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By Brian Fees
Tioga County Sports Report
VERONA — The Owego cross country teams had seven runners who were competing in their first state championships on Saturday, and almost everyone on the team lowered their time from the first time they ran the course at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School this year.

Two boys ran in the meet, and both were faster than what they ran in September, while five of the seven girls ran more than two minutes faster than September at the pre-state meet.

The Owego girls finished seventh as a team at 172 points, just two points behind Saranac for sixth place.

Freshman Jaelyn Chrysler just missed medaling for the Indians, finishing 24th in 20:56.1. Chrysler sat in 31st place as she went down the big hill midway through the race, but she finished strong to get a top 25 finish.

Freshman Lillymay Wheeland finished 50th in the race in 21:52.8 and senior Abigail Fahey finished 63rd in 22:15.5.

Eighth-grader Lilly LaFever finished 100th in 23:32 and senior Cameron Pichany finished 113th in 24:12.

Junior Abigail Luke was 116th in 24:29.6 and freshman Abigail McHugh finished 122nd in 25:09.8.

In the boys race freshman Magavin Allen was 62nd in 18:52.1 and sophomore Sullivan O’Donnell was 83rd in 19:20.2.

“I think our kids ran really well today,” Owego coach John Heath said. “Both of our boys ran almost one minute faster on the course today than they ran on it in September, and finished where they were projected to finish.

“Overall, the girls team ran quite well. Five of the seven ran more than two minutes faster today than in September. We finished seventh as a team, just two points out of sixth, where we were projected to finish.”

With so many younger runners competing, between the boys and girls the Indians had an eighth grader, four freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and two seniors, the experience can only help the runners into the future.

“We had seven kids run today in their first state championship (six of which are underclassmen),” Heath said. “And, the level at which they performed is admirable. We hope the experience our kids gained today will help them in championship races in the future.”


IN TOP PHOTO: Owego’s Jaelyn Chrysler.  ... PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES

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