BEAR MOUNTAIN – The wind was blowing hard at Bear Mountain Friday. Maybe that was only appropriate as North Rockland ninth-grader absolutely blew away the girls Rockland County Cross Country Championships record, which was set just last year.
Tuohy, whose North Rockland squad easily won the nine-team girls title, ran 16:55, leading the three-mile race start to finish.
The boys team title went to Pearl River and the individual boys championship to Pearl River senior Matt Politis, who ran 15:41.
Tuohy finished second in 2015 to then-fellow eighth-grader Mary Hennelly of Suffern, who missed Friday’s race with an injury.
Friday’s second- and third-place finishers, North Rockland’s Alex Harris and Haleigh Morales, clocked 17:35 and 17:47, respectively. Their runs were personal-best marks for the course, and a nice birthday present for the 14-year-old Morales.
“Going into the race, Digs (coach Brian Diglio) told Haleigh to stay with me and me to beat her,” said Harris, who just signed to run on scholarship for Villanova University next year.
But no one could stay with Tuohy, whose goal was breaking 17 minutes.
“It was about being tough,” Tuohy said of combatting the wind.
The wind was sometimes “blowing you backwards,” Harris said.
Still, Tuohy’s time was the fourth fastest among girls on the course.
“I’ve learned nothing surprises me with Katelyn, but everybody ran fast today,” Diglio said.
It was North Rockland’s best race as a team this season.
Its other scoring finishers were Kerry O’Connor in seventh place and Noelle Feeney in 10th.
Suffern’s Rachel Ludwikowski and Kamryn McIntosh finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Pearl River’s Mary Borkoski was sixth; Tappan Zee’s Alexandra Thomas eighth and Nanuet’s Kyra Guerci ninth.
The team win was especially sweet, according to Harris, who North Rockland was disappointed with its recent seventh-place state ranking.
“We were sending a message today,” Harris said.
Pearl River was second, Suffern third, Tappan Zee fourth and Clarkstown South fifth in the nine-team competition.
On the boys side, Nanuet’s Ryan Guerci was second (15:54.3), Tappan Zee’s Brendan Hehir third (15:59.4), Nyack’s Jemar Ortega fourth; North Rockland’s Patrick Tuohy fifth; Pearl River’s Patrick McCann sixth; North Rockland’s Dylan Serino seventh; Nanuet’s Brian Camillieri eighth; and Pearl River’s Brian Mahoney and Jack Reynolds ninth and 10th, respectively.
Shane Veirun was Pearl River’s fifth scorer, finishing 20th in the 60-runner race.
North Rockland was second, Tappan Zee third, Nanuet fourth and Suffern fifth in the boys team competition.
Politis, who missed the cross-country season last year with a back injury, planned to stay with the lead pack longer but, feeling good, broke in front before the course’s big hill.
“I went hard up the hill and didn’t look back,” he said. “I was just looking to win.”
He noted entering the season (his first in the sport) his goal was to win the league and county titles, which he has done, then win sectionals and finish top-five at States.
“Hopefully, I can keep them coming,” he said.