Bobcats compete at ADK Snowshoe Festival

From left is Paul Smith’s Zack Sprott-Scribner, Maddy Pfeifer, of Saranac Lake, and Paul Smith’s Sam Finger on the first lap of the four-lap 10K race on Saturday at Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake. (Provided photo — Zack Thoren, a freshman at Paul Smith’s College)

SARANAC LAKE — Eight members of the Paul Smith’s College snowshoe team competed in the Adirondack Snowshoe Festival 5K, 10K and 15K snowshoe races over the weekend.

The two-day event was held at the Dewey Mountain Recreation Center in Saranac Lake on Saturday and the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center on Sunday.

On Saturday, Paul Smith’s Zack Sprott-Scribner and Sam Finger worked their way to try and keep the eventual 10K winner, Matt Medeiros, in their view. The trio paced the field through the initial 5K, but, Medeiros, of Saranac, never slowed down and eventually won the event in 49 minutes, 55 seconds.

Although Sprott-Scribner and Fingers — who are collegiate snowshoe All-Americans — are solid 10K runners, they are not yet at the same caliber as Medeiros, who is annually one of the top snowshoe runners in the nation.

Jeremy Evans, of Saranac Lake, won the men’s 5K in 29:27. Alex Cameron from Paul Smith’s finished in second place in 30:05, followed closely by his teammate Nathan Shader in 30:22.

From left is Matt Medeiros, Maddy Pfeiffer and Nate Shader jumping out to an early lead in the Adirondack Snowshoe Festival 5K and 10K races on Saturday at Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake. (Provided photo — Zack Thoren, a freshman at Paul Smith’s College)

It was a breakthrough race for Shader. He established a solid 5K personal record.

Matt Leichty finished the 5K in 44:22 to earn fifth place overall for the men.

On the women’s side, the Bobcats’ Ellen Haas continued to blaze her way through the 5K distance earning the win in 34:54. She also celebrated her 19th birthday with the victory.

Paul Smith’s Samantha Severing finished in second place in 40:25, followed by her teammate Haven Bradt in 44:06.

The nine inches of fluffy snow made for softer conditions, which caused the runners to have slower times from their past couple of races over the same distance.

On Sunday, the Bobcats’ Sprott-Scribner and Finger ran valiantly over the 15K distance (9.3 miles) but were once again no match for the event winner, Medeiros.

Medeiros won the event in 1:15:57, while Sprott-Scribner took second place in 1:25:14. Finger finished in third place in 1:36:06.

For Sprott-Scribner, his result was six minutes better than his previous 15K time a couple of weeks ago at Moreau Lake State Park, just north of Saratoga.

Paul Smith’s Wohlers won the men’s 5K in 28:48, followed closely by his teammate Cameron in second place in 29:14. Shader ran a very strong race to place third for the Bobcats in 30:11. Issoufou Garba-Hama placed fourth for Paul Smith’s in 34:51 in his best 5K performance of the season.

In the women’s race, Haas earned her fifth consecutive win in the 5K distance. She swept the distance in the two days of snowshoe racing in a time of 33:01.

“The team is poised to represent the college well at U.S. Snowshoe Nationals coming up in Cable, Wisconsin during the college’s spring break,” Paul Smith’s coach Jim Tucker said in a statement. “Snowshoe races were shelved last winter due to COVID, and it has been awesome to get the students back onto the trails this winter and see their rapid improvement in snowshoe running and racing over the past six weeks.”


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