By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY Eldred’s Alex Campanella capped off a tremendous junior season with a second-place finish in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class D Cross County Championships at Vernon-Verona-Sherill High School in Vernon.
Campanella’s time of 17:30.9 was just 1.5 seconds behind winner Jeff Antolos of Notre Dame-Batavia.
“They were running 1-2 all of the way,” Eldred Coach Frank Schorling said of Antolos and Campanella. “Alex was second or third the whole race. At the end, they left the third place guy behind.
“With about 600 meters to go, Alex took the lead,” Schorling continued. “The last 100 meters is run across the football field and there is a little 5- or 6-foot hill up to the finish. As they went up the hill, Alex slipped and the other guy [Antolos] caught up to him. They sprinted to the finish line and the other guy was able to finish just ahead of Alex.”
Schorling noted that there was sleet and rain on Friday in Vernon, which took a toll on the course.
“The course was totally muddy,” he said. “My sneakers and my pants up to the knees are still caked with mud.
“It was very exciting,” Schorling added. “Alex is disappointed, of course. But to finish second at the state championships on a course like that is an accomplishment. You can’t be too upset with that.
“I’m very happy for Alex, he had a great season.”
The veteran coach said that Campanella is planning to compete in the Nike Cross New York Regional Championships on Nov. 26 at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls. After that, Campanella will be one of the runners on the Eldred boys’ indoor track team.
Schorling noted that Eldred’s Hunter Proscia “ran a great race also.”
In fact, Proscia had the next best finish by a local runner. He was 15th in the boys’ Class D race in 18:34.2.
Christine Donnelly of Eldred had the top finish by a girl from Sullivan County. She placed 47th in the girls’ Class D event with a time of 23:44.8.
Six T-V athletes ran in the girls’ Class C race. Autumn Bender had the best finish among those six Lady Bears, placing 48th in 22:43.9. Bender and her five teammates helped T-V earn 181 points and finish ninth in the Class C team standings.
The other Lady Bears running in the race were Sabrena Smith, who finished 57th in 23:04.0, Olivia Rehm (74th, 23:46.4), Brooke Gillette (86th, 24:15.5), Danielle Graham (93rd, 23:32.4) and Alex Brooks (121st, 27:00.7).
Three other boys from county high schools competed in the meet. They were T-V’s Jimmy Bernstein, Livingston Manor/Roscoe’s Neal Mock and Sullivan West’s Reed Scott. Bernstein finished 29th in the boys’ Class C race in 18:36.4. Mock finished 52nd in boys’ Class D with a time of 20:01.4. Scott placed 57th in boys’ Class C in 19:14.6.
Twin sisters Camryn and Sydney Johnson of Monticello ran in the girls’ Class B race. Camryn Johnson finished 62nd in 21.52.6 and Sydney Johnson was 87th in 22:53.8.