Smiling Into Saturday
The cross country season is a quick one around here. Most teams don't get started until mid-September and the season builds up to the Manhattan Invitational. Fayetteville-Manlius just made its season debut. But the dropping of the leaves signifies that the team championship portion of the season is upon us.
Many teams have already had their League championship meets. The Arlington boys and girls both won team titles last week up at Bowdoin Park. Sophomore Isabella Burda won the race in 18:23 and has established herself as a contender for inclusion in one of the national championship meets. Warwick Valley freshman Megan Reilly ran 14:19 at Manhattan and did the same.
Section 2 — which is located around Albany — will start its County Championships this weekend and most of the state will follow over the next 10 days. But two very big invitationals remain this weekend — the Brown Invitational in Rhode Island and the Section 1 Coaches Invitational at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
The Brown Invite — now sometimes called the Northeast Championships — will see more than 80 schools compete this year with nearly half of them venturing from New York state. Four others will make the trek from New Jersey. A large portion of the New York schools are from Long Island as the teams take their annual Pilgrimage on across the sound on the ferry.
Some of the top New York girls teams head up include Bay Shore, Benjamin Cardozo, Miller Place, Northport, Port Richmond, Sachem East, St. Anthony's and St. John Villa.
Top boys teams competing include the top two New York City teams — Collegiate and Monsignor Farrell — though they are not racing head-to-head. Additionally MSIT, Shoreham-Wading River, Smithtown, St. Anthony's, St. John the Baptist, and Syosset are all competing. Here are the full race assignments.
The Section 1 Invitational is one of only two invitational held at Bowdoin Park during the season. Bowdoin is the site of the Section 1 Championships, NYS Federation Championships, and the New York and Northeast NXN Regionals. Nearly every single Section 1 school will attend the meet — including top girls' teams Suffern, Pearl River, Nanuet, Arlington, Bronxville and Pawling. The best Section 1 boys' squads this year include Arlington, Carmel, Tappen Zee, Pearl River, North Rockland and Pawling.
But there will also be some teams racing to prepare for Federations of NXN Regionals. The Bishop Gibbons boys — ranked No. 1 in the state in Class B — are racing in the Varsity 1 race at 12:30 pm against NYS No. 5 Tappan Zee. The Varsity 2 race features NYS Class C No. 2 Pawling against NYS Class D No. 1 Mount Academy, though NYS Class A No. 13 Calhoun is the favorite in the race.
The boys' Varsity 3 race features NYS Class A No. 3 Arlington running on what is basically its home course. Pearl River and Stuyvesant are the next best teams in the race. The Varsity 4 race features Carmel's up front strength against North Rockland's depth.
In the girls' Varsity 1 race NYS Class B No. 13 Tappan Zee is the favorite in a field that is not that deep. The girls varsity 2 race features NYS Class B No. 5 Pearl River and NYS Class B No. 2 Pawling. The Varsity 3 race has NYS Class B No. 7 Nanuet against Rockland County rival Suffern — ranked seventh in Class A.
The last race of the day features NYS Class A No. 17 Arlington against NYS Class C No. 1 Bronxville. It could also feature Burda of Arlington against Mary Cain of Bronxville. Sure Burda is probably a tier behind Cain but she could be fast enough to push Cain to a quick time — very much like Warwick's Reilly did at Manhattan last weekend.