Skaneateles Not a single race has been run, and already the prognosticators have ranked the Skaneateles girls cross country team second in pre-season state Class C polls.
Atop the prestigious list is defending state champion Bronxville, led by Olympic Trials participant Mary Cain. The junior has personal bests of 4:39 in the mile and 2:03 in the 800.
“Our depth is our key,” said Skaneateles engineering teacher Rob Tuttle, who, along with Jack Reed and Marie Grosso form the coaching staff. “We’re three-deep up front and there’s going to be battles for the top seven spots.”
In cross country, the point tally of the top-five finishers is the team’s score. The low score wins.
Leading the front pack is junior Madeline Adams who was one of the area’s finest distance runners this past spring in track. Her 10:22 in the 3,000 meters makes her a top contender for the cross country individual title.
Right behind is freshman Kaitlyn Neal, who topped out at 10:54 in the 3,000 before the staff cut her season short so she could begin rehab on a sore IT band.
“She’s back and ready to roll,” said Tuttle.
Joining the top tier is Marcellus transfer—and 2011 sectional 3000 meter champion--Maggie Dunn. The senior is fully recovered from a gym injury that dogged her the entire school year. According to Tuttle, she’s really beginning to rev her engine and has already moved up to run with Neal.
After a summer of logging hundreds of miles and hammering workouts on hot summer nights, sophomores Jenn DeRosa and Liz Dwyer are forming a dynamic trio along with junior Morel Malcolm who looks to be in top shape again. Rounding out the starting line-up is junior Virginia Hamlin who was a mainstay of the team last fall.
“On any given day, they’re going to be hard to displace,” said Tuttle “They’ve come so far in just a year. We can’t wait to get to East Syracuse-Minoa (next) Saturday morning. We’re ready to roll.”