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Queensbury, Greenwich deliver solid performances at invitational

Queensbury, Greenwich deliver solid performances at invitational

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QUEENSBURY — When you invite a lot of people over, you want them to have a good time, but you also want to feel good yourself.

The Queensbury boys cross country team can check both those boxes after its seventh-place finish in the Division I race Saturday at the 16th annual Queensbury-Adirondack Cross Country Classic Invitational. The Spartans, who finished with 215 points, were led by Nick Logan’s second-place finish. The senior ran the 3.1-mile course in 15 minutes, 47.76 seconds, a little more than four seconds behind winner Ben Guerin of Ballston Spa.

Shenendehowa, ranked second in the Class A state poll, won with 57 points, followed by two more top-10 Class A schools in Shaker and Saratoga Springs. The other teams in front of Queensbury were solid programs, as well, leaving first-year head coach and 2008 Queensbury alumnus Matt Flint pleased.

“The goal was around top five, so they did about what I expected, and that’s great,” Flint said. “Looking at the times, they were a little better than I would have thought. Nick, despite being second, you might think he’d be bummed, but he came across and was pumped about his time. You can’t control what someone else has. But what they did was awesome.”

Queensbury’s meet — which this year included 57 schools and nearly 2,500 runners for 10 races — is always an interesting mix. It’s very early in the season, but at the same time, with such great competition annually, teams want to show they’re serious threats.

Flint knows he has a young team, with Logan being the only senior on a team otherwise populated by juniors and sophomores. So the learning process was a recurring theme Saturday for the Spartans and other local teams.

“With a young group, getting them through a big race like that, not losing motivation in being stuck in the middle of all these people and not seeing someone in the front was a great thing for them,” Flint said.

Logan said he led for most of his race, but he knew Guerin would put on a late charge.

“I thought I was going to get the win, but Ben had more in the tank at the end,” said Logan, who estimated Guerin passed him for good right before runners exit the woods with about 600 meters left.

“I knew he was going to have something at the end, but I just couldn’t compete with it,” Logan added. “Definitely will build off it. I need more speed work, for sure. Need to work on my closing.”

The Greenwich girls team — the defending Class C state champion and ranked No. 1 in the class again — treated its fourth-place finish (with 126 points) in the Division I race the same way. The three teams in front of them have lofty credentials. Winner Champlain Valley (81) is the defending New England champion and a 10-time defending Vermont state champ. Shenendehowa (92) is fourth in Class A, and Shaker (119) is eighth in Class A. So, that’s to the positive, but the Witches also know they are capable of better.

“It was our first big meet,” Greenwich coach Steve Patrick said. “I think we’re down about a minute time gap for our front six, and that’s a good starting point.

“You’re feeling out: you have people starting too fast, too slow,” he added. “There’s a lot to learn. It’s really early. We’re two months out from the state meet. The question is where we go from here.”

Sophomore Nina Sgambelluri led Greenwich by placing seventh in 18:31.81. Senior Brynne Wright was 15th (19:12.92) and senior Quinn Collins took 27th (19:48.32).

The Schuylerville girls finished third in the Division II race with 173 points, trailing only Delhi (73) and Mount Greylock (135), a perennial Western Massachusetts powerhouse. Coach Kevin Emblidge was happy with his team’s finish while acknowledging it wasn’t the girls’ best day.

“They’re always doing their best,” Emblidge said. “Testing the waters this time of year. Go out there, risk it a little bit, see how you do and whatever happens happens. It’s still September.”

Lake George’s Elizabeth Radyn was the top local finisher in that race, placing ninth in 20:12.00.

Follow Will Springstead on Twitter @WSpringsteadPSV.

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