OWEGO – The individual winners at the Southern Tier Athletic Conference cross country championships both offered a lesson in perseverance.
Boys’ champion Dan Dracup of Ithaca has dealt with shin issues this fall, while girls’ winner Abbie Bideaux of Binghamton was slowed by knee injuries the previous two seasons.
No signs of physical problems were evident from either runner Saturday at Pheasant Hill Country Club.
Dracup won the boys’ race in 16 minutes, 45.1 seconds on the 3.1-mile course, while Bideaux’s winning time was 19:33.1.
Dracup, a sophomore who was the STAC modified champion in seventh and eighth grades, finished more than four seconds ahead of runner-up Sam Chauvin of Corning (16:49.6). With the Section 4 championship meet coming up Thursday at Chenango Valley State Park, Vestal standout Dana Carris did not run.
Hunter Hartshorne was second for the Little Red and seventh overall with a time of 17:29, followed in 33rd place by Sydney Herman in 18:32.
Dracup has had to deal with shin splints in his left leg that he says has disrupted his training schedule.
“I’ve been injured for the past four to five weeks,” he said. “I’m coming off an injury, so my legs are kind of not in the best shape. I was hoping for third or fourth. I was pretty happy with the results.”
Dracup took control early on the hilly course, which Ithaca coach Richard Bernstein said was “not an easy thing to do.”
“In the beginning I took it out a little fast,” Dracup said. “On the first hill I pretty much knew that I had it and I tried to push away from the pack as much as I could.”
Five Corning boys placed in the top 15 as the Hawks finished with 39 points, well ahead of defending champion Maine-Endwell’s 84. Ithaca placed third with 98.
Ithaca’s girls also finished third, with 67 points, failing to defend their team title. Six Elmira girls placed in the top 20 as the Express won its first STAC team title with 41 points, followed by Corning with 66.
Bernstein had high praise for both Dracup and Lauren Trumble, third in the girls race in 19:51.6.
“Individually, both Dan and Lauren ran great races,” said Berstein. “They are both on the verge of becoming state-level elite runners.”
Senior captain Jackie Cornell was 11th in 21:03 for the Little Red, four spots ahead of Maya George, 15th in 21:11, and three more ahead of freshman Amanda Pfaff (18th, 21:27).
Bernstein is hoping for bigger and better things from his teams this week at sectionals.
“I think we have a better race in us, and will go after it on Thursday,” said Bernstein. “The boys have a tougher road against a very tough Corning team, but that’s why they run the races.”
MARATHON – The Newark Valley girls and Trumansburg boys came away as the winners on Saturday at the Interscholastic Athletic Conference cross country championships, held at Appleby Elementary School.
The Cardinals scored 22 points and won by 51 over Edison. The Trumansburg girls were third with 98 points.
The Blue Raider boys scored 72 points, 13 better than Newark Valley. Third went to Waverly with 97 points.
Newark Valley placed four runners in the top 10 of the girls race, led by winner Jenna Cup, a senior, who covered the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 18.8 seconds.
The boys race came down to the wire, as Watkins Glen junior Matt Gill won by just four-tenths of a second over Southern Cayuga senior Michael May. Gill’s time was 16:52.5, with May finishing in 16:52.9.
Trumansburg had the next two runners across the line, as junior Tyler Sutherland (17:12.6) and senior Cal Randle (17:40.3) were third and fourth, respectively. Senior Josh Langley of Watkins Glen was fifth in 17:44.4.