OBSERVER Staff Report
ELMA - The Fredonia Lady Hillbillies' successful cross country season came to an end Saturday with a fifth-place finish in the Class C meet at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's cross country championships.
"As a team, we didn't run quite as well as we expected or hoped to run," Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. "The girls gave it their best shot (Saturday). We were proud of the season that they had and we're proud of how they conducted themselves on a regular basis."
Fredonia’s Clare Foley competes in the Class C race at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s cross country championships at Elma Meadows on Saturday.
Clare Foley finished with Fredonia's best time, coming in 40th with a time of 20:30.7.
"Clare Foley ran a fantastic race," Zirkle said. "She ran faster than last week. Gwen Stokes ran about a minute faster than last week, so she ran a very good race. Meredith Zebracki ran faster than last week, so those are our three runners that improved their time from last week to this week."
Stokes finished 91st in a time of 21:51.3 and Zebracki was 68th in a time of 21:08.6.
Having a healthy Lauren Reyda may have helped Fredonia, as the Lady Hillbillies' top runner was battling an injured shin.
"Lauren didn't have a good race," Zirkle said. "This was definitely not one of her best races. She's has an injury that she's been dealing with for a little while."
Reyda finished 61st in a time of 21:00.7.
The Lady Hillbillies ended the race with 147 points, 11 behind fourth-place Mattituck (136). Bronxville took first place with 36 points and was followed by Tully (78) and Newark Valley (110).
"I'm not sure why we didn't all run quite as well as we had in past weeks," Zirkle said. "But Lauren's injured and I was a little surprised at how we did. I don't question the girls effort. I know they wanted to run their best race today. I thought they were very prepared, I thought they were mentally focused, but the results just weren't what we thought they would be."
Following Fredonia were Scuylerville (151), Wayland-Cohocton (168), Tri-Valley (174), Friends Academy (199), Saranac (253) and Potsdam (290).
Also for the Lady Hillbillies, Michaela Tramuta finished 53rd in a time of 20:50.8, Jill Kowalski was 90th in a time of 21:47 and Cori Gullo was 98th in a time of 22:13.9.
"We had a lot of advantages," Zirkle said. "We knew the course, we had an hour drive, but that's a short drive for us on the weekend. All of the things were lined up the way we would like them to be. The girls got to sleep in their own beds, we weren't in a hotel in strange beds. They were able to eat the regular breakfast they do for invitationals.
"We had ideal conditions," Zirkle continued. "We just didn't have ideal results. But they worked so hard this season and they performed up to our expectations every (race) it just wasn't their day. Now we go back to training for next season."
Rye Neck's Natalie tanner finished first in a time of 18:47 and was followed by Abby Gugel (Jordan-Elbridge, 18:49.6) and Julie Armstrong (Onteora, 18:59.6).
Elsewhere, Silver Creek's Emma Seiders finished 28th in the Class D race in a time of 20:34 while old sister Hannah finished 39th in a time of 20:59.
In the boys' Class B race, Lake Shore's T.J. Hornberger took second in a time of 15:35.1 while teammate Calvin Butlak was 52nd in a time of 16:53.3.