Exhausted and relieved, Skaneateles girls cross country runners Kaitlyn Neal (left) and Madeline Adams congratulate and console each other after both qualified for this weekend's state championships at last Saturday's Section III Class C meet. Though Neal and Adams advanced, the Lakers finished second in the Class C team event to Tully.
continued Only five seconds per runner separated first-place Tully, who had 47 points, from second-place Skaneateles, who finished with 63 points.
“That’s just one second per 1,000 meters, (so) it’s a tough way to lose,” said a disappointed Reed, who was nonetheless proud of his team.
Maggie Dunn used every ounce of energy to get into the finish chute in 11th place overall in 21:18.8, while sophomore Liz Dwyer placed 24th in 22:16.5 after hurting her hip pushing through the mud.
“Maggie delivered today and Liz did all she could," said Reed. "She’s been an incredibly strong and consistent runner all season and it’s just unfortunate that the weather became a player once again in determining the winner.
Before the race, Reed had his girls lather themselves in baby oil to keep the snow and rain from tightening their leg muscles.
Finishing her first season on the varsity and crossing the line as the Laker’s fifth and final scorer was eighth- grader Julia Willcox who took 25th overall in 22:17.6.
“When I saw Julia enter the chute right behind Liz, I couldn’t believe it,” said Reed. “The last time I saw her out on the course she was way, way back and out of it. We knew she was fast and had closing speed unlike anyone else around here, but this was incredible in this mud.
"Once coach Rob Tuttle gets her into some middle distance races during indoor and spring track, she’ll be a monster in cross country. Track will teach her how to grind, how to race. It’s going to be exciting.”
For the boys, who placed 11th in Class C with 280 points, sophomore Cooper Watt placed 17th in 18:19.2 to set himself up for a shot at qualifying for the state meet next fall.
Reed said that the blonde haired Watt found his groove mid-season and has improved each and every race since then. “He’s legit and if he decides to go for this, he’ll be formidable,” said Reed.