Westchester County 2008 Meet
The Eagles got some great moola for the trophy case after a huge performance at the Westchester County Meet, at Van Cortlandt Park on Thursday, October 23. Paced by the boys' 6th place finish among all teams and their County Class C championship award, the Eagles racked up 1 big plaque, 6 individual medals, and 7 team medals for the varsity guys for their overall place. The biggest prize of all, though, was the confidence booster that both the boys and girls got for their upcoming Halloween trek at Bowdoin Park.
Going into the County meet, the boys were still considered the favorites for the Class C title but their Speed Ratings lead over Irvington had been whittled down to an uncomfortably close margin. The County race was important because it showed that the Eagles could beat the Bulldogs even when lead runner Pat Wortner finished behind Irvington's top duo of Julian Saliani and Ian Mathews. The Eagles did the job by packing their top 3 between places 18-23 and getting their 4 and 5 runners to pick up a chunk of points against the Bulldog 4 and 5. The result was the Eagles' third championship of the season as they head for the all-important Sectional challenge.
The young girls' team picked up one place from last year with Sarah King knocking 21 seconds off Paulina Nunez's team record for VCP and 92 seconds off her own PR with a 16th place finish that was less than 3 seconds behind last year's champ Tori Flannery. The girls got a great showing from the 8th grade quartet and finished within shouting distance of Hastings and far ahead of Pleasantville going into their battle with the Yellowjackets and Panthers for 4th place in Class C at the Sectionals. With everyone geared up to go for the prize, the Eagles stand a fair chance of pulling an upset over Hastings.
The JV teams ran first on Thursday, and both teams got the Eagles off on the right foot, or wing, depending on how you like your metaphors. Shanna Yue absorbed Sarah King and Pat Newman's trick from earlier meets and grabbed the last medal in the Girls JV race with a 19:32 for 25th, shucking 69 seconds from her previous best. Sofia Maluf stepped up to punt 72 seconds from this year's best time for 31st in 20:04. Completing the lineup for the four Eagles in the race, Kim Anker chopped 71 seconds to get 52nd in 20:59 and Yuriko Masuda pared off 50 seconds for 71st in 22:28.
The Boys JV was led once again by Taka Masuda who improved by a mere 76 seconds in grabbing the medal-winning 16th place, which was one behind Byram Hill's Evan Skloot (I just like the name). The Eagles later sent a minor pack across the line, with Hunter Bock finishing in 18:35 for 148th, Quinn Wright blowing away a mind-boggling 153 seconds for 149th also in 18:35, and Yusuf Kapadia snipping 15 seconds for 157th in 18:54. Keith Hickey finished up for the Eagles, tearing away a half minute for 215th in 22:37 as the team finished 16th ahead of Mamaroneck and HenHud.
The girls varsity ran in the day's third race, which would be won individually by Katie Sullivan in 14:56, and by her team Ursuline, who upset favored Bronxville by 19 points. Sarah King boosted her chances for a State Title berth by finishing 6th among 1-C runners and behind only Irvington's Annie Field and Pleasantville's Libby Lazare among the non-Bronco 1-C runners. Her 16:09 time for 16th and an adjusted SR of 103 put her in ahead of Broncos Meredith Rizzo and Henrietta Miers and focussed her goal of picking off some of the top Pawling runners to earn a State Meet position. The Eagles 8th grade quartet was led as usual by Rebecca Wiersma, who shed 49 seconds for 65th in 17:35 for an SR of 72. Following in after were Chloe Wang in 76th wth a 53-second nicking 17:54 for an SR of 63, Clara Winder with a 45-second slicing 18:35 for 101st, and Mary Constant with a 34-second cutting 19:02 for 112th. Senior Izzy Natale was not able to finish and will be getting focused for her last race at the Sectionals.
The varsity boys' championship run -- which was won individually by Iona Prep's Sean Halpin and teamwise by Scarsdale -- featured a back-to-back finish by Patrick and Brendan Wortner in 18th and 19th in 13:35 and 13:39, with Brendan pitching 51 seconds from his best time. Evan Fallor gave the Eagles depth at the top of the scoring by taking 23rd with a 47-second deletion to 13:47 and breaking through to an SR of 160, and Pat Newman omitted 30 seconds by running a 14:13 for 45th and an SR of 151. George Epstein again turned in a rave performance in that glamorous 5th position by sealing the deal for the Eagles with a 56-second plunge to 14:39 for 75th and an SR of 141. Ryan Malpass gave the Eagles an extra bit of security with a 14:56 for 97th, and captain Boris Opacic cleaved 59 seconds in his last race at VCP for 112th in 15:09.
Again, coach JP Kaminski was mildly happy with all the runners' perfomances and took everything in stride before releasing the pent-up yahoos while pedaling 30 miles home. As the coach told the runners, the County awards were nice, but the eyes and the mind still have to focus immediately on the big goal of winning the Sectionals at Bowdoin next Friday. After the County Meet, though, the team looks ready.