Friday, November 7th, our Lake Shore Cross Country team took on over twenty schools in Section VI. The team has found success at Sectionals in the past, with a second place overall for the girls team last year, and an impressive eighth overall for the boys, beating some tough teams. This year, at Knox Farms in East Aurora, the teams surprised us all considering the frigid temperatures. The runners battled snow, mud, and sub-freezing temperatures and still made Lake Shore proud.
Our boys’ team had some amazing performances despite the weather, with sophomore Tyler Schott leading the pack with a 18:11.43 5k. Micheal Smalldino followed with a speedy 18:56.89, and senior captain Gavin Ingrao wasn’t far behind, running a 19:00.36. To finish it off stong, Logan Wray came in with a 19:39.69, and Sean Robinson ran a 21:41.57. The boys placed 10th overall in class B.
Our Lady Eagles also brought their A-game, with Hailey Klizak taking the lead with a jaw-dropping 20:43.30, which landed her a 10th place overall standing and the chance to move on to states on November 16th in Plattsburg. Hailey showcased her talents there alongside over one hundred girls, and helped section IV claim victory. She came in 53rd overall running in 12 degrees and snow! The rest of the team continued to bring in quick times, as wel,l at Knox; Junior Sierra Danieu and senior captain Ally Zudiema came in at 21:58.29 and 22:28.90 respectively. Madison Ald came in next with a scorching 23:24.49, and new senior Hailey Hanes followed not very far behind her with a 23:37.98. Finally, Brittney Freeburn and Jordan Kranz finished off together, with times of 23:52.98 and 23:54.81. The girls placed 3rd overall, and brought home a plaque and patches for 2nd place in class B2 by out-running some very difficult competitors.
Lake Shore’s Cross Country program prides itself on teaching qualities such as team work, self discipline, and determination and gives its athletes the best tools to succeed in all aspects of life, not just sports. Girls’ captain Ally Zudiema, when asked what it’s been like competing for Lake Shore for the last four years, replied, “It has been challenging, but I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve never been on a closer team and I’ve met some of my best friends on this team, meeting new people made every hard workout worth it. Overall, I’m really going to miss it; the support from the team and the amazing coaches.”
Those amazing coaches include coach Mike Brinkerhoff and assistant coach Trish Sills. When asked about the future of the team, Coach Brinkerhoff said he looks forward to the coming years and encourages any interested underclassmen to come out next year to see what Lake Shore Cross Country is all about.
The future of Lake Shore Cross Country is very bright, and judging by the overwhelming support and encouragement from teammates and coaches on the sidelines, I’d say the team is nowhere near finished surprising us.
*Athletes’ runtimes were available on www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=167764&show=all