The Voorheesville cross country program continues to make strides.
One year after the girls team won the Section II title, the boys team earned a state meet berth by winning the class C championship at last Friday's Sectional meet at Saratoga Spa State Park.
We had a lot of young kids move up this year, said junior Macky Lloyd, who led the Blackbirds with a second-place finish in a time of 16:14.2. "I knew some of them had it in them to do well, but a couple of them surprised me."
Defending champion Fonda-Fultonville gave Voorheesville everything it could handle. The Braves placed three runners in the top 15, including two in the top three, but the Blackbirds got their fifth runner in before Fonda had its fourth runner cross the finish line. Voorheesville wound up taking the title by seven points over Fonda, 70-77.
Voorheesville coach Kelly McHale said the difference in the boys' team performance from last year to this year is the work the runners put in.
"We incorporated a lot of speed work this time, which I think was lacking before," said McHale. "We also run a structured practice, which gives them structure in their running."
Following Lloyd's second-place performance, Voorheesville packed its next four runners between 12th and 21st place. Freshman Conor Cashin led the way with a 12th-place time of 17:06.2, followed by sophomore Ian Powell in 16th place, junior Ryan Allison in 19th place and junior Tommy Pasquali in 21st place.
Voorheesville advances to Saturday's state meet at Warwick Valley, where it will battle Section III power Tully and 10 other regional champions for the class C title.
Greenwich runs away from field
In the girls class C race, Greenwich placed seven runners in the top 15 to dominate the field. The Witches finished with 25 points, 92 points ahead of runner-up Fonda. Voorheesville was third with 123 points.
Grace Giampaglia's 11th-place finish led Voorheesville, which ran without Hilary Edmunds for the third consecutive race. Edmunds suffered a hip flexor injury two weeks ago and missed the Colonial Council Championships and the Troy Invitational.
"It makes a big dent in the program without Hilary, but the others stepped up," said McHale.
Chantal Little (23rd place, 20:52.3) and Kali Votraw (24th, 20:53.5) also finished in the top 25.""