Storm add CVAC title to unblemished season
CADYVILLE — The Saranac Lake boys cross country team ran to a Champlain Valley Athletic Conference championship Friday, besting Lake Placid in the team scoring by nearly three minutes.
Saranac Central’s Andrew LePage was the overall winner of the meet, finishing the course in 16 minutes, 25.5 seconds. LePage was followed across the finish line by a coterie of local kids who rounded out the top seven slots in the 118-runner field.
Saranac Lake’s Anderson Gray (16:35.1) placed second, and was followed across the line by teammate Lauchie Cheney-Seymour (16:42.9). The first Blue Bomber to finish was Scott Schulz (16:45.1) in fourth, while Saranac Lake freshman Micah McCulley (16:45.9) was close on his heels. Lake Placid’s Jesse Izzo (16:55.8) took sixth and the Red Storm’s Tyler Martin (17:02.8) rounded out the top seven.
LePage and Gray have been trading wins all season, but the depth of Saranac Lake has led to an undefeated season so far. LePage said having a true rival throughout the season has helped push him to be a better racer.
“He definitely [pushed me],” LePage said. “Especially after he beat me at Burnt Hills. It was hard. Just going that speed the whole time, that’s like a 10-second PR [personal record] for me on this course.
“I’ve been putting in the work all season and it showed today.”
Despite LePage’s strong showing, Saranac Lake took the team win with Gray, Cheney-Seymour, McCulley, Martin, James Catania (17:16.1), Adam Hesseltine (17:32) and Jacob Alberga (18:11.6) finishing in a combined time of 84:22.8. Lake Placid took second with a time of 87:06.4 put up by Schulz, Izzo, James Flanigan (17:17.4), Kai Frantz (18:03.5), Michael Skutt (18:04.6), Van Ledger (18:05.7) and Tim Kelleher (18:31.2). Saranac Central rounded out the top three with a team time of 88:01.6.
Gray, even though he placed second, was all smiles after the race.
“Well, I was hoping for a better personal race but the team did phenomenal,” Gray said. “The prodigy freshmen improved so much this year, so we have a very strong team. We have a very good future for a very, very long time.
“It’s going to be a very good few years.”
Gray, a junior, said his back-and-forth battle with LePage has been a source of motivation going back a couple of years now.
“We’ve been running together for a while, since a few years ago we battled it out,” he said. “Since then we’ve always been battling it out, and yeah, he deserves this title.”
Prior to the boys’ race, the varsity girls took on the loopy course that came through the town’s recreation park. The Saranac Lake girls placed fourth overall in the team scoring and were followed by the Blue Bombers. Saranac Central captured the team title.
Lake Placid eighth-grade standout Annie Rose-McCandlish led the way for the local girls, placing sixth with a time of 19:53. Seton Catholic sophomore Lea DeJordy (19:16.5) took first in the race, and was followed across the finish line by teammate and sister Sofia DeJordy (19:20.7). Saranac Central’s Rachael Woodruff (19:45.8) rounded out the top three.
Saranac Lake’s Gwen Mader (20:33) put in a strong showing, placing 11th, and was followed across the line by Blue Bomber Marli Damp (20:34.9) in 12th. Sarah Rose-McCandlish (21:11.8), a Lake Placid junior, placed 19th.
With the win on Friday, the Saranac Lake boys head into this week’s state qualifiers atop the CVAC rankings. The Lake Placid boys are second, and Peru is ranked third. The Saranac Lake girls also sit in the third position in CVAC rankings, while Lake Placid is fifth.
Both Lake Placid and Saranac Lake will next be running in the state championship qualifiers this Friday at 2:15 p.m. at the Cobble Hill Golf Course in Elizabethtown.