The Skaneateles girls cross country team with the first-place trophy from the Burnt Hills Invitational. From left: Ginny Hamlin, Maria Schillace, Morel Malcolm, Liz Dwyer, Finan Malcolm, Molly Stanton, Madeline Adams, Kaitlyn Neal, Jillian VanLeer, Julia Willcox, Makena Gorman.
It takes a village to raise a child according to ancient lore—and recent political campaign ads--and at last Saturday’s Burnt Hills Invitational it took a complete team effort by the Skaneateles girls cross country team to claim the title in the hotly contested 5,000-meter race.
Traveling to face top-ranked teams from the eastern portion of New York State, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center served as the venue last Saturday as Skaneateles lined up against state power Broadalbin-Perth.
In last week’s state Class C poll, the Lakers were ranked second, and the Patriots of Broadalbin-Perth held the third spot.
During the Division 2 race at Burnt Hills, after the scoring five from each team had crossed the finish line in rapid order, the tally was tied at 35-all. Playing by the rules, the race came down to each team’s sixth runner and they would serve as the tie-breakers.
On a beautiful 75-degree day, the Lakers held the trump card and her name was Finan Malcolm. The Skaneateles sophomore placed 29th overall as she slipped past Broadalbin-Perth’s sixth-runner, Alex Opalka - who grabbed the 31st spot - by a mere three seconds.
The rabid and knowledgeable fans at the 32nd Annual Burnt Hills Invitational saw an impressive one-two finish by Kaitlyn Neal - who won her third invitational race of the season with a time of exactly 18 minutes, 29 seconds - and Madeline Adams who raced to second in a stellar 19:29.17. The dynamic duo put the Patriots in a deep hole.
And it didn’t get any better when junior Liz Dwyer, who ran most of the race in the top three with Neal and Adams, roared to fourth place in the team scoring with a time of 19:35.43 as her breakout season continues.
If the race were a dual meet, it would have been over with the Lakers 1-2-3 finish sealing the Patriots’ fate. But an invitational is different with dozens of teams playing a role in the final outcome.