Bethlehem’s Danica Jensen, right, and Lindsay Cheu, center, sprint towards the finish line at last Saturday’s Grout Run in Schenectady’s Central Park. Jensen finished fourth with a time of 16:45.76, and Cheu was fifth with a time of 16:46.50. The Lady Eagles placed third in the Division II team standings.
Luke Carpinello and the Bethlehem boys cross country team had a breakthrough at last Saturday’s Grout Run.
Carpinello won the individual title with a time of 13:52.68 to lead the Eagles to the Varsity Division I team championship. Bethlehem finished with 49 points, 12 points ahead of runner-up Washingtonville.
“I’m really an 800 [meter] to a miler, so this was long for me,” said Carpinello, a track and field runner who uses cross country as off-season training. “I think one of the biggest challenges of a middle distance runner is not to get too excited at the start and stay relaxed.”
The mostly flat and paved Central Park course suited Carpinello and the rest of the Eagles well. Bethlehem’s top five runners all finished among the first 20 runners and all posted sub 15-minute times.
“That’s what I liked about this course,” said Carpinello. “The pavement makes me feel at home – like I was on a track.”
“I think the team ran really well,” said Bethlehem boys coach Adam Ayers. “We grouped ourselves together very well.”
Ben Fishbein contributed a fifth-place finish with a time of 14:10.10 for Bethlehem. Matt Crawford was 10th with a time of 14:39.47, with Chris Shaw (16th place, 14:54.34) and Tom Quackenbush (17th, 14:56.66) rounding out the Eagles’ top five.
Guilderland and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk also ran in the Division I boys race. Guilderland placed fourth with 106 points, while RCS finished eighth with 187 points.
Guilderland’s top five runners packed themselves among the top 30 overall. Alex Campione led the way with a 12th-place finish in a time of 14:41.85, followed by Brian Maceli (21st, 15:00.73), Knute Armstrong (22nd, 15:02.53), Matt Pasquali (23rd, 15:02.97) and Erick Kopff (28th, 15:18.26).
RCS had one runner in the top 30 with Griffith Eddy placing 15th in a time of 14:53.46.
On the girls’ side, Guilderland and Bethlehem each posted third-place finishes in their respective divisions.
Guilderland placed third in a highly-competitive Division I race with 63 points. Connetquot from Oakdale, Long Island, edged Shaker 43-44 for the girls team title, and Niskayuna placed fourth with 89 points.
“I thought they did pretty well,” said Guilderland girls coach Dave Kosier. “We were missing two of our [usual] top five girls due to injuries.”
Jenna Robinson led the Lady Dutch with a sixth-place finish in a time of 16:29.01. Anna Pickett placed ninth with a time of 16:55.75, and Taylor Tommell finished 13th with a time of 17:22.28. Anya Joynt (17th place, 17:55.82) and Christine Bolognino (22nd, 18:06.23) also had top-25 finishes.
The Bethlehem girls had a similar performance to Guilderland in the Division II race. The Lady Eagles placed five runners in the top 30 to finish third in the team standings with 71 points. Colonie defeated Bayport-Blue Point of Long Island 37-50 for the Division II title.
“I’m very happy for them,” Bethlehem girls coach Jack Rightmyer said of his team. “I was especially pleased with our fourth and fifth runners.”
Danica Jensen and Lindsay Cheu finished in the top five overall for Bethlehem. Jensen was fourth with a time of 16:45.76, with Cheu close behind in fifth place with a time of 16:46.50.
Megan Davitt (16th place, 17:43.21), Mary Devries (24th, 18:19.68) and Natalie Muller (27th, 18:22.53) rounded out Bethlehem’s top five.
The RCS girls team finished eighth in the Division II standings with 177 points. Alaina Kreuger (20th place, 17:53.49) and Alexandra Eddy (30th, 18:30.22) placed in the top 30 among individuals.