Tedeschi, Carey, and Burns keep on running — to States

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Sea of runners: Guilderland’s Noah Carey, right, with a Nike swoop on his headband, placed third in the Class A championship race at Saratoga State Park last Friday with a time of 15:09.96, which qualified the sophomore for the state competition in Canton this weekend. The Dutchmen boys’ team finished second out of 11 teams with 62 points. Eighth-grader Noah Tindale came in sixth place.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

All alone: Berne-Knox-Westerlo senior Allie Tedeschi won the Class D race by 25 seconds last Friday during the Section 2 Championships at Saratoga State Park with a time of 19:00.73. Here, Tedeschi exits the woods to the home stretch. She will be running at States this weekend in Canton.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

With another runner on her tail, Emily Burns, right, of Guilderland, maintains her seventh-place position in the Class A race at sectionals in Saratoga last Friday; Burns finished in seventh with a time of 17:53.15. The Dutch girls’ team finished third out of 11 teams with 69 points, and Burns qualified for the state competition this Saturday.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

And they’re off! The Voorheesville boys’ cross-country team finished 16th out of 25 teams in Class B with 410 points at last Friday’s Section 2 Championships at Saratoga State Park. Here, the Class B race starts. Evan Ensslin, middle, was the top finisher for the Birds in 20th place with a time of 17:14.80.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Uphill battle: Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s Xzavier Rich, right, tries to run past Schoharie’s Noah Valvo while climbing a hill on the Saratoga State Park course during sectionals last Friday. Rich finished the Class D race in ninth place with a time of 17:08.97, and Valvo was two spots ahead in seventh.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — At the end of the day last Friday, 1,019 Section 2 runners had left their footprints in the woods of Saratoga State Park. And, of that large number, only 9 percent qualified for the New York State cross-country championships this weekend.

Allie Tedeschi of Berne-Knox-Westerlo, and Noah Carey and Emily Burns of Guilderland will be running against the rest of the state in Canton this Saturday.

Tedeschi, a senior, won the Class D race last Friday by 25 seconds over Duanesburg’s Elaine Atanasova with a time of 19:00.73. Tedeschi said she knew that she wouldn’t have any competition.

“I still wanted to run my hardest,” said Tedesci, who had hoped for a time around 18:40. “Those woods are lonely back there.”

The course at Saratoga State Park has some tough hill climbs. “They kill me,” Tedeschi said. “I’ve never been a person to be able to run hills strong, but I knew I had to push myself today with Monica [Strain, of Maple Hill] behind me just to get her off my back.”

Strain ended up finishing in fifth place as Tedeschi proved to be the best female runner in Class D.

Carey, a sophomore, seemed a little disappointed after finishing in third place in the Class A race with a time of 15:09.96, which was five seconds slower than his second-place time at Saratoga State Park the week prior during the Suburban Council Championships. Aidan Tooker, of Saratoga, had finished behind Carey at Suburban’s championships, but he beat Carey by 12 seconds last Friday to take the Class A title.

“I would feel more confident if I had beat him today,” Carey said of Tooker. “I thought about the race too much and didn’t do what I needed to do.”

Between Carey and Tooker was Colonie’s Jake Johnson, who won by one second over Carey at Suburban’s championships. Coming down the hill before the crossing bridge, Carey said, is where Tooker and Johnson started distancing themselves.

“I wasn’t able to get it back,” said Carey. “I was able to catch them last week, but it was too much today. I’ll get over it.”

Burns, a senior, was the fifth and last individual runner to qualify for States in the Class A race with a time of 17:53.15 for seventh place last Friday. That time was an overall personal record for Burns at Saratoga State Park.

“I’m excited about that,” Burns said. She was happy to make the state competition.

Dealing with an upset stomach during the race, Burns didn’t know if it was caused by her usual nervousness leading up to a race. “My stomach hurt, but I don’t know why,” she said. “Usually, I’m pretty nervous, but I don’t know if it’s linked.”

Paris Fenoff, of Saratoga, was right on Burns’s back heading out of the woods and into the home stretch. Burns ended up beating Fenoff by four seconds to lengthen her senior season for the Dutch.

“I try not to look back,” Burns said when The Enterprise asked if she felt Fenoff on her tail. “It was close enough where, if I had given up, she would have beaten me.”

Burns says that there aren’t many better feelings than having a good race. Also, she loves the atmosphere of a race day.

“Runners from other teams congratulate you no matter if they were behind you or in front of you,” said Burns. “It’s tough in the race, but everyone is so nice afterwards.”

Out of the shadow

Tedeschi has been a varsity runner for BKW for the last six years, and for those first four years she was overshadowed by her older sister, Courtney, who now runs for Division I DePaul University. On Nov. 17, Allie Tedeschi will sign her intent to run for Division I Hartford University.

The Tedeschis were always in tandem, a one-two punch. Over the last two seasons, without her sister around, Allie Tedeschi has been the one crossing the finish line first for BKW.

“I’m my own person now,” Tedeschi said last Friday. “When I had a good race, she [Courtney] had a bad race, so all the attention would be on her. I never had that chance to shine. With her gone, it’s been nice.”

However, Tedeschi said that it has been nice to go see Courtney race for DePaul whenever she gets the chance. Has she figured out why the Tedeschis are such great runners?

“No,” Allie Tedeschi said. “My grandfather was a runner, but he wasn’t serious about it. Run, run, run, that’s what we do.”

Tedeschi said she took her training to a whole new level last summer by running more miles than she ever had before and by changing her tempos. Running gives her a sense of pride and the satisfaction of completion.

Even though Allie Tedeschi is no longer in her sister’s shadow, she possesses that same fight to the finish.

“It’s just inside me,” she concluded.

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