too slow for that. But having won two years now, knowing that so few other have done it, is really humbling.

       "I had the advantage of racing with Paul Dellinger (Brighton) in past years. This year I tried to open the gap early, on my own. The ground was hard and my ankles kept twisting, but everything worked out."

       Chris Hughes of Glens Falls earned the boys Class C title and Shelter Island sophomore Kal Lewis hit the tape first in Class D.

       "I can't describe it," Hughes said. "Maybe it'll sink in tomorrow, or Monday when I get to school. Right now, it's unreal."

       Three girls champions probably could describe the feeling of winning just fine -- because they've done it before at this meet.

       Katherine Lee (Shoreham-Wading River, 20:07.9 in Class B), Hayleigh Palotti (Livonia, 19:24.6 in C) and Brooke Rauber (Tully, 18:51.6 in D) all defended their titles. Lee's championship was her third in four years.

       "I'm really glad that I could make my last state championship in cross country count," said Lee, who will run for Georgetown next fall. "That I ended on a high note is really important to me."

       Full results: The team and individual results for the boys and girls meets are available in our reference section.

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