Section 1 Coaches Meet Preview
Returning once again on Saturday, October 20, to Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, the Dobbs Ferry XC teams will get to test themselves again on the toughest hill in Section 1. Back on Sept 22, the Eagles faced tough conditions between heat and cold and rain and sun and nose-bleed heights in their second meet of the season. With a more seasoned squad a month later, Dobbs will face not only the majority of teams in Section 1 but likely also in the merged results such high-ranked teams from surrounding areas as Warwick Valley and Cornwall from Section 9 to the northwest and Colt's Neck, NJ. The meet serves as a measuring stick for how the team stacks up against the 10 or so Class C teams running in one of the three races.
The format will change a little bit this year as there will be a Champions race (race 3) that includes all entered teams from outside Section 1 along with the top teams from Section 1, and most oddly, Ardsley. The other two races will include randomly placed teams. The top 30 finishers in each race get medals.
Both of the varsity teams will be going head to head against Irvington in the Varsity 2 races in a competition that will be a key battle for the boys. The Pawling and Bronxville boys and girls teams will be running in the Varsity 1 races. There are 42 guys from other teams who are Tully-rated above 140 (Dave-Viktor-Evan level) in the Varsity 2 race, so the guys will need to step up to get a medal with Patrick. There are 31 runners from other teams in the girls Varsity 2 race who are Tully-rated above 80 (Sarahs-Karen-Lauren level), so they are right around the borderline. Top teams in the boys race will be North Rockland, Horace Greeley, and Mahopac. Top teams in the girls race will be Horace Greeley, Pearl River, New Rochelle, and Irvington. The Championship races will feature duels between Warwick Valley and Arlington, with Cornwall, Newburgh, and Colt's Neck also challenging.
Last year at Westchester Community College, the girls placed 10th of 20 teams lining up in the Varsity 1 race, with Paulina Nunez taking a superb 16th place (40th overall). Lauren Hanley finished 131st overall. The girls finished 26th of around 60 teams in a meet that featured Carmel as the top team with Bronxville 4th. Suffern's Shelby Greany crunched all runners by more than one minute. This year the returning top runners include Greany, Emma Miller-Bedell and Sara Graney of Tappan Zee, Bronxville's Tori Flannery and Emma Clarke, and Tori Pennings of Warwick Valley.
The girls' chances for a medal are less likely than last year but the team placing could actually be higher if everyone runs a tough, smart race on Bowdoin's big hill and the Eagles pack it in between 22:00 and 24:00 in an event that includes fewer top teams. A month ago Sarah King led the team in the Varsity race with a 44th place finish in 23:26 and Karen Maehara and Sofia Maluf ran in the low 24s. As veterans of the course, if the girls can all bring their times down one or two minutes, chances are good for a top 7 finish in their race.
The boys finished 10th of 19 teams in the Varsity 3 race last year, one place behind Bronxville. Overall they were 29th of the around 60 teams competing. Dave King was the top Eagle finisher at 34th and was 110th overall. Max Kasak of Byram Hills was the top runner. This year in what promises to be a star-studded battle, the top likely returning runners include Mike Hickey of Pearl River, Coby Delbene of Pawling, Julian Sheinbaum of Scarsdale, and Colin Anderson of Cornwall.
With many of the top teams being peeled off for the Champions race, the Dobbs boys have a good chance to pick up one or two medals and finish among the top teams. In September, Patrick Wortner took 7th with a 17:58 time in the Varsity race, and David King, Viktor Mashalov, and Brendan Wortner ran between 19:28 and 19:52. To stay close to Bronxville in the merged results, the Eagles' top 2-5 runners will have to stay with the Broncos 3rd-4th duo of Chris Yoo and Dayton Flannery, who beat all of them by more than a half minute a month ago. Patrick will again seek to stay ahead of Hutton and Levitz on this 5K course.
The good news is that unlike many teams the Eagles know what they are in for on Bowdoin's hill. The bad news is that the Eagles know what they're in for on Bowdoin's hill. A little knowledge can either be a dangerous or vital thing in XC. Time to get some steely-eyed resolve and a lot of second wind.
Race predictions: Boys in top form and get 7th in Varsity 2. Girls bring pack home for 6th in their Varsity 2.
The JV runners will run well among the tidal wave of runners from 50+ schools.