Jamesville Behind the fifth-place finish of Skaneateles runner Madeline Adams at Saturday’s Section III Class C championship meet at Jamesville Beach Park, the Skaneateles girls cross country team placed fourth, while its sophomore leader earned the right to compete this Saturday at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill in the state meet.
With 400 meters remaining in the tension-filled competition at Jamesville Beach, Adams was looking at a 30-meter deficit as runners from Tully (Ashley Evans) and Adirondack (Meghan Tanner) pulled away. Her turnover was slow. Her fists had tensed—a certain sign of the coming running-apocalypse.
“I looked, but I couldn’t look,” said Jack Reed, her coach. “I couldn’t see through the crowd, and with the gap widening, I just knew she was the odd girl out.
“I couldn’t even walk over to the finish area because I thought I’d let her down. She did everything I’d asked all summer and fall. She’d been to the state meet the year before. I just felt terrible.”
Later on, Reed had made his way over to the finish. He checked on the girls, patted them on the back, got some smiles plastered on their faces and made sure everyone was okay after the muddy, hilly run.
And then Coach Rob Tuttle casually mentioned that Adams’ ribbon had a 5 on it as if it were common knowledge. It turned out that Adams had passed Evans and Tanner, finished fifth in 20.18.4 and joined Victoria Campanian, Christina Platt (both from South Lewis), Megan Pierce (CBA) and Marissa Jones (Sauquoit Valley) in advancing to the state meet.
“And my heart skipped a beat,” said Reed. “I couldn’t have been happier for her. She pulled a rabbit out of her hat. I don’t know where it came from. She’d been sick and I was worried for the past 72 hours. I don’t know where that surge came from.”