By Brian Fees
Tioga County Sports Report
CHENANGO VALLEY — For Jonny Sherwood there was one big goal coming into Saturday’s NYSPHSAA Cross Country Championships.

The Newark Valley runner has been to states before, but one thing was missing from his high school resume — a state medal.

On Saturday that goal was checked off the last as Sherwood raced to a 12th place finish in the Class C boys’ race in 17:13.8.

“Very special, very special,” Sherwood said of winning a state medal. “Very special, very proud of myself.”

None of this came easy for Sherwood. He was 29th in 2019 and 32nd in 2018 and was happy to improve on that Saturday.

“Way better than the previous years, so you have to be happy with that,” Sherwood said. “I fought for everything I’ve got.”

A week ago Sherwood won the sectional title, but he didn’t run as well as he wanted to. On Saturday he was happier with his race.

“Definitely had a better race this week than last week,” he said.

The weather was dry for sectionals, but on Saturday the course got a lot wetter. For Sherwood that fits the way he runs.

“It was pretty slippery, but it probably benefited me for the most part,” he said.

Sherwood had a plan on who he wanted to run with, but those runners went out really fast, both finished in under 16:55, so Sherwood just fought to make sure he stayed in the medals.

“I was trying to stick with the Limestone kids, but they were insane runners,” Sherwood said. “They were top five, both of them (one was second, the other fifth). I went out and held around.”

For the Newark Valley star running on a Chenango Valley Start Park course he knows well was a benefit.

“Huge advantage knowing the course,” Sherwood said. “Definitely knowing when to go and when to not and saving some for the hills.”

IN TOP PHOTO: Newark Valley’s Jonny Sherwood runs to a 12th place finish at states.  . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES