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Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019: Rauber racks up fourth straight cross country title

   Leading off today: Section 3 brought home four team and three individual champions from the NYSPHSAA cross country championships, headlined by another rivalry win by the Fayetteville-Manlius girls.

   Brooke Rauber was the top individual story out of Central New York with her fourth consecutive Class D championship. North Rockland star Katelyn Tuohy added another notch to her amazing resume with a third straight Class A title, though the team race in that classification was arguably the story of the day.

   Fayetteville-Manlius held off Saratoga 34-40 for team honors to take back the title after a one-point loss in 2018. F-M (13 times) and Saratoga (seven) have accounted for the last 20 girls large-school championships and the schools have had 11 one-two finishes since 2007.

   North Rockland's Tuohy won in 15:36.5 over a course shortened to about 2.8 miles over safety concerns in below-freezing temperatures and the Hornets were led by second-place finisher Claire Walters (16:01.8) and fifth-place finisher Phoebe White (16:24.0).

   "Everyone had the same conditions. It was more of a tough race than tactical," Tuohy said. "It was about who was mentally tougher. Conditions like this put talent out the window."

   Rauber had the day's No. 2 time for girls. Running unchallenged in Class D, the junior finished in an impressive 16:01.2 while crossing the line more than 600 meters ahead of Mayfield's Madison Relyea.

   "She knew what the (Class) A race had run for times so she was just trying to run close to what they ran, even though she had to do it all alone," said her coach and mom Michelle Rauber. "Our race plan worked well because she finished second in the merge. Very proud of her and the gutsy run she had today."

   The effort nearly propelled the team to a championship, but Delhi (50 points) had just enough to hold off Maple Grove (55) and Tully (57).

   More girls results: Sarah Connelly of Mount Sinai defended her Class B crown in 16:47.1, with East Aurora earning the team championship by a solid 50-76 margin over Peal River, whose eighth-grader Mady Moroney was the No. 2 individual.

   Class C brought the day's biggest surprise as Camden edged defending champ and perennial power Greenwich 75-77 on the strength of a championship effort by sophomore Elizabeth Lucason (16:51.6).

   "The girls ran with true grit," coach Phil Lucason said. "They ran with a refuse-to-lose attitude and it paid off. These girls were just tougher than their competition today. Kind of like the story about the 1980 U.S. hockey team when Coach Brooks told the team that the Russians would beat them nine out of 10 times but this wasn't going to be one of those nine times."

   Red-hot boys racers: Honors for the fastest time of the day went to Pittsford Mendon's Sam Lawler, who turned in a time of 14:26.1 in Class B to fend off Windsor's Josh Stone (14:32.3). The championship effort -- matching the accomplishment of his brother Nathan two seasons ago -- wasn't quite enough to keep Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake from edging the Vikings 44-49, with Mount Academy (62) a strong third.


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  • NYSPHSAA cross country: 2019 boys meet | 2019 girls meet

  •    "The most memorable moment of the day," Mendon coach Chris Compson said, "was when Sam crossed the finish line, gave me a hug, and said, 'Did we win?' That's all about who he is. Team comes first."

       Said Burnt Hills coach Chip Button: "It could have gone either way. It wouldn't have taken much for them to swing it. The guys ran great all the way through."

       Spartans sophomore Ryan Allison placed third overall as Burnt Hills booked its fourth consecutive NYSPHSAA title and ninth in program history.

       The Fayetteville-Manlius boys made it a program sweep on the day, scoring 42 points and repeating as Class A champs. Peyton Geehrer, Sam Otis and Geoff Howles all placed in the top four in the team scoring.

       The winner was Warwick Valley senior Behailu Bekele-Arcuri (14:32.7), who finished in the top 10 for the fourth consecutive year.

       (More on that momentarily.)

       Led by Peter Fogarty (14:50.7, third overall) Saranac had four of the top six team-race scorers in Class C and cruised to the team championship. Caleb Bender of Skaneateles was the individual champ in 14:41.6.

       Class D belonged to Beaver River, which placed its five scores in the top 10 of the team field, led by Coulton Kempney, Cory Demo and Josiah Evan in places two through four overall.

       Individual honors belonged to Kal Lewis in 14:28.1. The Shelter Island senior was fourth in Class D as a freshman in 2016 and has hit the tape first each year since.

       The University of Iowa recruit ran with Kempney for most of the race and fell a few strides behind late in the face. He charged forward and outsprinted him in the final 100 meters and prevailed by 1.2 seconds for the day's No. 2 time.

       "I was so close to giving up," Lewis said. "I saw the distance opening and I thought, 'All right, you have to dig deep here, Kal. You're not feeling good, but you have to stick with (Kempney),'" Lewis said. "... As soon as we hit the turn, I put on the jets, just let them go. I took off, looked behind me, saw I had a lot of space and was like, 'I got the third one.'"

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