BEMUS POINT – The Springville-Griffith cross country team wrapped up its seasons at the state qualifiers for Section VI held at Bemus Point Golf Club Nov. 3.
The boys team finished eighth in a field of 19, while the girls were 11th among 18 teams with both competing in Class B.
For those who don’t know how grueling a 3.1 mile race can be, Elle Russell certainly won the hearts of those who witnessed her performance last weekend. The top-five individuals not affiliated with the winning team qualify for state competition, and while Russell was on her way to one of those spots, she momentarily lost consciousness near the finish line. That delay put her 2.1 seconds back of the last qualifying spot after she regained her strength to finish.
“Elle had about 200 to 300 meters to catch up on the last two qualifies and she did and when she went by both of them with about 20 strides to go, she hit the proverbial wall and momentarily blacked-out,” coach Chad Russell said. “The two girls she passed would not have had time to catch her based on her speed when she passed them 20 feet from the finish.”
Russell finished eighth and had the best finish of any boys or girls team members. Her time was 20:00.01.
Rounding out the top-five in girls competition were Sonya Krezmien at 30th, Gwendolyn Fruehauf at 71st, Evelyn Smith at 72nd and Jaime Dickinson at 97th.
Nick Abdo had the boys best finish at 21st with a time of 17:39.01. Rounding out the top-five boys were Brett Russell at 29th, Zach Peterman at 41st, Mikey Evans at 45th and Nate Myers at 79th.
Evans’ 18:24.61 time was third best among all ninth-grade runners at Class B, while Russell and Peterman were in the top-12 of all sophomore runners. Russell finished sub-18 with a 17:58.50 time for seventh among 10th graders, while Peterman’s time of 18:20.47 was 12th among sophomores.
Although they didn’t finish in the team’s scoring, Coach Russell said he was impressed by eighth-grade runners Austin Yeller and Elliott Emley.
“For everyone being a sophomore or younger on the boys team, except for Nick, we look in really good shape for next year,” Russell added, while noting that the team is forecasted to drop to Class C once enrollment numbers become available.
The boys team finished with 210 points and a collective time of 1:31:05.39 with East Aurora winning Class B with 59 points. The other teams ahead of Springville were: Pioneer, 76 points; Amherst, 131; Lewiston-Porter, 160; Hamburg, 169; Williamsville South, 177 and Sweet Home, who finished one-point ahead of Springville with 209.
The girls finished with 271 points with a collective time of 1:52:51.00 with East Aurora taking first in Class B with 34 points.