The Adjustment Bureau
Two of the most successful local distance programs are making some adjustments this season. Monsignor Farrell is transitioning to a new coach while Warwick Valley Coach Mike Potter has decided to shake things up this fall.
NYS Class A No. 8 Farrell will head to the Paul Short Run on the campus of Lehigh University on Friday afternoon. While the meet is traditionally known for its college races, about 100 high schools now compete as well. Although the Lions did not race last weekend, new coach Mike Proffitt and his team continue to gel.
In fact, Proffitt says, "The transition has come along a lot smoother than expected."
His top runner Dan Galford — who missed the entire spring season — is back racing and, according to his coach, getting close to form.
"Dan is coming along just fine," he said. "We've taking it a little cautiously early on, making sure his progress is steadily measured. After being off the entire spring season we don't want to rush into anything. He feels good and is chomping at the bit to cut it loose."
Proffitt is also pleased with his entire squad. "I'm really impressed with their hard work ethic and how we're looking so far. The rest of the team has really taken up the slack, knowing they have to do their part. It's exciting, it's fun. We can't wait."
The boys' NYS No. 3 — Warwick Valley — jumped from the nine spot in a week. Coach Potter says his team will not race again until the Manhattan College Invitational on Oct. 13. Last weekend the Wildcats lost to a very good Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), 46-57, averaging 16:28. Their strength is their depth as the 1-5 spread was separated by less than 20 seconds.
"At Wave Mania, our goal was to work on racing with and for each other," said Potter. "We wanted to keep our compression low by finding each other on the course, hooking up and feed off of each other's energy. We did a great job at that as we had an 18-second 1-5 spread. Wave Mania was just one of the steps in a long season. We are only racing Wave and Manhattan this year, putting more emphasis on quality training and making that important. It's a little different approach, but if you never change how you do things you will always get the same result."
PSAL's Benjamin Cardozo of Queens is entered in the varsity girls' race at Paul Short, though it is expected that just the top two girls will compete. Last weekend Sabrina Southerland ran 15:26 to win the Xavier Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park while teammate Denise Branch ran 15:38 to place third and give the Judges the best 1-2 punch in the City.
The girls of Voorhees (N.J.) — ranked No. 3 in the Armory Region poll — will also being toeing the line at Lehigh. This will be the girls' 5k season debut after running at the 3,200-meter Cherokee Challenge on Sept. 15. Voorhees has been mentioned as a possible NXN qualifier and this will finally give some insight to that claim.
NYS No. 10 Suffern is yet another local team heading to Pennsylvania. The Mounties are led by sophomore Kate Zendell who placed third last weekend at Warwick (19:13). Long Island's East Meadow is the final New York squad expected to compete.