During a season, it is often difficult for teams and athletes to go the distance, to make it to the state championships. For many high school runners, that distance traveled to reach the state championships come in increments of five kilometers at a time. In the New York State Cross Country meet, Tompkins County was well represented by a large contingent of high school girls hailing from four county schools.
For the Dryden Purple Lions, the future of the girl’s cross country team shines bright in Emily Miller. Throughout a strong year on the course, Miller built a season that will be one to remember while capping it off with outstanding postseason performances. Following a sixth-place showing at the Section IV Championship meet, Championship meet, Miller took her talent to the state meet and used her size to her advantage on the challenging course. “The course was hilly, and that is one of the strongest parts of my running,” said Miller. “I’m a little shorter, so hills are just easier for me than taller runners.”
Miller certainly excelled to come away with a 14th place finish out of 130 runners in the Class C race with a time of 20:16.3. The time would stand as the fastest finishing time of Tompkins County runners at the meet.
Looking back at her top-15 finish, Miller credited her success to training during the summer offseason, no matter the conditions. “Every single day, I would be training, whether it was raining or it was really hot and sunny,” she said.
In Trumansburg, cross country fans ooked forward to seeing the results of their representative in the state meet, Kaitlyn Feely. The junior would cross the finish line clocking in at 22:54.9. The time lifted Feely to an impressive 56th place in the Class D race.
Ithaca High School was represented well by a pair of runners in sophomore Quinn Howe and junior Margo Lee. In a Class A race that was stacked from top to bottom, Howe was the first Little Red runner to cross the line with a 20:33.0 mark. Howe’s time clocked in 25.6 seconds faster than the time she ran at the 2017 New York State meet where she qualified as a freshman.
In a return to the state meet, Lee would cross the finish line shortly after her teammate, clocking in at 21:06.5. Lee’s time in 2018 would be an almost 40-second improvement over her 2017 performance.
The Lansing Bobcats achieved a feat that no other county school had done at the 2018 state meet, as the school was represented by a full team competing for the team title and individually. In the Class C race, the Bobcats were lead by eighth-grader Kinsley Jacobs, finishing in 20:42.8. Shortly after Jacobs, Emmaline Jackson finished in 20:48.2. Junior Catie Eisenhut ran her way into a top-40 finish by crossing the line in 21:06.0. With Eden Jackson finishing in 22:23.3, Teresa Garcia in 22:48.5, Hana Thibault in 24:18.5, and Allison Keefe in 25:56.6, the Bobcats acquired enough points to make a strong showing in the team results. As a team, the Bobcats finished sixth with 151 points.
The future of girl’s cross country from Tompkins County schools competing at the state meet appears to be in good hands as nine of the runners in this year’s meet are eligible to return next season.
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