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Sectional Preview: Class C and the Others

Posted Wednesday, November 04, 2009 by Perry King
Section 1 Class C Preview and Overall Picks Classes AA, A, and B

Freaky Friday is finally almost upon the 1-C XC teams as they venture back to Bowdoin Park on November 6 for what promises to be a chillier but drier meet than the teams have had during the recent monsoon season. Boys Class C runs at 11:30 and then certain multitasking solo coaches get a brief respite to prep the girls for their 12:30 start.

The status of the teams going into the Sectionals this Friday is a little less clear than in some past years when the Coaches and County meets were run under less slippery conditions and more teams finished full squads. The status of the Pawling boys and girls teams is a little uncertain, but we'll assume they're coming with a full complement.

There doesn't appear to be many close team battles in the 10 Section 1 varsity races this year if you exclude the great unknown of the two Class D contests. But in many contests, all it takes is one key runner going down to drastically change the outlook, especially since a few of the favorites are only 5 runners deep at the upper level. Top rated boys going into the meet are Nick Hughes of North Rockland and Brandon Freyer of Pawling. The top rated girls are both from Class B, which has the strongest group of runners outside of Class AA, with Megan Young of Nanuet and Nicki Nessi of Pelham leading the way.

For what it's worth, here's what the Tully Ratings seem to say for the Class conflicts, assuming that all teams are at full strength. The listings are expected places strictly by the order they appear in the TR lists. As always, the TRs are general approximations, and also be aware that the season average scores don't show recent trends in a runner's ratings. In a few cases I would expect that lower rated runners might beat higher rated runners based on the past few meets.

Class C Boys
2008 Team Winner: Irvington.     Individual Winner: Julian Saliani, Irvington

Pawling is the favorite going into the meet with a 159.0 average TR and with all 5 top runners at 145+. True, they ran a JV squad at the Coaches Meet and didn't really contest the County meet with two top runners out, but the Tigers strategy appears to be to concentrate on preparation for the Sectional \ State meets, especially in light of the recent weather. Reigning champ Irvington is not at the level they were going into the 2008 meet, though last year's winner Julian Saliani looks ready to take on anybody and should make the Class C individual championship interesting as he tries to run down Pawling's Brandon Freyer for the 2009 title. At a 148.6 TR, the Bulldogs are 5 points behind the score they posted in the Sectionals last year, and they appear to be headed to the runnerup spot. Bronxville has made strides with a young team this year with a 144.8 average, but the Broncos don't appear to have enough depth in the vital 4-5 spots to beat out the Bulldogs for 2nd.

Dobbs Ferry looks to have a good chance to take the individual 3rd and 4th spots with Patrick and Brendan Wortner, and also have George Epstein around 13th, but their chances for holding off Dover and Rye Neck for the team 4th spot may come down to how many teams are included in the scoring. Last year only 11 teams counted in the scoring, but with the addition of Putnam Valley and Briarcliff, as many as 17 teams might finish full squads, which would hurt the Eagles' chances.

TR predicted score for top 3: Pawling 47, Irvington 88, Bronxville 113
Individual winner: Brandon Freyer, 185 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Brandon Freyer (Pw), Julian Saliani (I), Patrick Wortner (DF), Brendan Wortner (DF), Dayton Flannery (Bx), James Hertzel (PV); Rest of Pawling team:Tim Yu, Matt Jorgensen, Bob Swick, Pat Callan, James Dennis, Dave Mayette
Other top 15 runners: Cody Orton (Dv), Joey Moschitto (Bf), George Epstein (DF), Sam Lindberg (I), Corey Woodin (Dv)

Class C Girls
2008 Team Winner: Bronxville     Individual Winner: Caitlin Hudson, Bronxville

The girls Class C contest is expected to go the same way it always has since the Class format changed and Bronxville moved up from D in 2004. The Broncos have a young squad that does not have the same top-level depth that it had last year when Tori Flannery made a late season charge. But the competition for the Broncos both within 1-C and at the NYS level appears to be much less than last year also. At a TR of 105.4 and led by a top twosome of senior Henrietta Miers and freshman Merdith Rizzo, the Broncos should not be seriously challenged before they head to the North Pole to likely turn back Tully and Newark Valley for the state championship. The status of a Pawling team (83.0 TR) behind Caitlin Jelinek and Zoe Nagasing that is 8th ranked in NYS-C but has a big question mark at the #5 makes them a clear but still somewhat shakey pick for 2nd. Irvington hopes to reprise its 1-point upset of Pawling for 2nd place last year, but the depth behind Annie Field is just not there and their TR is south of 70. Hastings has had a pretty strong top 4 all season with four runners above 80 TR, but the problem at the #5 spot could push them way back if enough teams finish 5 runners. Dobbs Ferry has the #4 runner in Sarah King but needs to shake off some injuries and place a pack in the 20-30 range to catch the Bulldogs or Yellowjackets.

Preseason favorite Libby Lazare of Pleasantville has battled ailments all season and her status for the race is not clear. The contest for the individual title appears by the ratings to be between Miers and Jelinek, but Rizzo usually does very well at Bowdoin and could challenge for the title.

TR predicted score for top 3: Bronxville 31, Pawling ~100, Irvington ~115 (Scores for top 5 teams will depend on number for qualifying teams in scoring)
Individual winner: Caitlin Jelinek, Pawling, 125 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Caitlin Jelinek (Pw), Henrietta Miers (Bx), Meredith Rizzo (Bx), Sarah King (DF), Annie Field (I), Amelia Phillips (Bx), Zoe Nagasing (P), Libby Lazare (Pl) or Nora Howe (H); Rest of Bronxville team: Argentina Chrappa, Courtney Campbell, Emilie Hoffer, Serina Saari or Katherine Marrone
Other top 15 runners: Danielle Kennedy (AM), Morgan Meaney (Pw), Emma Sander (H)

Class AA Boys
2008 Team Winner: Suffern     Individual Winner: John Muller, Arlington

North Rockland is one of the top 5 teams in NY with a 177.0 TR and Nick Hughes is the state's top rated runner, so they should have a very clear shot at the team and individual titles. The interesting battle here is for 2nd place, with Suffern at 165.8 and Arlington at 163.8 in a dead heat. The Admirals have a pack in the 11-19 place range and will beat Suffern if the Mounties' #5 spot gets pushed too far back.

TR predicted score for top 3: North Rockland 25, Suffern 72, Arlington 72
Individual winner: Nick Hughes, North Rockland, 189 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Nick Hughes (NR), James McDonough (Mh), James Naglieri (NR), Tyler Frigge (Sf), Kevin McKenna (Sf), Charlie Lagos (NR), Brett Bernard (NR,) Nick Bien-Aime (NR), Conor Mallon (NR), Johnny Mitchell (Sf), Justin Decker (Ar); Rest of North Rockland team: Timothy Mendez, 

Class AA Girls
2008 Team Winner: Arlington     Individual Winner: Shelby Greany, Suffern

The North Rockland girls are also expected to win their side of the action with a TR at 116.6. Reigning champion Arlington at 112.0 is not far behind and could challenge if a 5-deep North Rockland slips up, a not uncommon occurrence at Bowdoin lately. Suffern appears to be a fairly distant 3rd. Jessica Tobin of Clarkstown South is likely to battle Ursula Svoboda for the individual title.

TR predicted score for top 3: North Rockland 37, Arlington 54, Suffern 105
Individual winner: Jessica Tobin, Clarkstown South, 131 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Jessica Tobin (CS), Ursula Svoboda (Sf), Alexis Hatcher (NR), Hayley McMahon (Ar), Rachel Sorna (Ar), Ellie Hecker (NR), Kaitlyn O'Grady (NR), Jessica Falcon (NR), Kristen Schnalzer (NR), Alexandra Cappello (Sc); Rest of North Rockland  team: Kailey Dwyer, Courtney Cox

Class A Boys
2008 Team Winner: Fox Lane     Individual Winner: Manu Kumar, Yorktown

This should be the closest contest of the day, with three teams being in the mix. Brewster behind Charlie Carr and Mike Thomas has the highest TR at 165.4, but Fox Lane at 163.2 and Horace Greeley at 162.8 are close behind. The Bears' greater depth should earn them the title, but there could be some surprises here. The individual title may come down to reigning champ Manu Kumar and Fox Lane's Christopher Sacks, but there are 5 other runners close behind.

TR predicted score for top 3: Brewster 56, Horace Greeley 69, Fox Lane 70
Individual winner: Manu Kumar, Yorktown, 179 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Manu Kumar (Y), Christopher Sacks (FL), Henry Koster (HG), Kyle Eager (HG), Charlie Carr (Br), Mike Thomas (Br), Jamie Mitchell (FL); Rest of Brewster team: John Carr, Adam McIe, Justin Maguire, Neeraj Suryanarayanan, Alec Budd

Class A Girls
2008 Team Winner: Ursuline     Individual Winner: Katie Sullivan, Ursuline

2008 was Ursuline's year, but 2009 is Tappan Zee's year. No girls' team is more dominating in their class behind their top duo of Jacqueline Pollack and Taylor Jo Gillen. TZ has a 107.8 TR, which far exceeds Brewster's 90.0 or Ursuline's 85.8. Harrison's Emily Singer has the edge over Pollack for the individual title.

TR predicted score for top 3:  Tappan Zee: 29, Brewster 82, Ursuline 87
Individual winner: Emily Singer, Harrison, 126 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Emily Singer (Har), Jacqueline Pollack (TZ), Taylor Jo Gillen (TZ), Ariana Bottalico (Br), Meagen Jaskot (TZ), Jackie McCarthy (Urs), Emma Wisdom (JJCR), Nicole Zazerro (Br); Rest of Tappan Zee team:  Megan Curran, Kellyanne Bondulich, Elaine Bermudez

Class B Boys
2008 Team Winner: Byram Hills     Individual Winner: Mike Hickey, Pearl River

Although not projected to be quite as close as the Class A boys race, the B race could also have some drama. Byram Hills has a comfortable lead with its 162.4 rating, but Pearl River is ready to take advantage of any Bearcat problems at their 153.8 rating. Rye is further back at 148.8. The individual contest should see a duel between Rye's Max Robinson and Byram Hills' Joe Violone.

TR predicted score for top 3: Byram Hills 31, Pearl River 64, Rye 87
Individual winner: Max Robinson, Rye, 173 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Max Robinson (R), Joe Violone (BH), Chris Cioffoletti (BH), Marc Violone (BH), Ryan McKallen (PR), Thomas Lappas (PR), Cameron Rasmussen (HH), Jamie Love (BH), Mason Curtis (R); Rest of Byram Hills team: Evan Skloot, Miles Appelbaum, Liam Weiland

Class B Girls
2008 Team Winner: Pearl River     Individual Winner: Chelsea Kushner, Pearl River

Pearl River goes for its zillion-and-first straight title, dominating Class B the way Bronxville rules Class C. This year though the Pirates at 108.8 have a fairly strong challenger in Nanuet (98.8) and its freshman star Megan Young. Pearl River's depth is just too much to overcome here though even without a runner in the top 4 as they breeze to the title. Young takes the individual crown over Pelham's Nicki Nessi.

TR predicted score for top 3: Pearl River 35, Nanuet 55, then pick'em
Individual winner: Megan Young, Nanuet, 139 TR
State finalists (5 at-large and 7 champion team runners): Megan Young (N), Nicki Nesi (Pm), Jessica Kendzor (JFK), Katherine Doyle (SH), Hannah DeMartino (N); Pearl River team: Maria Kohlbrenner, Kerry Guerin, Chelsea Kushner, Erica Guerin, Ceili McMorrow, Keeley Bateman, Katelyn Garvey

Class D Boys and Girls

Not much information here, but Haldane and Alexander Hamilton should battle for the titles and hopefully the teams will be kept on the right course this year in their twilight runs.   

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