But so far this season, the team has taken its disappointment from a year ago and vaulted up the rankings, proving it is one of the top teams in the section and the county.
Dobbs Ferry is led by a pair of brothers: Brendan and Patrick Wortner. Patrick, a junior, has spent the past four years running cross country and has been improving each year.
"When Patrick started running he could barely finish 800 meters," Dobbs Ferry coach John Patrick Kaminski said. "His mother took him running and he has really improved."
Patrick has been near the lead pack in most of the meets he has run this season. He took fifth in 16 minutes, 20 seconds at Warwick Wave Mania, just ahead of his brother Brendan (13th, 16:44).
"It's fun for us both to be the top guns," Patrick said. "It's a good feeling to be at the top."
With the Wortner brothers leading Dobbs Ferry, the key to the team's success has been its senior runners. Evan Fallor, Patrick Newman and Viktor Mashalov fill in the third through fifth spots. And with their experience and the Wortners' ability it has proven to be a successful combination.
"We've been doing pretty well this year," Brendan Wortner said. "With three seniors on the team those guys have led us to a lot of victories."
Even though Dobbs Ferry's fast start has gotten the team a lot of early-season recognition, it will mean nothing if it suffers another loss in the Class C championship, which promises to be another close one.
"It's hard to keep high school kids focused and to tell them that it's still early in the season and not to get too excited," Kaminski said. "But you don't want them to hold it in. You have to tell them that the Somers Invitational isn't the goal. That comes later in the season"
Three's a charm: Scarsdale's Ilkyu Lee placed third in 17:02.21 in the Varsity I race at Sunken Meadow. Scarsdale took third in the team standings.
Power rankings: Based on results reported to The Journal News through Sunday:
1. Scarsdale: A strong third-place finish at Sunken Meadow has this team looking good.
2. Mahopac: An impressive first-place finish in the merge at Brewster.
3. Irvington: This team had a strong performance taking first in the small-schools race at Sunken Meadow.
Keep an eye on: Byram Hills, Brewster, Somers, Dobbs Ferry.
Reach Dan Marra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the Running Shorts blog at track.lohudblogs.com.