Yesterday afternoon, the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams turned in dominant performances in their first PSAA Championships held at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
It was the first time the Bears ran a championship race at the famed Bronx loop since 1972, but Stony Brook’s history at Van Cortlandt is a rich one. Both Peter Randall ’65 and Laura Whitney ’82 each held the 2.5-mile course record at the park while the boys’ team won 21 Ivy League Championships on the course between 1949 and 1972. The current crop of Brookers added to that incredible history.
The girls’ team earned their 12th team title and their first since winning both the League and County Championships in 2013. Sarah Wong won the girls’ first individual title since Margot Rashba won the County Championship in 2013. The sophomore covered the 2.5-mile course in 18:05, eleven seconds ahead of the runner-up from Kew-Forest. Judy Tao (5th/20:05), Simona Smitaite (6th/20:30), Maryana Lekanova (11th/21:32), and Diana Barbacena (12th/21:33) also scored as the Bears accumulated just 39 points to best Long Island Lutheran (90), Avenues (99), and Waldorf (193). In addition, seven Bears earned All-PSAA honors for finishing top-15 in the field. Joining Wong, Tao, Smitaite, Lekanova, and Barbacena on the All-PSAA team were Lilly Keegan (13th/21:53) and Ella Liu (14th/22:02).
The boys nearly swept the field of seven other teams in winning the 65th championship in program history and the first since 2013. Riley Corcoran paced the field in 14:09, over a minute faster than the runner-up, teammate Zack Xu, an eighth-grader, who came through in 15:24. Corcoran’s time was the fastest PSAA Championship time since 2013, despite running almost the entirety of the race alone. Clement Leung (5th/15:45), Forest Kaplan-Walbrecht (9th/16:11), and Frank Cheng (10th/16:27) also scored, giving the Brook five finishers in the top ten for a dominant performance. They accumulated a scant 27 points to best Waldorf (74), Avenues (98), Long Island Lutheran (100), Portledge (150), Solomon Schechter (166), Knox (205), and Lawrence Woodmere (212). In addition, seven Bears earned All-PSAA honors for finishing top-15 in the field. Joining Corcoran, Xu, Leung, Kaplan-Walbrecht, and Cheng on the All-PSAA team were Josh Lin (13th/16:39) and Tiger Wang (14th/16:40).
The memorable performance was capped when head coaches David Hickey and Alicia Brummeler were named the PSAA Coaches of the Year. It was a gratifying finish to a year that began with triple-digit temperatures on the first day of practice and above-average rainfall throughout the season. On many afternoons our runners were forced to run laps through the Swanson hallways, but their hard work and dedication despite the numerous setbacks paved the way for yesterday’s performance.
Next up for both squads is the NYSAIS State Championship set for Sunday morning at Van Cortlandt Park.