In a year when the Saratoga girls cross country team's hold on the Suburban Council title was seemingly vulnerable, its underclassmen came through with big performances at Saturday's rain-soaked league meet at Saratoga Spa State Park.
Four Blue Streaks finished in the top 10 to help Saratoga fend off challenges from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Shenendehowa to repeat as league champions. The Blue Streaks finished with 33 points, while BH-BL placed second with 44 points and Shen settled for third place with 85 points.
Senior Hannah Davidson led Saratoga by taking the individual title with a time of 17:09.52. BH-BL's Sam Roecker and Molly Pezzulo grabbed the next two places with respective times of 17:17.36 and 17:27.60, but Saratoga runners took three of the next five places to set themselves apart from the pack.
Saratoga sophomore Cassandra Goutos was fourth in a time of 17:45.86, with Shen's Cara Janeczko finishing fifth in a time of 18:02.38. Janeczko's teammate Morgan Roche was sixth in a time of 18:04.80, while Saratoga freshman Sydney King took seventh place in a time of 18:18.46.
Saratoga's Brianne Bellon (eighth place, 18:30.95), Bethlehem's Kristin Kenney (ninth, 18:35.20) and Niskayuna's Chelsea Trant (10th, 18:40.15) rounded out the top 10 in the girls varsity race.
On the boys' side, Shen defended its team title by placing five runners in the top 15. The Plainsmen finished with 43 points, 33 points ahead of runner-up Shaker. BH-BL was third with 82 points.
Mike Danaher led the Shen pack with a fifth-place finish in a time of 15:43.68. John McDonald was seventh in a time of 15:57.36, and Brian Trainor finished eighth in a time of 15:58.31. Alex Belensz (11th place, 16:02.56) and Dan Harris (12th, 16:07.77) rounded out the Plainsmen's top five.
Saratoga's Demetri Goutos won the individual title with a time of 15:27.19, nearly six seconds ahead of BH-BL freshman Otis Ubriaco. Shaker's R.J. Sniffen was third with a time of 15:38.59, and Guilderland's Roland Graves finished fourth in a time of 15:42.62.
Shaker's Craig Weiss (sixth place, 15:57.49) and Chris Manico (10th, 16:00.79) also made the top 10, as did Niskayuna's Louis Serafini (ninth, 15:59.46).
The Suburban Council teams will join other Section II squads at Friday's Sectional final at Saratoga Spa State Park."