Cross-country finishes strong
Alicia Clark, the Granville cross-country team’s premier girl runner, qualified again this year for the state cross-country meet on Saturday, Nov. 11. Clark has broken her own personal record three weeks in a row, each race being held at the Saratoga State Park.
She started the streak during the Greenwich invitational, posting a personal record of 19:52. Then at the Wasaren League Championships the following week she improved her personal record to 19:40.
Just this past Friday, although Clark was predicted in the Section 2 preview to finish 11th, she not only took 36 seconds off her personal record (19:04) but she finished seventh overall and took the fourth spot out of five for state qualification. With much tougher competition this year, Clark had to run considerably faster than she did last season to repeat as a state qualifier. Her 19:04 time on the 3.05-mile course works out to three consecutive 6:25 miles, which include two serious hills.
At Granville’s only home meet on Sept. 21, Clark finished behind Greenwich’s first six runners. Going for their fifth consecutive state title, the Witches are the standard by which a runner measures progress. On Nov. 5, Clark trailed only two of them, passing their third runner near the end with a strong finishing kick, and beating her by three seconds.
“Alicia knew all season that she could post times like this, but with a nagging ankle injury that has slowed down her training, it took a few weeks longer to get her into top running shape. Once Alicia felt 100 percent she started pushing each practice a little harder. She has really stepped up hill training days and it’s starting to show in her times,” said Coach Lance Jordan.
Clark will compete at the state meet on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. in Pawling.
On Oct. 28, Clark finished in the top 10 and set a personal record en route to sectionals at the Wasaren League Championship. Clark turned in a 19:40 for a personal record, which was also good for eighth place overall.
Granville girls did not start or finish the season with enough runners to compete as a team totaling only three runners.
The boys varsity team finished in the middle of the pack — fourth out of seven teams at the meet. Granville’s top two finishers were Matt Decker with a time of (19:19) and Andy Williams with a time of (19:42).
The future looks bright for the first-year coach as the modified team finished second overall at the meet thanks to third-place finisher seventh-grader Anthony Whipple and fourth-place finisher and eighth-grader Brandon Thomas.