Skaneateles girls cross country runners (from left) Jenn DeRosa, Julia Willcox, Elsa Soderberg, Madeline Adams, Morel Malcolm, Liz Dwyer and Kaitlyn Neal finished second amid a strong field at last Saturday’s East Syracuse-Minoa Invitational. Only seven-time defending national champion Fayetteville-Manlius beat the Lakers.
continued “Kaitlyn shook off some rust today. She’s actually far better than that,” said Reed. “She has a great chance to win the state title along with Marcellus star Rachel Garn and (Jordan-Elbridge’s) Abby Gugel. We’re blessed around here with top-quality runners.”
Gathering her wits over the final mile, freshman Julia Willcox surged past a slew of runners to take 20th in 21:11.8. Reed said she’s been training at a higher level than she raced. Last year she clocked 23:14.
“Julia’s just finding out what she can do,” Reed said. “Give her a little more time.”
Right behind Willcox, Madeline Adams captured 23rd in 21:23.7 as she continues to build back up after a year of misfortune.
“Despite finding out that her body wasn’t infallible last year, Madeline still made All-State in cross country and ran the 3,000 in the state championship track meet,” said Reed. “She’s a bit frustrated, but she’s a battler. She’s strong. Her strength is her resilience.”
Finishing right behind Adams was junior Liz Dwyer. She placed 25th in 21:27 flat, which was more than a minute quicker than a year ago.
“(Liz is) tough, consistent, reliable,” said Coach Rob Tuttle. “Her game doesn’t need a lot of explaining. She just gets it done.”
Running like her coaches expected, junior Elsa Soderberg placed 32nd in 22:17.4 and had opposing coaches asking, ‘Who’s that girl?’
She’s our surprise this fall,” said Reed. “From out of nowhere, she’s going to have to be reckoned with. Give the girl a few races to get her bearings and she’s going to impress a lot of people.”
After Malcolm’s finish in 33rd, the final varsity Laker to enter the chute was junior Jenn DeRosa. “Jenn’s just getting back into shape after taking some time off, but the improvement is coming rapidly,” Reed said. She finished in 42nd in 22:59.3.