Ms. Willow Bertrand
QUEENSBURY, NY— On Saturday morning of September 15th, 26 of the top CVU female runners, along with the top 23 CVU male runners, boarded the bus at 6:30 am for a 6:45 am departure to Queensbury, NY to race against teams from around the state of New York.
The team’s nerves were high as they ventured towards the important race against New York teams. As coach Bliss said, “The most important thing is that the level of the competition is a bit higher than our first two or three races. Most athletes like the course, and it challenges us to run fast earlier in the season.”
First up was the girl’s varsity race, with Alice Larson taking first place (running a personal best of 18:19), Ella Whitman in 6th, Finnegan Mittelstadt in 12th, Sadie Holmes in 14th. Catherine Noel and Jasmine Nails followed closely behind to finish off the team with a second place finish, a slim nine points away from first place.
After the varsity girls’ successful race, the varsity boys stood upon the starting line, ready to compete against 22 other teams, with Jared Leonard leading the boys team in 16th, Gavin Schaaf in 27th, Skyler Heininger in 40th, Alec Mogielnicki in 46th, and Jamie Williamson finishing off the score in 54th. Overall, the team placed 5th out of 22 teams.
The JV girls swept the race in first place out of 13 teams, with Alicia Veronneau coming in 2nd, Emma McMahan in 3rd, Lila Taylor in 4th, Geneva Cote in 8th, Willow Bertrand in 9th, and Julia Hillier in 10th, with 12 other CVU girls finishing closely behind, all finishing in the top 60 with 204 runners. The JV girls team was very successful, finishing 6 runners in the top 10, winning them first place!
And for the last race of the day, the JV boys swept 3rd place out of 22 teams, with Kai Hillier leading the way in 9th, Dylan Gooley in 12th, Seamus Higgins in 16th, Clark Schmitt in 17th.
Coach Scott Bliss walked away very pleased with the team’s performance, saying, “I thought all of the teams had a very good day. The varsity boys finished 5th but were only 4 points out of 3rd place and continued to run as a tight pack. And the varsity girls finished 2nd, and we were missing one of our normal top 5 runners. We were pretty far behind at the halfway point so that we clawed our way back to finish 2nd. Only 9 points from first was impressive.” Bliss also stated that racing in other states benefits the team. “It helps us to have competition from teams that we don’t always see. It allows us to race against better competition, which helps us to improve more than if we just raced in VT. It allows us to deal with higher levels of stress that we wouldn’t deal with in a regular race in VT, and that helps us be prepared to deal with it when we are in our higher pressure situations at the end of the season.”
The bus ride home was all smiles and laughs as the tired but enthusiastic runners settled to their seats for a long trip. The team was delighted with their performance at Queensbury, NY Invitational, celebrating with a stop at Super Target!