Friday, 02 December 2011 00:00
This past Saturday, Nov. 19, juniors Stephen Bourguet and Mary Welsh represented Manhasset Cross Country at the New York State Federation Championships in Wappinger Falls, NY. The Federation meet brings together the top harriers from the public, private, city, and parochial schools for one race to determine the very best runners in New York State.
This weekend’s lovely autumn weather created a picturesque landscape that belied how challenging the scenic 5K course at Bowdoin Park can be, even for the most experienced runners. The nearly 300 participants are lined up across an open field which quickly funnels the athletes into a narrow trail that wraps around another field—this one full of rolling hills. The runners have a short flat stretch before beginning a long ascent to the highest point of the park. The second half of the course is downhill and flat, which provides for a fast finish. The openness of the course, makes it an excellent race for spectators as well, who were treated to an array of outstanding performances.
Mary, running in her second Federation Championship, followed up last week’s All-State performance with another strong effort to finish in 63rd place. Though she was not at 100 percent, Mary’s determination was clearly evident by her decision to race despite being under the weather. She is looking forward to resting up before competing at the National Regional Qualifier next week.
In the boys’ race, Stephen got out fast and stayed with the lead pack throughout most of the race to claim 21st place—the highest finish ever for a Manhasset athlete –and take home All-Federation honors. Stephen looked strong and focused throughout the race as his bested his performance on this course from a year ago by nearly 30 seconds to finish in 16:30. This is the second year in a row that a Manhasset athlete has earned this prestigious honor, as Charlie Morris earned All-Federation accolades last fall.
Mary, Stephen, and Charlie will be joined by seven other teammates this coming weekend at Sunken Meadow State Park where they will participate in the Footlocker Northeast National Regional Championships. The meet provides both a regional qualifier for those athletes seeking a spot at the National Championships in San Diego as well as class level races for athletes looking to finish off their seasons with a strong race while gaining experience for future championship-level races.