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Corning girls top field at Northeast High School Cross Country Club Championships

Andrew Legare
Elmira Star-Gazette

There was no high school cross country season this fall for Section 4 athletes, but a group of runners from Corning will have a significant team championship to reflect on years down the road.

Corning Track Club won the team title in the girls championship division at the 2020 Northeast High School Club Cross Country Championships, held Nov. 28 near Middletown at Twin Ponds on the Farm in Montgomery. Corning also was tops overall among the 13 full girls teams at a meet that featured some of the nation's elite runners.

Corning captured the girls title at the Northeast High School Club Cross Country Championships on Nov. 28, 2020 at Twin Ponds on the Farm in Montgomery. Bottom, from left: Sadie Beres, Lydia Keys, Bri Urban, Alicia Lawson and Chloe Freeland. Top: Faithe Ketchum and Sarah Lawson.

Corning finished with 43 points in the standings for the championship race. Outliers Running Club (Shenendehowa) was second with 60, Northstars Track Club (Cicero-North Syracuse) was third with 64 and Ridgefield (Connecticut) was fourth with 72. Those same four led the merged team results.

"We were very pleased," Corning coach Ray Lawson said. "We felt we would be one of the top teams in New York, so we were very happy with that result. Saratoga Springs is the No. 1 New York team. They were not there. They’re the No. 1 team in the nation.

"There’s definitely some strong teams in New York who weren’t there, but we were very happy with that result and there were some good teams who were there, like Shenendehowa, and some teams that had been racing all year."

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The top finisher for the Corning girls was Sarah Lawson, who finished 19th in the championship race in 18 minutes, 34.3 seconds. Teammate Faithe Ketchum was two spots behind in 21st (18:42.1). Lawson's time ranked 21st overall among all girls races and Ketchum's was 23rd. Each had a career-best time on a 5,000-meter course.

Faithe Ketchum from Corning competes  in the Northeast Cross-Country Club Championship at Twin Ponds Farm in Montgomery on Saturday, November 28, 2020.

Chenango Forks' Pipher Reid finished 26th in the championship race in 19:02.3, the 32nd-fastest overall girls time.

Others on Corning's girls team and their race finishes: Lydia Keys, 40th in 20:02.9; Chloe Freeland, 42nd in 20:15.7; Alicia Lawson, 43rd in 20:19.9; Sadie Beres, 45th in 20:25; and Bri Urban, 55th in 21:00.1. Corning's Megan McLaughlin placed 58th in the girls seeded race in 22:42.3.

Two of the nation's top runners – Kate Wiser, of Pomperaug, Connecticut; and Tully's Brooke Rauber – battled for the win in the girls championship race. Wiser, a University of Notre Dame commit, won in 16:46.8 and North Carolina State commit Rauber was second in 17:00.3. Third place went to Sydney Masciarelli, of Northbridge, Massachusetts, the 2018 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships girls national champion.

"Very, very elite group of girls there," said Ray Lawson, father of Sarah and Alicia. "Pretty good given these times to have a race with that much talent in it up front."

Pipher Reid from Chenango Forks runs in the Northeast Cross-Country Club Championship at Twin Ponds Farm in Montgomery on Saturday, November 28, 2020.

Because of the pandemic, Corning and other Section 4 cross country teams did not have a high school season this fall. Some other parts of the state went on with their seasons, though the two state championship meets were canceled. Section 4 has a shortened cross country season scheduled to begin March 1.

The Section 4 Cross Country Series hosted five club events, helping runners prepare for the Northeast championships.

Corning's Gregorski wins boys unseeded race

Corning teammates Jack Gregorski and Matthew Gensel were part of a 1-2 finish in boys unseeded race No. 2. Gregorski won in 16:22.4 and Gensel's runner-up time was 16:35.1. Gregorski led the entire way and ranked 36th among all boys races while Gensel had the 53rd-fastest boys time.

"It would have been good for him to have had someone to chase, but he ran great given the conditions," Lawson said of Gregorski. "When our race started, it was very windy. It started raining and the wind was pretty vicious for the first part of the race. But he got out hard and led that race start to finish. It was probably his best cross country race ever. It was a good day to do it."

Corning Track Club boys runners finished first overall in their race and eighth in the merged team results at the Northeast High School Club Cross Country Championships on Nov. 28, 2020 at Twin Ponds on the Farm in Montgomery.

Conrad West of Corning took fourth in the same race and ranked 71st overall (16:50.2). Also for Corning, Joshua Beres was 12th (17:27.9), Marcus Homa was 13th (17:30.4), Gabe Cornfield was 15th (17:32.3), Doug Cornfield was 27th (18:15.1), Nathan Webb took 29th (18:24) and Hayden Allington was 35th (18:45.2).

Corning was the top team among three in its race and eighth out of 24 teams in the merged results with 226 points. Corning ranked fifth out of 17 New York teams.

"It would have been nice to be in a faster race, but with so few opportunities to race this year, we weren't able to show how good we were before that meet," Lawson said. "They put teams that had been racing this season higher than us.

"We were hungry to race. Even though individually we would have liked a few faster runners to be up there with Jack and Matt, they still ran very, very well."

Delhi had two impressive runs in the boys seeded race. Jonathan Hadley was fourth in 16:04.9 and Diego Aguirre took 13th in 16:25.3. Hadley's time ranked 15th among all boys runners, with Aguirre posting the 37th-fastest time.

Follow Andrew Legare on Twitter: @SGAndrewLegare. You can also reach him at alegare@gannett.com. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.