|SECTION IV CROSS COUNTRY: OWEGO BOYS REPEAT AS CLASS B CHAMPIONS (15 PHOTOS) (2018-11-01)
THREE OWEGO GIRLS QUALIFY FOR STATES
BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
FENTON, N.Y. — Paced by five top-10 showings, Owego repeated as the Section IV Class B champions at Chenango Valley State Park Thursday. And the Indians won in overwhelming fashion, scoring 26 points to runner-up M-E’s 51.
“I thought they ran really well,” said Owego head coach John Heath. “Our goal was to come in and stay within themselves in the first half of the race and then just to start going after it after the midway point. They stuck to that plan, they were patient. They looked like experienced runners out there, and they all held, defended or improved their position fro the second half to the end.
“We had five guys in the top 10, which is an impressive feat. It was better than what I expected we were going to do.”
Nate Bowers highlighted a 2-3-4 finish as he led fellow seniors Cameron Szabo and Gavin Watkins across the line, placing second with a time of 17:07.7. Szabo was third in 17:33.7 and Watkins took fourth with a 17:59.4. A fourth Indian senior, Eaan Hackett, claimed seventh, clocking 18:11.2, while classmate Lewis Race placed 10th in 18:37.
Also competing for Owego were Joel Choynowski, 14th place with an 18:56.9; James McDonald, 15th in 19:18.3; Luke Maslin, 18th in 19:28.8; Ryan Johnson, 20th with a 19:36; and Derek Sarrge, 28th with a 20:10.3.
Although the Indians ran solid as a team, Heath felt there were a couple runners who stepped up big.
“Our No. 3 guy today, Gavin Watkins, closed that gap on No. 2, which is huge for next week. We need those gaps closed,” Heath said. “Just as impressive, our No. 4 guy today was Eaan Hackett. He had been consistently behind our three all year. He was right there. He finished seventh today with a fantastic performance.
"We knew they were capable of it. We’ve been training pretty hard throughout the middle of this season, so they’ve been pretty tired. We rested for this. We were cautiously optimistic today, but we certainly didn’t want to take anything for granted, so we rested up, and they looked strong.”
M-E’s Parker Stokes captured top honors, bring around the course in 16:03.6. That was 26 1/2 seconds ahead of the next fastest time in any classification.
Owego qualifies for the state championships, to be held Saturday at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island.
Also heading to Long Island are a trio of Owego ladies.
Senior Brittany Sanguinito placed fourth with a time of 21:36 to advance. The winning team and the next five fastest runners qualify for states and since team champion M-E had three runners place in the top five, senior Jenna Hunsinger and sophomore Mary-Carol Hoover also advanced. Hunsinger took sixth with a time of 22:28 and Hoover was eighth in 22:49.9.
Rounding out the Owego scoring were junior Chelsea Corey, taking ninth with a 22:51.9, and sophomore Hannah Monell, placing 12th in 23:20.2.
The Indians’ other competitors included Danielle Knapp, 13th in 23:43.4; Kaitlyn Ulrich, 14th with a 24:14.7; Alyssa Stephens, 15th in 24:15.8; Ella Rieg, 16th in 24:22.8; and Avery Townsand, 23rd with a 26:23.3.
M-E won the team title with 35 points, edging out the Indians by four. The Spartans’ Lindsey Stokes posted a winning time of 19:56.2.
IN PHOTO 1: Owego's Nate Bowers (front) and Cameron Szabo. ... PHOTOS 1-13 BY TIM TAYLOR ... PHOTOS 14-15 COURTESY OF SEAN BOWERS.