St. Francis De Sales Runners Win Diocesan Championships
At the Cross Country Diocesan Championship meet held on Sunday, November 12th, the SFDS runners were racing against two clocks, the race clock and the weather clock. With heavy rains forecast to start at 1:30 pm, and eight races to run, CYO officials did not waste any time and started the first race at 12:10, ten minutes after the scheduled start time. not used to the meet starting on time, arrived at Alley Pond Park to find their race about to start, leaving no time to warm-up, or in some cases – their race already underway. Race officials at first wanted to cut the distance of all the races to a half-mile, but Coach John Edwards convinced them that to preserve the integrity of the championship meet the original distances should be run.
To further quicken the pace of the meet, the Senior boys and girls 1.1-mile races were combined. The Junior boys and girls .8-mile races were also combined and started five minutes after the Senior race was underway. This presented a challenge for the girls who were not used to the quicker pace of the lead boys and who also would have to navigate around the slower boys.
Despite the challenges, the St. Francis runners raced terrific. The Junior boys (ages 11 and 12), Bantam boys (ages 9 and 10) and Novice boys (ages 8 and under) were first place gold medal winners. Second place silver medals were won by the Senior boys (ages 13 and 14) and the Junior girls. The Novice girls placed third.
To determine the score of a cross-country race, the places of the top three finishers from each team in a race are added, the team with the lowest total is champion; the next lowest score is second, etc. Individual medals were also awarded to the top 15 runners from each section in each race. Thirty-two St. Francis runners won individual medals.
The Senior boys silver medal team was led by Conor Davan (5th place overall, 6:36), Steve Pulkoski (7th, 6:42), James Mercer (9th, 6:55), and James Goldberg (11th, 7:17).
Conor Gallagher continued his unbeaten streak (1st, 4:55) leading the Junior boys to their championship win followed by Pat Kilgallen (2nd, 5:00), Patrick Goldberg (4th, 5:15), Ryan Kilgallen (5th, 5:21), Billy Dunn (9th, 5:41), Jimmy Buckley (11th, 5:47), James Lopez, Tommy Mercer, John McCormack and Charlie Wanderer.
The Junior girls won their silver medal championship behind the strong running of Erin Rose Nuszer (5th, 5:49), Lisa Pulkoski (6th, 6:00), Katy Windels (10th, 6:20), Emily Gifford (11th, 6:26) and Emma Lane.
The Bantam boys team have run exciting races all season long. Liam Lachner won the second meet, Sean Rivera won the third meet and for the championship meet it seemed as if everyone was gunning to be first across the finish. Liam Gallagher, showing his pedigree, pushed the pace from the start and held the lead throughout the 2/3 of mile race until the final stretch when Mike Castellano edged past him for the win.
The win by Mike (1st, 4:12), followed by Liam (2nd, 4:13) and Sean Rivera (3rd, 4:16) gave St. Francis a perfect score for their gold medal win. Bard Featherston (5th, 4:21), Liam Lachner (6th, 4:27), James Leonard (10th, 4:32), John Glynn (13th, 4:38) and Chris Cole (14th, 4:39) won individual medals. Denis Murtagh, Conor Ward and Yarden Flatow rounded out the championship team.
With only Cassie Moriarty (10th, 4:53) running, the Bantam girls did not have the required three runners to qualify for a team award.
The Novice boys, running ½ a mile, were one point shy of a perfect score to win their championship, were led by Alex Goldberg (1st, 3:17), who won all four novice races this season, Thomas Glynn (2nd, 3:27), and John O’Connor (4th, 3:35). Gregory Henschel (13th, 3:51), and Connor Buckley (14th, 3:53) won individual medals. Anthony Caiazzo, Joseph O’Connor, Andrew Gif-ford, James Lunny, Brendan Glynn, and Thomas Lane all ran well.
The Novice girls’ third place team consisted of Kelly Davan (6th, 3:50), Katie Marquardt (8th, 3:56), Sofia Appel (11th, 4:10), Kelly Ward (15th, 4:21), and Catherine Lunny (4:59).
The traditional post-race announcing of the results and presentations of the awards was cancelled. Sure enough, at 1:30 pm, on the drive home, the rains started. Congratulations to all the runners on an excellent performance!
They all ran fantastic. It was a great season! Thanks to all the coaches and parents for their help.