Elmira High School senior Abbey Wheeler put an emphatic finishing touch on her high school cross country career Saturday, using a late surge to finish 10th in the girls race at the Nike Cross Nationals at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.
Wheeler finished the 5,000-meter run in 17 minutes, 23.2 seconds. Katie Rainsberger of Air Academy High School in Colorado won in 16:56.8.
“It was a spectacular race,” Elmira head coach Ben Cardamone said. “We’ve had a lot of different dreams about things that would happen here. Her finishing kick actually got her on to the award ceremony (Saturday night), where they honor the top 10. … What a perfect ending for her cross country for high school.”
The girls race included 197 runners from across the country, with Saratoga Springs’ Kelsey Chmiel leading New York state runners with a fourth-place finish in 17:15.4. Last year Wheeler finished 36th at the meet.
Wheeler started with a fast pace before struggling in the middle part of the race, Cardamone said. She was in 16th place with about a quarter mile to go before reaching a higher gear. Wheeler, covered in mud, fell to the ground after completing the race.
“Right when she got to (400 meters out), she started kicking her brains out,” Cardamone said. “I don’t know how fast her last quarter mile was, but it was fast. … Abbey was just totally exhausted at the end.”
Wheeler, who has signed to run at national power Providence College, advanced to nationals with her third-place finish Nov. 28 at the New York Region qualifier at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls. That followed a runner-up finish for Wheeler in the New York State Federation Championships at Bowdoin Park on Nov. 21.
Fayetteville-Manlius, from Section 3 in New York state, won the girls team title Saturday for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
Maine-Endwell’s Dan Schaffer finished 28th in the boys race in 15:39.1. Casey Clinger of American Fork (Utah) won in 15:03.2.
Corning junior standout Jessica Lawson closes her cross country season Dec. 12 at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego.
Mackay lifts Express to ninth place: Elmira’s Tommy Mackay won the 182-pound weight class to help the Express place ninth out of 20 teams at the Matthew Marino Tournament at Rochester’s Webster Schroeder High School.
Mackay rallied from 4-0 down to win 5-4 in the finals, earning a one-point escape with 15 seconds left.
Also for Elmira, Matt Burge took second at 195, Noah Carpenter was third at 120, Zane Tucker placed third at 285, Charlie Mahon placed fourth at 160 and Ben Howe finished sixth at 113.
“Our kids wrestled a very good tournament,” Elmira head coach Dave Guyette said. “Definitely a top-notch caliber tournament with a lot of great wrestlers.”
Warsaw wins Mark Stephens Classic: Warsaw finished first, Camden second and host Horseheads third at the Mark Stephens Classic. Johnson City finished fourth and Corning fifth.
Watkins Glen’s Brandon Gould was named Most Outstanding Wrestler for lower weights and Warsaw’s Aaron Paddock took the honor for the upper weights. Camden won the sportsmanship award.
Scores: Warsaw 61, Horseheads 21; Johnson City 39, Watkins Glen 21; Camden 52, Corning 19; Horseheads 50, Johnson City 30; Camden 51, Watkins Glen 22; Warsaw 56, Corning 15; Horseheads 47, Corning 28; Camden 65, Johnson City 6; Warsaw 63, Watkins Glen 15; Camden 61, Horseheads 24; Watkins Glen 39, Corning 34; Warsaw 67, Johnson City 6; Horseheads 59, Watkins Glen 21; Warsaw 36, Camden 27; Johnson City 46, Corning 33.
Horseheads 50, Owego 31: Marianne Cites scored 10 points and six Horseheads players nailed 3-pointers as the Blue Raiders advanced to the championship game of the Drago Tournament at Oneonta High School.
Mia Strollo added eight points and six steals for Horseheads (2-0). Rachel Stermer had nine points, five steals, three assists and four rebounds.
Horseheads plays Poughkeepsie Our Lady of Lourdes at 4:15 p.m. Sunday in the championship game. The Horseheads junior varsity meets Oneonta at 12:30 p.m. in their title game.
“I thought we had excellent team defense today,” Horseheads head coach Andy Scott said. “We played really well in the post. They have a couple of great post players. Looking forward to playing one of the better ‘AA’ teams in the state. Our Lady of Lourdes will give us a good test.”
Notre Dame 60, Oxford 50: At Notre Dame, the Crusaders outscored Oxford 20-6 in the fourth quarter to rally for a non-league win that gave them a 2-1 record.
Derrick Stark led Notre Dame with 20 points. Gary Raupers had 11 points, six steals and five assists; Ben Cook had 10 points and eight rebounds; and Pat Brown scored 10 points.
Kevin Davis led Oxford (0-2) with 18 points.
Notre Dame was coming off a 53-47 loss to Newfield on Friday night.
“We were pressuring them the whole game and in the back of my mind I thought because we played last night we would wilt in the second half, and it ended up they did,” Notre Dame head coach Bill Hopkins said. “I was real pleased with the effort. To play back-to-back nights and put all the energy into two games the way we have to play, I was quite pleased.”
Corning fifth at Hilton: Corning senior Reid Cagir won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:50.32 and took second in the 500 freestyle in 5:14.03 to lead the Hawks to fifth place out of nine teams at the Hilton Invitational.
The Hawks finished with 285 points. Brockport won with 393.
Cagir also joined Ryan Bunch, Aaron Flick and Alex Wang in finishing second in the 200 medley relay (1:48.19). Cagir, Flick, Freddy Schmidlin and Michael Crouse finished fourth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:37.90).
Also for Corning, Flick finished third in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.73) and seventh in the 200 individual medley (2:19.49); Wang finished eighth in the 200 individual medley (2:20.38); Bunch took eighth in the 100 backstroke (1:05.02); Roger Liu finished 11th in the 100 freestyle (57.17) and 13th in the 50 freestyle (25.38); and the 400 freestyle relay of Crouse, Liu, Brendan Stone and Wang took sixth (3:47.48).
On Twitter: @SGAndrewLegare