CHENANGO FORKS - The Corning girls and Watkins Glen boys earned team titles at a wet and muddy Chenango Valley State Park Thursday in the Section IV Championships, while other locals punched their tickets to the state meet.
In the Section IV Class A race, the Corning girls cruised to a win with Faithe Ketchum and Claire Mason finishing 1-2 for the Hawks.
Ketchum finished with a time of 19:53.0 and Mason finished in 19:57.6. The pair was over 30 seconds faster than the next finisher, Laura DeMichele from Horseheads (20:32.6).
“I thought [the race] went really well,” said Ketchum. “I’m really happy how Claire and I stayed together. It made our team a lot better. It was really fun. We do workouts together, we run together and to race together is even better.”
Also for Corning, Katie Hale finished fifth (20:37.6), Alicia Lawson was 10th (20:59.5), Chloe Freeland (21:19.4) and Lydia Keys (21:26.8) placed 12th and 13th respectively. In all, the Corning girls took nine of the top 20 spots.
The Hawks scored 30 points as a team followed by Horseheads (60) and Ithaca (83) to win their second-straight sectional title.
“We knew we were strong up front, but you have to deliver on this day,” Corning head coach Ray Lawson said. “I thought Faithe and Claire did a good job of letting the race come to them and when it was time to go, they knew they could make it fast. I’m very pleased. 1-10, every single girl ran a strong race today.”
DeMichele and Samantha Woodworth from Horseheads and Lizzie Ostrander from Elmira also qualified for states in girls Class A.
In the Class C race, the Watkins Glen boys took home a team title with a score of 69, edging out Newark Valley (74) and Waverly (89).
Gabe Planty won the race with a time of 16:50.3 to earn his third win in a row at Chenango Valley State Park.
“After the first year, I thought I was just going to win easily up till now, but it’s been a little harder than that,” said Planty. “I’ve had competition every year and that’s definitely made the times fast and I’m more grateful for winning with competition like that.”
Also scoring for the Senecas were Sam Thorsland (7th; 17:49 followed by Max Evans (16th; 18:19), Steven Gublo (21st; 18:45) and Benjamin Swinnerto (24th; 18:50).
Ithaca edged Corning in the Class A boys race 32-35.
“Ithaca is a very strong team,” Ray Lawson said. “A little more experienced than us, and that made a difference today. We had a chance to win and that’s exciting. There’s a few places we could have executed better, but Ithaca was the better team today.”
Torrey Jacobson-Evans paced Corning with a second-place finish in 16:54 to book his third-straight trip to the state meet.
“I’m looking forward to [the state meet],” said Jacobson-Evans. “I’m really hoping to do well.”
Matthew Hong took fifth for the Hawks in 17:15 and Matthew Gensel placed sixth with a time of 17:21. Both times earned the pair individual bids for the state meet.
Elmira’s Jason Matthewson and Nasir King also qualified as individuals for states.
Elmira Notre Dame had three boys and three girls that qualified for the state meet in Class D. The six total is a record for the Crusaders.
“It’s better than we thought on an individual basis,” Elmira Notre Dame head coach Chris Wise said. “To see what the guys team did really set the tone and pushed the girls. It gave them good motivation. To get the three guys going and the three girls, it’s really a great feeling.”
In the boys race, Steven Gough finished second in 17:17, Scott Herlan placed sixth with a time of 18:26 and Derek Simpson placed eighth in 18:34.
Alyssa Walker finished second in the Class D girls race with a time of 20:30 to earn her fourth state bid in as many years while Riley Soehnlein (4th; 20:53) and Piper Young (8th; 21:02) also qualified.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet will start at 9 a.m. Nov. 16 in Plattsburgh, near the Ronald Stafford Ice Arena.