Big Red 2008
A summer's worth of hard or semi-tough work and diet of hills for breakfast paid off big time for the Dobbs XC team on Saturday September 13 at the Big Red Invitational in Somers as the Eagles slogged through the muck and mire to take a hard-earned Division II championship for the boys and an inspiring showing for the girls. Led by top runner Pat Wortner, the Eagles kept their feet churning through the Somers' bogs and ran like they had just totalled Coach K's bike on their way to outstanding results for both of the teams.
The day was highlighted by the following events for the boys, who were missing ACT exam prisoner Viktor Mashalov but packed 5 runners in the top 20 and 2 in the top 3 to beat Somers 43-52 for the top spot out of 15 teams:
- Pat Wortner got the individual title he first set his eyes on last year as he ran away from Somers' top runner at the race, Rob Gorecki, to win the Division II race in a time of 16:51. Pat's first race championship solidified his position as the top Class C runner in a meet that included one of Dobbs top rivals, the 3rd-place Pawling Tigers.
- Following in his brother's footsteps, freshman Brendan Wortner blasted the back stretch and held off two pursuers at the wire to place 3rd in a jaw-dropping 17:50 on a day in which four 9th or 8th graders finished in the top 20. From the end of the last climb to the finish 600 meters away, Brendan made up 16 seconds on a runner ahead of him, Harrison's Christopher Repecki, to break into the top three.
- Speed demon Evan Fallor wiped out on Breakneck Bridge at the 1/4 mile mark. Despite busting open his chin, lacerating a knee, and eating a lot of mud, Evan got up and pushed through to the end for a huge 9th place. Evan passed three runners in the final 600 meter loop to get into the top 10.
- Running with a pack of 10 finishers who crossed the line within 6 seconds of each other, the final two Eagle scoring runners, senior Pat Newman and 8th grader Ryan Malpass, clinched the Eagles championship in a big fashion. Pat sprinted past a couple of runners near the finish for 15th and Ryan grabbed the last of the coveted Big Red shirts by taking 20th in his first XC race and knocking 25 seconds off Brendan Wortner's 8th grade Eagle Big Red record.
- Sophomores George Epstein and Taka Masuda earned the final two championship team jackets in 43rd and 64th, with George knocking exactly a minute off his 2007 time.
The girls were shorthanded without injured varsity stalwarts Lauren Hanley and Karen Maehara, but they also stepped up for a 4th place finish that moved them closer at a shot at maybe winning their second Big Red championship in 2009. Like last year, the Dobbs middle school was called upon to provide the majority of the scoring runners as the Eagles finished fairly closely behind champion Pawling, Somers, and Millbrook with 117 points. Harrison's Emily Singer overcame last year's champ, Pleasantville's Libby Lazare, to win in an outstanding 19:44. Highlights included:
- Freshman Sarah King got her breakout XC race by grabbing 7th and a Big Red shirt with a fast finishing Eagle record time of 21:01, knocking exactly 2 1/2 minutes off her 2007 time. Sandwiched between Pawling's Jelinek sisters, 2007 state finalist Caitlin and freshman Anna, Sarah used a big 2nd half surge to move up 6 places and establish herself as a likely candidate for one of the 2008 state final spots.
- Senior Izzy Natale shrugged off the trauma of hosting the pre-race Friday night pasta food fight and got her final Eagle's season off to a big start by chopping her 2007 time down by 70 seconds on the sloppy course to finish 23rd. Izzy's time of 22:37 was also the 2nd best Eagle time ever at the Big Red.
- 8th grader Rebecca Wiersma notched her breakout race as she knocked more than 2 1/2 minutes off her 2007 time to grab 27th with a time of 22:54. The time was 37 seconds better than the best Eagles time in 2007 and set an 8th grade team record for the meet.
- The 8th grade duo of Chloe Wang and Clara Winder clinched the Eagles 4th place finish by taking the last two Eagle scoring places in 31st and 36th. Chloe knocked a hefty 3:17 off her 2007 time and Clara discarded 1:25.
Rounding out the finishing group for the boys was Quinn Wright in 136th, Hunter Bock in 140th, and Yusuf Kapadia 164th. For the girls, Suzanna Halatyn took 46th, Mary Constant 51st, Sofia Maluf 53rd, Shanna Yue 72nd, Yuriko Masuda 86th. Sofia, Shanna, and Yuriko appear to have finished in the top 10 of the JV standings for Division II to qualify for medals.
In other news from the Division II race, the Ardsley Panthers' boys moved up three notches from last year to 6th place led by Steve Sklar's 9th place, and Pleasantville finished 10th with Dobbs 5K participant Michael Phillips finishing 16th as he got edged at the line by Pat Newman. The two teams reversed the places on the girls' side as Ardsley took 10th and Pleasantville got 6th despite taking three of the top 22 places as their lack of depth at the 4th and 5th spots continued to trouble them.
Arlington dominated the Divsion I races though the individual winners were not the expected pair of Adam Doherty and Chelsea Hanson who are working their way back from injuries. The Arlington boys were led by Jared Leslie's 16:14 and overwhelmed nearest pursuers Mahopac and Brewster by a 23-68-102 score. Arlington's girls were led by newcomer Rachel Sorna's 19:09 to beat out Monroe-Woodbury and Brewster by a 21-60-96 score.
Coach JP Kaminski was besieged by the press after the meet to give the official word on an Eagles' team that appears to still be flying a little under the radar. With two deeply talented teams under his wing, JP can look forward to a lot of exciting times ahead as he leads the team to the next big race at Bowdoin on September 20 after a dual meet stop at Van Cortlandt Park against Alexander Hamilton on September 16. Following a paltry Eagle effort at devouring the bagels and bananas provided for the Big Red, JP is hoping for a better performance from the troops at Bowdoin.