The Dobbs guys made a big statement at the Section 1 Coaches Meet at Bowdoin Park on Saturday afternoon, October 18. Shorthanded and needing a great effort from a runner outside of the top four group of Patrick Wortner, Brendan Wortner, Evan Fallor, and Pat Newman, the Eagles got a big lift from the huge performances of George Epstein, Boris Opacic, and Ryan Malpass to finish 3rd in the Varsity I race and 12th overall out of all the teams at the meet from Sections 1, 8, 9, and New Jersey. The girls meanwhile fell a runner short of qualifying for a team score in their race, but their good times set them up well for a strong showing on Halloween on the same course.
One of the key elements of the race for the Eagles was their showing against the reigning 1-C champ and top-ranked Irvington team. The results, however, could only be compared in the merged results since the teams were in separate races. Led again by Patrick Wortner's sterling frontrunning for 5th place in 17:11, the Eagles maintained their seasonlong advantage over the Bulldogs in the Speed Ratings. The average 9 seconds difference was still close enough to give a coach some anxiety though.
Bolstering the Eagles effort was Brendan Wortner with a 17:43 for 11th, Evan Fallor breaking the 150 Speed Rating barrier with a 17:58 (153 SR) in 18th, and Pat Newman snatching the final medal-winning spot with an 18:24 for 30th. Sealing the deal for Dobbs, George Epstein took 44th with an 18:58, Boris Opacic got 49th with a 19:18, and Ryan Malpass took 58th with a 19:33. All of the runners improved their times from the earlier Bowdoin Meet, with the Wortners squeezing another 8 and 13 seconds from their earlier already low times and Boris trebucheting a giant 108 seconds.
Stacked against Irvington, the Eagles had a close 17 point advantage in the merged results for the top three positions, with Patrick, Brendan, and Evan squaring off against the Bulldogs' top trio of Julian Saliani, Ian Mathews, and Matt Menard. The Eagles greater depth in the 4-5 spots allowed them to finish with a 74 point advantage overall.
The Eagles' surprising 7th place finish among all Section1 teams and 4th among Westchester teams establishes them as a player among the upper level teams at Thursday's County meet at Van Cortlandt Park. Scarsdale, however, ran in the Coaches Meet missing three of the top five runners and finished far back, but they will be favored along with Fox Lane to win the County Meet with a full squad.
The girls had ten runners split 5/5 between the varsity and JV races, but when Sarah King took ill and dropped out of the varsity race, the team did not finish the required 5 runners. But there were still big highlights for the Eagles as Rebecca Wiersma and Chloe Wang exchanged the team lead in the Varsity II race. Rebecca became the third 8th-grade girl in two seasons to lead the Eagle finishers as she ran a 22:41 for 43rd and a 61 Speed Rating. Chloe finished close behind in 44th with a 22:45, Izzy Natale took 48th with a 22:51, and Clara Winder drove in 60th with a 23:38. Rebecca and Chloe improved their times by about 30 seconds from the previous Bowdoin race, and the results showed that the Eagles could have a spirited battle with Pleasantville for the 5th spot in 1-C at the Sectionals.
The girls JV did finish a full squad and the results were promising as Mary Constant broke the 24:00 mark with a 23:55 for 63rd. Shanna Yue continued to work her way back into shape with a 25:00 for 90th, Sofia Maluf ran 25:55 for 99th, Kim Anker got 108th with a 26:32, and Yuriko Masuda ran 29:26 for 135th as the Eagles took 11th.
The boys JV was led by Taka Masuda who just missed a medal, cruising in at 32nd in 19:58. He was followed in by Yusuf Kapadia with a 22:31 for 82nd, Hunter Bock was 83rd in 22:34, Quinn Wright scored a 94th in 23:45, and Keith Hickey took 117th in 28:11 as the boys JV finished 9th.
The team travels to Van Cortlandt Park on Thursday, October 23, to run against the teams of Westchester. It will be the final race for the varsity members before the big Sectional Meet on Friday, October 31, which decides which teams go to the NY State Championship meet.