As the league championship approaches, Granville’s cross-country team shows no signs of slowing down.
The team ran at Saratoga State Park for the Greenwich Invitational on Friday placing 11th out of 18 teams.
Coach Sarah Best-Twardy again commended Brandon Thomas for remaining consistent with his 34th place finish in a time of 17:56.
“Brandon has been solid all season leading Granville every meet” Twardy said. Russ Ahlfeld, meanwhile, took over the number two position for the team coming in 55th in 18:30.
Ryan Dalaba wasn’t too far behind with a time of 18:42, good enough for 61st place. Twardy was happy with her runners’ times and feels they are preparing well for upcoming competitions.
“This was a big race. There were a total of 182 runners. We used this race as a training day for us because we have League and Sectionals is coming up, so I was pleased with their performance coming off a tough week of training,” she said.
Other boys finishers included senior Andy Williams and freshman Hollis Pauquette, who finished together only two seconds apart in 19:21 and 19:23, respectively, snagging 82nd and 83rd place.
Twardy said senior Megan Rae Reed ran well for the girls, placing 60th in a field of 137 runners in 22:55. She also said seniors Madison Williams and Samantha Bruce ran their best races of the season; Williams placed 100th in a time of 26:11, and Bruce placed 133rd in a time of 30:22.
The event came a week after the Burnt Hills Invitational on Oct. 12, when the boys finished with an identical 11th out of 18 teams.
Thomas led the pack in 17:50, coming in at number 38 out of 131 runners from throughout the state.
Dalaba and Ahlfeld once again finished close to each other for 52nd and 54th place in 18:17 and 18:23.
“Both Ryan and Russ improved their times by over a minute from last year and ran very well. I was excited to see such a dramatic improvement for both of them,” Twardy said.
Senior Andy Williams, in 19:21, and Freshman Hollis Pauquette, in 19:38, finished 85th and 91st, respectively.
Twardy was again happy with her team’s improvement.
“The Burnt Hills Invitational is always a great race because it is a popular course drawing teams from all over the state. We get to compete against a lot of teams we’ve never seen before, and there is a lot of energy there. The boys have continued to get faster and faster all year and this race was no exception,” Twardy said.
For the girls, Reed finished 48th in 22:45, and Chelsey Horner finished 57th in a time of 23:12.