Tupper salutes senior runners

The Tupper Lake cross country team honored its two seniors Tuesday at a home meet. Pictured, from left, are Aldona and Sandra Kwasniak and Kerry and Patrick Cote. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

TUPPER LAKE — The Tupper Lake cross country team hosted its lone home meet of the season Tuesday, and despite being up against much larger contingents, the four Lumberjack runners performed well.

In a four-way meet against Massena, Malone and Potsdam, Tupper had four runners in the field: two boys and two girls, a senior and a sophomore on each squad. The two seniors were also honored before the race for senior night.

In a field of 44, both Tupper Lake boys finished solidly in the top half. Senior Patrick Cote placed seventh with a time of 20 minutes and 8 seconds while sophomore Carter Riley (22:17) placed 20th. Franklin Academy’s Dylan Perry (17:43) was first overall and was followed by Potsdam’s Syl Foisy (18:21) in second and teammate Skye Crocker (18:22) came in third.

In the girls race, Lumberjack senior Sandra Kwasniak finished fifth with a time of 23:02 while sophomore Karen Bujold (34:41) placed 18th. Potsdam claimed the top three spots in the contest, with Isabella Shatraw taking first in 20:43, followed by Jacelyn Shatraw (22:14) and Julianna Shatraw (22:37).

Tupper Lake doesn’t have enough kids to qualify for team scoring, which requires five runners, but hopes to send Cote and Kwasniak back to the NYSPHSAA state championships in Plattsburgh later this fall.

Tupper Lake senior Patrick Cote nears the finish line Tuesday at L.P. Quinn Elementary School. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

Cote said after the race he was less than thrilled with his performance, but overall is happy with how the young season is going.

“I’m still out of shape, but getting there,” Cote said. “The first lap, I was still trying to keep up with a Massena kid that I know from a couple of seasons ago. He pushes me a lot. I held position behind him, but there’s just a gap.

“I know I can do better. I need to work on pacing; I think I went out just a little too fast. I need to work on my kick too. We do sprint workouts and it helps to have something left in that second lap, so I need to do more mile time trials.”

First-year head coach Hannah Klossner said she was impressed with the effort put forth by her small but scrappy team.

“Overall for Tupper, we did well,” she said. “It was daunting going up against three of the section’s biggest schools but the kids still proved themselves mighty. For the girls, Karen Bujold had over a 5 minute personal best. Sandra Kwasniak ran a match to her personal best. It’s great to see the two of them in such great shape early in the season and ready to progress. For the boys, Carter Riley and Patrick Cote ran really well against a super competitive field. The lead runner went out fast and as a result Carter and Patrick were able to get a good pace going from the start.

“Very excited to see how the rest of the season progresses.”

The Lumberjacks next travel to Plattsburgh for the Section VII Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.