Tupper runners qualify for states

Tupper Lake sophomore Sandra Kwasniak runs through the trees during the Section X cross country race Wednesday in Brushton. Kwasniak qualified for the state championships with her performance. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

BRUSHTON — The Tupper Lake cross country running teams earned four slots at next week’s state championships after competing in the Section X sectional races in Brushton on Wednesday.

Sandra Kwasniak, the lone female runner representing the Lumberjacks, qualified for her second trip to the NYSPHSAA meet in as many years. The sophomore finished the 5-kilometer race with a time of 23 minutes, 3 seconds, putting her in the middle of the pack while still being fast enough to earn a trip to states.

“I didn’t think I would get the pace I would usually. In my previous meets I just let people pass me, but today I stuck with people and I did pretty good,” she said. “It’s been amazing. I definitely made a few PRs.

“My mom is going to hear, and she’s going to make me run,” she laughed about her training plan for the week leading up to the state championships in Wayne, outside of Rochester on Saturday, Nov. 11.

On the boys side, Ryan Savage (19:08), Ben Casagrain (19:15) and Patrick Cote (19:49) also qualified for the state meet with their times.

Tupper Lake senior Ryan Savage starts the second lap of the Section X cross country race Wednesday at Brushton-Moira Central School. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

“I think I ran pretty good,” Savage said. “I mean, for my last race, I could have done better, I could’ve showed a little bit more effort. But it’s OK, I’m pretty happy with my season, and I think I ran pretty good today.

“We worked really well as a team, we worked really hard. Coming from the town that we do, not a lot of success comes out of it, but I feel like for us, we have a lot of pride in our teammates. A lot of us are really strong and I think we did really well as a team this season.

“It’s my senior year, and I was really happy with us. It was a lot of fun.”

Sophomore Jayce Clement finished the race with a time of 20:21, and was followed by Patrick Dukette (21:05), Matthew Whitmore (21:19), Jack Skiff (23:24) and Connor Jesse (24:20). Quinn Shaheen and Justin Walsh crossed the line together at the 25:32 mark, and were immediately followed by Ian Berg (25:33) and Riley Gillis (25:35) to round out the Tupper Lake contingent.

Despite having no home meets this season due to construction at L.P. Quinn school, coach Amy Farrell was happy with how her kids ran this year. The Lumberjacks lacked the numbers to field a full girls team, but Farrell said there’s some talent coming up through the ranks.

“We lose five seniors, but we’ve got some modified kids that will move up,” she said. “Next year we should have a whole girls team, so that’ll be nice.

“It was a little bit of a slow start, but today was nice,” she said. “Most of the kids had personal bests for the 5K, so it was a nice way to finish off the season.”