SCHENECTADY – Gitch Hayes and Leonie Griffin know full well that challenging yourself isn’t as easy as doing it for someone else.
Still, cross country runners delivered a fascinating individual victory Saturday at the 82nd Annual Grout Invitational in Central Park.
Hayes, a senior from La Salle and top-ranked cross country runner in New York, won the boys’ Division I race in 13 minutes, 11 seconds, covering nearly 2.75 miles. It was his second Grout University victory and fourth overall. He won the last race of the Invitational in 2019, and also took on the new and revised races in 2018 and 2017 respectively.
Griffin took his third consecutive grout varsity victory by capturing the Division II race in 16:29, leading the Blue Bison to the team’s victory.
Both the runners had to give their own motivation. Hayes won by 51 seconds over nearest rival Shenandoah’s Michael Clay, while Griffin won her race by 44 seconds over teammate Ciara Bullington.
Hayes, who is considering several Division I colleges, said he initially tried to push himself.
“I knew this last third of the race would be tough because there’s no one with me, but try to grow every mile,” Hayes said. “You know, I fell short of, like, six seconds of the course record, but I’m happy with my time.”
Hayes said he was inspired to run against Shenandoahova, who was fifth in Class A in the latest state survey and who easily won the team event with 24 points. Unfortunately for Hayes, the plainsmen’s top runner dropped out of the race.
“I know he’s about 10 to 15 seconds slower than me, but it could have starved me during the race,” said Hayes, who said he was focusing on the course and personal record.
“I ran last weekend, the fastest kid in the country, was blown away by him,” Hayes said. “He beat me by like 13 seconds. But that was a good race; he pushed me through times when I didn’t think I could run.”
Griffin, still just a sophomore, said she takes being the current champion of grout seriously.
“Personally, I feel very confident on this course because I feel like I’ve nailed it down how to pace it. However today was very different from other years, so my timing was a bit slow , “He said.
Griffin also said that she initially decided not to hold anything back because she was confident that she could maintain her lead. Knowing that she would have no challengers, she did her best to work on things in her time to help. He mentioned a pair of hills, the first about a mile from the end.
Griffin said, “I feel a little tired when you take turns, but I work through it and work on pumping my arms and legs to climb the hill as fast as I can, Griffin said. “I don’t want to let myself go up that hill just because there’s a lead. Also on this last hill, I think about 800 (meters) to go, and that’s my specialty for the track, so if I 800, so I can do it now.
Other strong performances came from Fonda-Fultonville, who captured the boys’ Class C title with 32 points behind junior Bennett Melita (14:07) and wins from three others in the top 10, and Bethlehem’s Reilly Davies, who Turned into the girls’ fastest time on Saturday by winning the Division I race in 16:15.
The Eagles, third in the Class A state pole, cruised into their race, their four other scoring runners just six-seconds apart between them, while finishing fourth to seventh.
Greenwich won the Girls Class C team title with 44 points. Also, Queensbury senior Jack Hicks won the boys’ Division II race in 14:14.
in Central Park (about 2.75 miles)
Team Scoring: Shendehowa 24, Washingtonville 55, CBA 86, La Salle 99, Glens Falls 108, Cohos 162.
Individual Top 10: 1. Gitch Hayes (LSI), 13:11. 2. Michael Clay (Shane), 14:02. 3. Derek Leiter (wash), 14:19. 4. Logan Doll (Shane), 14:36. 5. Philip Matthews (Shane), 14:44. 6. Christian Fox (Shane), 14:46. 7. Liam Hoffman (Shane), 14:52. 8. Jack DeChiro (Shane), 14:56. 9. Ethan Howe (Wash), 15:01. 10. Peter Effinger (wash), 15:06.
Team Scoring: North Rockland 43, Queensbury 58, Bethlehem 86, Shaker 107, Schenectady 107, Albany 122, Shalmont 148.
Individual Top 10: 1. Jack Hicks (Q), 14:14. 2. Neel Chittoor (a), 14:23. 3. Michael Nero (NR), 14:38. 4. Guiseppe Colella (NR), 14:38. 5. Eduardo Nava (NR), 14:41. 6. Jack Jemet (Shawl), 14:44. 7. Devin Decker (Schdi), 14:46. 8. Tyler Harrington (Q), 14:53. 9. Graham Richard (A), 15:03. 10. Michael Daly (Schdi), 15:04.
Team Scoring: Fonda-Fultonville 32, Johnstown 99, Broadalbin-Perth 102, Stillwater 103, Mayfield 112, Plattsburgh 124, Bishop Gibbons 178, Fort Plains-Cannajohari 181, Lake George 222, Burne-Knox-Westerlow 225, Galway 227, Greenville Inc.
Individual Top 10: 1. Bennett Melita (FF), 14:07. 2.Cameron Abdela (May), 14:55. 3. Conor Cooper (BP), 15:02. 4. Matthew Dettenreider (FF), 15:03. 5. Finn Kosich (GRN), 15:11. 6. Ty Senge (FF), 15:13. 7. Anthony Zazzaro (Still), 15:29. 8. Braydon Jordan (May), 15:38. 9. Connor Duda (Plate), 15:44. 10. Alan Booth (FF), 15:47.
Team Scoring: Bethlehem 23, North Rockland 39, Glens Falls 84, St Francis Prep 89.
Individual top 10: 1. Reilly Davis (b), 16:15. 2. Savannah Pezamenti (nr), 16:37. 3. Jade Pazmino (NR), 16:39. 4. Charlotte O’Meara (b), 16:52. 5. Anne Bolke (b), 16:54. 6. Anna Krapovitsky (b), 16:55. 7. Katherine Bannigan (b), 16:58. 8. Maeve Conway (b), 16:59. 9. Meghan Glarmley (NR), 17:04. 10. Clara Avery (GF), 17:55.
Team Scoring: Shaker 21, Albany 57, Queensbury 60, Columbia Inc.
Individual Top 10: 1. Leonie Griffin(s), 16:29. 2. Ciara Bullington (S), 17:13. 3. Isroda Martinelli (a), 17:22. 4. Miranda Habshi (Q), 17:40. 5. Shia Fazen (col), 17:46. 6. Alyssa Kearns (S), 17:47. 7. Kaleigh Higgins (S), 17:59. 8. Birtu defenderfur(s), 18:07. 9. Natalie Bennett (S), 18:21. 10. Maddie Powers (Q), 18:35.
Team Scoring: Greenwich 44, Lake George 60, Broadalbin-Perth 88, Tamarack 89, Plattsburgh 98, Fonda-Fultonville 111, Saratoga Central Catholic, Canajohari/Fort Plain, Stillwater, Granville Inc.
Individual top 10: 1. Gianna Correa (p), 17:32. 2. Teigen Wright (Gwch), 17:51. Katie Cronin (scc), 17:55. 4. Olivia Schaefer (c/fp), 17:59. 5. Isabella Miller (FF), 18:06. 6. Jessie Loki (Still), 18:37. 7. Sarah Hansen (Still), 18:46. 8. Amber Gibbs (Gran), 19:07. 9. Carolyn Kelly (Gwch), 19:13. 10. Emily Skiff (Gwch), 19:19.
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