Story by Jon Dinan
SULLIVAN COUNTY Tri-Valley boys’ and Sullivan West girls’ swept the multi-team Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) cross country meet held at Liberty on Wednesday. But in the grand scheme of who advances to sectionals and eventually states, do these meets really matter?
Not really. According to Liberty coach Ralph Bressler “the only race of any consequence is the sectional race, so there’s barely any incentive to run regular season meets.
“It’s distressing, continued Bressler, who likens the meets to a glorified form of competitive practice though he has his runners go to all the scheduled meets.
Which can’t be said for all the schools in Sullivan County. For instance, Eldred which was scheduled to run on Wednesday opted out. Bressler said they wanted to rest their runners. Tri-Valley did not compete in last week’s meet, again presumably preparing for a bigger meet, the Suffern Invitational at Bear Mountain. It should be noted that Monticello competed in the OCIAA meet at Liberty last week as well as the Suffern Invitational.
As for those who did compete on Wednesday, Sullivan West senior Reed Scott won the boys event, his third first -place victory in four meets.
“This is the first year I’ve been starting out consistently in the lead group,” said Scott. “I’ve been building up my training intensity over the years, and it’s really starting to pay off.”
Scott’s time of 16:30 was the fastest by over half a minute. He hopes to continue his running career in college and has captured the interest of North Carolina State and Buffalo State.
In the girl’s event, Sullivan West had another first place finisher in Kelsey Dutton. In fact, the top three girl’s finishers were all Bulldog runners as Dani Myers and Corrine VanWagner finished second and third. Monticello’s Camryn Johnson who won last week’s meet at Liberty finished out of the top 10 more than four minutes slower than her pace of a week ago.
Monticello was supposed to host Wednesday’s meet, but since their course was not ready, Liberty served as host for the second consecutive week.
Sullivan West, Tri-Valley, Monticello, Liberty, Livingston Manor, Family School and Eldred are all scheduled to meet again November 2 at Eldred.