On Saturday, Sonya Krezmein and Elle Russell competed at States for Cross Country held in Chenango State Park near Bignhamton, NY. Sonya ran a fantastic race and finished 10th place overall out of 150 outstanding runners. Sonya started the race off smart and conservative and was around 25 place one mile into the race. After climbing the first of 3 challenging hills she started to push and move up through the field. By the end of the second mile Sonya had moved into 14thplace and still looked strong. In the last mile 2 more hills challenge what is left of the athletes leg strength and as Sonya climbed up the last part of the last hill she passed 4 more girls to hold a strong sprint to the end finishing in 10th place overall. Elle Russell, who had her fastest time in her 5 years of racing last week at sectionals, finished 46th overall. Elle had the start of a cold and at this level it does not take much to drop places against a very strong field. Elle battled hard against a tough course but trying to process oxygen at this level is a tough task with any type of congestion in her lungs. For Elle it was her second consecutive state appearance finishing 31st last year and was ranked 22nd this year in pre-race composite computer programs. Elle was disappointed in her finishing place but not in her effort. Congrats to Sonya for her 10th place medal. Elle and Sonya along with their section received state champion honors and received t-shirts for having the fastest section out of the 12 sections across the state.
On Sunday the day after the State Meet Sonya and Elle attended the Runners Roost/Checkers All Star Invite held at Knox Farms State Park. Elle and Sonya ran well on tired legs and both received honors at the meet. I am sure the girls were happy to celebrate their competition at the state meet by running another race the next day.