Dragons Finish Second At States
Randolph’s McDonald Is Top Individual In 5th
KINGS PARK — The Maple Grove Red Dragons came away with two silver medals from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at Sunken Meadow State Park on Saturday afternoon.
The boys team finished second in Class D with 87 points, behind first-place Beaver River out of Section III, which finished with 32 points. In the girls Class D race, Maple Grove finished with 50 points, just behind Tully out of Section III, which totaled 45 points.
Ronan McDonald of Randolph led all local runners in the Class D race, taking fifth place with a time of 17:11.4, while Peter Auer led the Red Dragons with a 17:36.1 to take sixth overall.
Dylan Davis of Frewsburg took 29th in that race with a 18:11.5, while Frank Colburn grabbed 32nd for the Red Dragons in 18:21.7.
Darius Jones took 36th for Maple Grove in 18:32.6, teammate Drew Kelemen grabbed 41st in 18:42.1, Riley Auer was 47th in 18:54, Nick Brunenavs was 50th in 18:58.2 and Tyler McPherson was 75th in 19:40.8.
“I am very proud of this team, they worked so hard to make it to the state championship race and they did everything I asked of them,” said Maple Grove coach Steve Matteson. “This year we had many of our runners improve throughout the year and had new runners join the team. I am going to miss our lone senior, Frank Colburn, next year, but we have a great group of boys that will be back next year and they really started to hit their stride at the end of this season. The boys started to believe at the end of the season and they saw what they were capable of.”
Running alongside McDonald, teammate Chris Riethmiller took 46th in a time of 18:51. Hunter Wassink of Clymer/Sherman/Panama took 57th in 19:13.
Kylee Odell of Clymer/Sherman/Panama led the way in the girls Class D race with a seventh-place time of 19:57.1, just one step ahead of Christina Peppy of Maple Grove and her time of 19:58.5. Following behind Peppy was teammate Ava Crist, who finished in 20:17.1 to take 12th place.
Abby Brunenavs took 16th in 20:38, Bryn Mozzi was 40th in 22:00, Tori Pavlock was 49th in 22:41, Hannah Tarbrake was 58th in 23:09 and Carling Lockwood was 73rd in 24:14 to round out the Maple Grove team.
“Her plan was to go out with the top group of girls and try and hang on,” Matteson said of Peppy. “Ava had a great second half of the race. She used the second downhill to make a move and gain positions before the finish line. I am so proud of my Maple Grove team this year. Over the course of the season they truly displayed what it means to be a team and care for each other. They care for each other and work together like a family. I feel lucky to be able to coach this team.”
Acacia Barber of Frewsburg finished in 34th place in that race with a 21:41.6, while Clymer/Sherman/Panama picked up 41st and 42nd overall finishes. MacKenzie Gratto clocked a 22:02.5 while Hannah Schauman finished in 22:02.9.
In the girls Class C race, Emily Brown of Fredonia took home 17th place in 20:24, Angelina Napoleon of Allegany-Limestone grabbed 40th (21:06) and Ellie Decker of Silver Creek/Forestville was 41st in 21:10.3.
In the boys Class C race, Diego Rey of Fredonia took home 18th place in 17:29.