League Meet for Conference 4-C South
Perhaps a late-arriving bus was an omen that Oct. 17 was not the day on which the high hopes of Dobbs for the League meet were going to be met. Pressed into action soon after arriving at Van Cortlandt Park, much of the Eagle squad seemed a little out of sync as they wound up second to Bronxville in both the boys and girls races, which also included Rye Neck, Blind Brook, and Valhalla. That the girls finished behind the top 8 Broncos was expected, but the boys were thinking a little better than a 13 point margin in their loss to the guys.
However, as a shirt noted at the Manhattan Invitational, every setback is the start of a comeback. The League race is done but the big 3 remain for the Eagles to come up huge. In addition, there were some outstanding performances on Tuesday that could be a harbinger of good things coming at the Bowdoin or Van Cortlandt Park courses for the final three meets.
The girls ran as well as could be expected and posted three times that would qualify for state Class C rankings if they were included in the Tully Ratings database, which unfortunately will probably not happen. Highlighting the team effort was Mary Constant's 17th place 19:04 time, a great effort for a 7th grader and only a half-minute shy of the ones posted by the Sarahs in last year's League meet. The bad news for Mary is that a certain coach will now be expecting her to break 19:00 next Thursday in the County race.
The Broncos girls were all far off the pace they set last year when Paulina Nunez battled them around the course, and the Broncos usual 8th runner Lauren Dawson dashed in for the win. The Eagles 8th grade contingent of Sarah Coburn, Sarah King, and Karen Maehara hung within a half minute of the Broncos pack and finished in 9th - 11th in excellent times of 17:41 - 17:51. Finishing up for the Eagles in the top 20 along with the top trio and Mary were Lauren Hanley in 13th, Sofia Maluf in 15th, Isabella Natale in 16th, Clara Winder in 19th, and Rebecca Wiersma in 20th. Also trekking through VCP's 2.5 miles were Chloe Wang, Shanna Yue, Maddie Wright, Morgan Wright, and Emma Stiefler Johnson.
On the boys side, there was just not quite enough firepower to beat a high ranked Bronco squad. Bronxville's top duo of Jack Hutton and Ben Levitz were terrific on their home course and held off Patrick Wortner's strong effort, a 14:12 Eagle course record. Evan Fallor's and Dave King's personal bests earned 6th and 7th close behind the Broncos 4th and 5th runners but still left the Eagles short. Finishing up for the Eagles in the top 20 and all under 16:00 were Viktor Mashalov with a PB time in 10th, Brendan Wortner in 11th (ahead of his 8th-grade Bronco rival James Harrison), Patrick Newman in 17th, and Dylan Silberfein in 18th. Also conquering VCP were Taka Masuda, George Epstein, Alan Sanseverino, Boris Opacic, James McLoughlin, Matt Holt, and Quinn Wright.
For the still 13th-ranked state Class C boys, the ante has been upped this year and an effort that would have won a League title last year still leaves them in 2nd this year behind the 11th ranked Broncos. For the girls, a wave of young runners finishing respectably close to the older and 2nd-ranked state Class C Broncos -- 7 of whose top 9 runners are juniors or seniors -- give Dobbs a big boost of confidence for the future. Now it's on to Bowdoin's Mount Doom Coaches meet on Saturday for DFXC warpaint, some serious hill eating, and a warmup for the Sectionals there on Nov. 2.