For the Delhi girls cross country team, it’s about depth. For the Bulldog boys, it’s about top-end speed.
Either way, the equation equals three.
The Delhi boys and girls used different methods, but achieved the same result as both earned their third consecutive Section IV Class D cross country championships Thursday, Nov. 7, at Chenango Valley State Park.
“It was a great day,” Delhi coach Skip Baxter said. “The boys, we felt pretty comfortable, but the girls we thought was goong to be a battle. Elmira-Notre Dame is a great team, so we were really happy to come away with the win.”
The Delhi girls battled cold, wet conditions to place five competitors in the top 10 and total 25 points for a 13-point deficit over second-place Notre Dame. Ellie Lees was first across the line for the Bulldogs, taking third place in 20:40.1. Cella Schnabel was fourth in 20:49.9.
Gretel Hilson-Schneider took sixth in 20:55.0, just ahead of Anna Tessier in seventh at 21:00.9. Lonnie Weiss rounded out the Delhi scorers with a 10th-place finish in 21:13.0.
Even those that did not figure into the scoring for Delhi turned in impressive performances. Sienna Dorr was 11th in 21:34.2, Camille Mueller was 14th in 22:04.7 and Lucia Marsiglio was 16th in 23:01.6.
“I think our biggest strength is the compression. We have about 30 seconds separating our number one from our number five girl and it’s tough for teams to squeeze scorers in between them,” Baxter said. “As we move on, it helps us even more. We can get six in before any other Class D (team) can get in four, so we will see what that means for next week.”
Makayla Payne led Harpursville/Afton, which was one of many local teams that were unable to field enough runners for team scoring. Her time of 24:22.5 was good for 22nd, while teammate Logan Ives was 29th in 26:02.1.
Emily Craig paced Schenevus with a time of 25:00.0 for 25th place, followed by Haylee Poliseno in 28th with a mark of 25:32.7.
Maddy Smith was 33rd, crossing the line first for Edmeston in 27:19.0. Ella Tomlins was 38th (29:52.5) and Michaela Bateman was 42nd (31:00.2) for the Panthers.
Sonja Reyda was the only Unatego representative, taking 36th in 27:39.7.
On the boys side, Delhi’s Jonathon Hadley took first place by more than 31 seconds to lead the Bulldogs to a first-place finish with 26 points. Ty Saleman was third in 17:47.1, and Diego Aguirre was fourth in 17:49.7 to give Delhi three of the top four finishers.
“It’s the opposite (from the girls) because we have a lot of firepower and they are more spread out,” Baxter said. “Hopefully what happens is those low points make up for how spread out we are, but our fourth and fifth guys are really stepping up here at the end.”
Marco Shaw took eighth (18:38.1) and Sam Lees was 10th (18:46.2) to round out a dominant team performance as the Bulldogs beat second-place Southern Cayuga by 73 points.
Jared Coleman was 15th for Delhi, finishing in 19:09.1, and Luke Schnabel was 16th in 19:14.3 Karter Small took 18th (19:20.1), Chance Caffery was 40th (20:24.5) and Josh Baxter was 49th (21:13.1).
Noah Artis led Sidney to a fourth-place finish with 132 points, finishing in 13th with a time of 19:01.0. Jonathan McNamara was 25th (19:45.5), Bryce Chirico was 31st (19:48.5) and Glenn Rogers was 32nd (20:01.4) for the Warriors.
Brennan Finch led G-MU (ninth place), placing highest among non-Delhi competitors as he crossed in 18:52.5 to take 11th. Hamid Williams was 17th in 19:14.5 for the Bobcats.
Gavin Fetterman paced 10th-place Unatego, taking 26th in 19:47.1. Nich Sousa was 29th in 19:53.5.
The three-peats give Baxter hope for more entering the state championships Saturday, Nov. 16, at SUNY Plattsburgh.
“For the girls especially, we are definitely in the mix. I’m not to the point where I think we are favorites, but we are definitely co-favorites along with a couple others,” Baxter said. “Most of our competitors will have more firepower at the top, but I think we can get six in before anyone else gets four in so it’s just a matter of if the numbers fall in our favor.”
The Bulldogs won three state titles between the 1970s and 1980s, with the most recent one coming in 1981. Delhi was third in the state in 2018, the squad’s highest finish since the 1981 title.
On the boys side, Baxter is a little more uncertain but nonetheless hopeful.
“The boys have a tougher road to win and the defending champs in Beaver River are super strong, but we are hoping to contend,” he said.
In Class C, Oneonta sophomore Korbin Jones put in his best performance of the season by taking fifth in 17:41.6, good for a state qualification and leading the Yellowjackets to seventh place as a team.
“I knew he could do a performance like that, but throughout the year he hadn’t had one,” Oneonta coach Dan Forbes said. “At practices and watching him train, I knew he had it in him, but it’s tough to tell when a kid is going to break out like that. But you could tell he just had a look of determination today.”
Forbes said that Jones made his way up from about 10th early on to contest for fourth place, eventually finishing in the top five. State qualifications go to the top five finishers that are not on the winning team, and Jones’ fifth-place finish was well within those parameters.
“Just past the first mile today, his gait was smooth and his face was relaxed. I just saw an air of confidence that I hadn’t seen in him all season,” Forbes said. “When he came over the last rise with about 200 meters left, I couldn’t believe it because I was counting them. When fourth place came through and he was right there, I couldn’t believe it.”
Oneonta freshman Brandon Gardner was 12th with a time of 18:01.1, missing out on a state qualifier to finish the season.
“I’ve never had a freshman boy or girl run as consistently or as well as he did this season,” Forbes said. “These young guys shining like that was quite impressive to me.”
Dylan Sorensen was 32nd for Oneonta, crossing in 19:10.5, and Ian House was 50th in 20:03.7. Forbes also credited Nicholas Kahl with “a really good race” as he took 60th in 20:35.4.
Oneonta finished with 147 points in seventh place, while Watkins Glen took the team title with 69 points.
Iris Poon led an incomplete Oneonta girls squad with a 28th-place finish in 23:48.4 Samantha Ficano was 35th in 24:31.1 and Ting Poon was 37th in 24:57.4.
Section IV Class D Championships
Girls team scores: 1, Delhi 25; 2, Elmira Notre Dame 38, 3, Southern Cayuga 68.
Winner: Kelsey Young (Deposit/Hancock) 20:17.4.
Delhi: 3, Ellie Lees 20:40.1; 4, Cella Schnabel 20:49.9; 6, Gretel Hilson-Schneider 20:55.0; 7, Anna Tessier 21:00.9; 10, Lonnie Weiss 21:13.0; 11, Sienna Dorr 21:34.2; 14, Camille Mueller 22:04.7; 16, Lucia Marsiglio 23:01.6.
Harpursville/Afton: 22, Makayla Payne 24:22.5; 29, Logan Ives 26:02.1; 39, Angela Miller 30:05.4.
Schenevus: 25, Emily Craig 25:00.0; 28, Haylee Poliseno 25:32.7.
Edmeston: 33, Maddy Smith 27:19.0; 38, Ella Tomlins 29:52.5; 42, Michaela Bateman 31:00.2.
Unatego: 36, Sonja Reyda 27:39.7.
Boys team scores: 1, Delhi 26; 2, Southern Cayuga 99; 3, Elmira Notre Dame 113; 4, Sidney 132; 5, Seton Catholic 148; 6, Groton 148; 7, Marathon 169; 8, Tioga 188; 9, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton 200; 10, Unatego 224.
Winner: Jonathon Hadley (Delhi) 16:45.7.
Delhi: 1, Jonathon Hadley 16:45.7; 3, Ty Saleman 17:47.1; 4, Diego Aguirre 17:49.7; 8, Marco Shaw 18:38.1; 10, Sam Lees 18:46.2; 15, Jared Coleman 19:09.1; 16, Luke Schnabel 19:14.3; 18, Karter Small 19:20.1; 40, Chance Caffery 20:24.5; 49, Josh Baxter 21:13.1.
Sidney: 13, Noah Artis 19:01.0; 25, Jonathan McNamara 19:45.5; 31, Bryce Chirico 19:58.5; 32, Glenn Rogers 20:01.4; 41, Sam Bagley 20:25.3; 47, Matthew Cox 21:02.5; 51, James Naef 21:27.1; 56, Logan Higginbotham 22:28.1; 61, Connor Thomson 23:05.7.
Gilbertsville-Mount Upton: 11, Brennan Finch 18:52.5; 17, Hamid Williams 19:14.5; 65, Connor Eberly 23:15.5; 74, Ian Payne 25:23.4; 81, Aaron Pondolfino 29:12.5.
Unatego: 26, Gavin Fetterman 19:47.1; 29, Nick Sousa 19:53.5; 71, Garrett Backus 23:52.2; 73, Noah Cole 24:23.5; 80, Jacob Treffeisen 28:17.4.
Harpursville/Afton: 34, Zach Swislosky 20:14.8; 54, Ryan Akulis 22:09.4;
Schenevus: 45, Andrew Hamilton 20:48.1.
Edmeston: 82, Thomas Bennett 29:16.7; 83, Jan Svoboda 32:45.6.
Section IV Championships
Section IV Class C Championships
Girls team scores: 1, Lansing 40; Oneonta incomplete.
Winner: Pipher Reid (Chenango Forks) 19:54.5.
Oneonta: 28, Iris Poon 23:48.4; 35, Samantha Ficano 24:31.1; 37, Ting Poon 24:57.4; 68, Kate Ackley 29:24.6.
Boys team scores: 1, Watkins Glen 69; 7, Oneonta 147.
Winner: Gabe Planty (Watkins Glen) 16:50.3.
Oneonta: 5, Korbin Jones 17:41.6; 12, Brandon Gardner 18:01.1; 32, Dylan Sorensen 19:10.5; 50, Ian House 20:03.7; 60, Nicholas Kahl 20:35.4.