Shen, BH-BL win state titles

One long reign ended, but another one may have begun at Saturday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at Warwick Valley.

Saratoga's run of girls class AA titles ended when it finished a close third behind Fayetteville-Manlius and Hilton, while the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls team claimed its first class A crown with a 33-point victory over Horace Greeley.

The goal I had in mind three years ago when I started was for this team to improve every year, and we've done that, said BH-BL coach Shaun Zepf. "Now, we want to be one of those (top) teams for the next five to 10 years."

Saratoga's Hannah Davidson and BH-BL's Meaghan Gregory each had second-place finishes to lead their teams. But, Gregory had the luxury of running with friends at the front of the race. Besides teammate Sam Roecker, who finished fourth, Gregory ran with Scotia-Glenville's Jillian and Caroline King, who placed first and third respectively.

Molly Pezzulo (18th), Rachel Cyrus (23rd) and Alyssa Drapeau (38th) rounded out BH-BL's top five.

On the boys' side, Shenendehowa won the class AA title behind strong performances from its first four runners. The Plainsmen finished with 42 points, 24 points ahead of runner-up Smithtown.

Steve Murdock claimed the individual state title by beating Fayetteville-Manlius's Tommy Gruenewald by more than seven seconds. Murdock, who placed second at last year's state meet, won with a time of 15:12.5.

"It was an outstanding perfor-mance for Steve, and the team did a great job as well," said Shen coach Matt Jones.

Zach Predmore (10th), Adam Quinn (16th) and Mike Danaher (18th) also placed in the top 20 for the Plainsmen.

Shen and BH-BL will send both its boys and girls cross country teams to Saturday's Federation meet at Bowdoin State Park in Wappingers Falls. The Saratoga girls team will also compete at the meet that features the best public and private school teams in the state.""

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