Thursday, 08 December 2022 13:10

Saratoga Girls XC Wins National Championship

Saratoga Springs High School runners, competing as Kinetic Running Club, captured the Nike Cross Nationals Girls 5K team championship in Portland, Oregon, on Dec. 3 Photo courtesy of Saratoga Springs City School District. Saratoga Springs High School runners, competing as Kinetic Running Club, captured the Nike Cross Nationals Girls 5K team championship in Portland, Oregon, on Dec. 3 Photo courtesy of Saratoga Springs City School District.

PORTLAND, OR — The Saratoga Springs girls’ cross-country team captured the Nike Cross Nationals Girls 5K team championship in Portland, Oregon, capping off a stretch of five championships in five weeks for the Blue Streak runners.

Saratoga won the Section 2 Class A Championship on Nov. 5, the NYSPHSAA Class A State Championship on Nov. 12, and the New York State Federation Championship on Nov. 19.

And just a week after that, the cross-country squad, competing as Kinetic Running Club at the Nike events, cruised to a victory in the Girls New York Championship 5K at the Nike Cross Regionals New York and New England. They kept it rolling this past Saturday, Dec. 3, finishing first with a team score of 81 points at the Cross Nationals.

Emily Bush (17:52.3) had the top finish of the Kinetic runners at Nationals, placing 30th out of 195 runners. McKinley Wheeler (17:57.3) finished 33rd, while Alycia Hart (18:04.9) was 42nd. Sheridan Wheeler placed 46th (18:06.5), Anya Belisle (18:15.3) was 59th, and Heidi Berglund finished 113th (19:00.9). Natalie Wilding (19:44.6) was 161st.

Kinetic’s team score of 81 points was well ahead of second-place, with Niwot, a team out of Niwot, CO, finishing second (109 points). 

See below for results from the team’s previous four races:

Section 2 Class A Championship

Saratoga had the top four finishers at the Sectional Championship race and placed eight runners in the top 15. The Blue Streaks recorded a team score of 19, finishing ahead of second-place Bethlehem (48 points).

Bush (17:41.7) finished first, Sheridan Wheeler (18:09.8) was second, Belisle (18:19.9) placed third, and McKinley Wheeler (18:20.9) finished fourth. Wilding placed ninth (19:19.3), with Hart in 11th (19:20.5). Katie Turner finished 12th (19:25.4), and Berglund was 14th (19:35.6). 

NYSPHSAA Class A State Championship

In the state championships at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School in Verona, the Blue Streaks placed four runners in the top 10 finishers. With a team score of 23 points, Saratoga cruised past the competition, as second-place Jamesville-DeWitt (Section III) finished with 79 points.

Bush placed third (18:22.7), Sheridan Wheeler finished fifth (18:38.9), and Hart took seventh place (18:45.6). McKinley Wheeler was ninth (19:00.3), and Belisle finished 14th (19:15.9). Berglund also placed in the top 25 for Saratoga, finishing 23rd (19:42.1).

NY Federation Championships

The team dominated again the following week, with five of the top seven finishers at the Federation Championships coming from Saratoga. Bush finished third (18:21.6), Sheridan Wheeler placed fourth (18:24.9), and McKinley Wheeler placed fifth (18:38.3). Belisle was sixth (18:45.6), while Hart finished seventh (18:51.1). 

Berglund also placed 14th at the Federation race (19:18.2), helping the Blue Streaks to a team score of 20 points, well ahead of second-place Bethlehem (117 points). 

Nike Cross Regionals

Competing as Kinetic Running Club at the Nike Cross Regionals, the team placed three runners in the top five, and finished with 19 points, once again finishing well ahead of the competition (Elm Ave A.C. was second with 77 points).

McKinley Wheeler finished second (18:27.2), while Sheridan Wheeler was third (18:30.5). Belisle placed fourth (18:31.7), and Bush earned an eighth-place finish (18:49.3). Hart was 20th (19:46.5), with Berglund finishing 28th (20:09.3). 

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