Somers Big Red 2007 Report
(updated 9/19. Note that Brewster team was DQ'ed from Girls Div. 2 race and all other teams moved up one place. Team placements have been updated below but player positions have been left as originally recorded with 7 Brewster runners finishing ahead of all Dobbs runners.)
On a day and XC course conditions much different than last year's humid sloppy mess of a Big Red Invitational that netted the Dobbs Ferry girls' team a shocking championship trophy after a year of team nonexistence, the Eagles kicked off the 2007 season with some impressively fast times. Buoyed by the return of former captain Paulina Nunez to see her old mates' run and Patrick Wortner's breakout day among the top runners in the Section, the Dobbs teams ground out high placements in the Big Red.
Overall on the day, the boys team finished in a tie for 2nd behind host Somers among the Division II teams but were awarded 3rd behind O'Neill on the basis of losing the 6th spot tiebreaker. For the first time since humans first learned to run Dobbs topped the powerhouse and 7th-ranked NY State Class C team Pawling, though the Tigers were missing some top runners. The girls' placement did not equal last year's 1rst place finish in the meet, but their young team still finished 3rd among the 8 scoring teams (10 teams total) with a pack of 5 consecutive runners. On both the girls and boys teams, all returning runners improved their times by at least 1 minute, and many improved by 2-7 minutes.
Patrick Wortner provided a blast of excitement by taking the lead in the race at the midway point and battling race winner Todd Apgar of Somers through the back stretches. Though two Somers runners passed Patrick in the later stages of the race, his 4th place finish was by far Dobbs' best in a top race. Joining Patrick in winning the prized red T-shirts for the top 20 runners were Viktor Mashalov and David King who finished 15th and 16th to also earn good state ranking points. Evan Fallor hung tough to take 23rd and Brendan Wortner kicked in past a Hen Hud runner in 26th to earn Dobbs a virtual share of 2nd. Following places were rounded out by Pat Newman in 39th, Ray Vincent in 49th, Taka Masuda in 52nd, George Epstein in 62nd, Alan Sanseverino in 75th, Boris Opacic in 87th, and James McLoughlin in 107th.
The girls' race was won by the Dobbs 5K winner Libby Lazare of Pleasantville. The Eagles had no runners among the top 20, but a party of 5 reserved spots 29-33 to finish in a tie with a better heeled Horace Mann team, though this time Dobbs won the tie breaker on captain Lauren Hanley's 6th spot placement. Sarah King was the first Eagle across the line in 29th followed in the next four places by Sarah Coburn, Karen Maehara, Isabella Natale (who broke up the 8th grade cabal), and Sofia Maluf. Maluf charged by a Horace Mann runner at the finish line to square the score for 3rd place. In the footsteps of Hanley's 41rst place (Horace Mann's 6th runner was 44th), the Eagles started a run of 7th graders with Clara Winder taking 49th, Rebecca Wiersma in 52nd, Mary Constant in 54th, Chloe Wang in 59th, 8th grader Shanna Yue in 62nd, Morgan Wright in 76th and Maddie Wright in 79th. Of the runners in the race last year, Hanley improved her time by 63 seconds, Coburn by 2:59 minutes, King by 3:04 minutes, and Maluf by a whopping 7:46 minutes.
As to team positions among Class C rivals, the boys finished ahead of Pawling, Pleasantville, Croton Harmon, Dover and North Salem. They also beat a raucous group of Ardsley's Class B runners. Again, Pawling will show up at full strength later this year, but it is good to see that the guys may be able to hang with Class C's top team. The girls finished in back of Pawling but beat out Pleasantville and Dover and the non-scoring under-womanned Croton Harmon team. Like the boys they were far ahead of neighboring Ardsley.
Good efforts all around by two young squads that are emerging quickly as big threats. Great performance by the 7th grade foursome in their first meet. It's onward to the big time at Bowdoin in Wappingers Falls next weekend.