Thursday, 30 November 2023 14:34

Saratoga Boys Cross-Country: A Season of Championships and Disappointment

By Jonathon Norcross | Sports
Photo provided by Shane Zanetti Photo provided by Shane Zanetti

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs boys cross-country team captured a state championship this year, but still has its sights set on a bigger prize.

At the beginning of summer training, the team’s two primary goals were to win the state championship and qualify for nationals. They accomplished the first goal, but not the second. Last weekend, the Blue Streaks finished third at the Nike Cross Country Regional Qualifier, just one spot away from a trip to the national championship.

The team “believed certainly they were capable of qualifying,” said Coach Shane Zanetti. “We had just beaten the two teams that qualified at states a couple weeks before.” 

“I think it was mostly a matter of us just almost going out and being too aggressive to start off the race,” Zanetti said. “We were probably winning at the mile mark; we were at second place at the halfway point, and then we just weren’t able to keep it together through that last mile and finish where we wanted to.”

Despite the disappointment at regional qualifiers, the team is still proud of its season as a whole, especially the six-man tiebreaker victory at states. “The state meet was an awesome, awesome experience and awesome race,” Zanetti said. 

The tiebreaker finish supported Zanetti’s belief that every runner is valuable. “We really like to emphasize that everybody has a purpose, from the top guys down to the final runners on our team,” Zanetti said.

Nonetheless, it would be hard to think about the Blue Streaks’ season without mentioning standout sophomore Thomas Isenovski. “From our first couple races of the season, Thomas definitely emerged as a frontrunner,” Zanetti said. “He’s very quiet but you can see that he’s very confident in himself.” At states, Isenovski helped capture the Blue Streaks’ first team title since 2012.

Now, Zanetti and his squad are tasked with developing a strategy that will get them above and beyond the success of 2023. “We talked about the idea of maybe training a little harder through the local meets and building things up a little bit more and not cutting back until we get to the state meet next year,” Zanetti said.

The coach also wondered if the team believed a bit too much in its own abilities. Zanetti said that next season the Blue Streaks might be “a little bit more conservative in developing a race plan, especially for the course that regionals is at.” Zanetti said his team will work on managing emotions and “learning how to kind of keep them in check until you’re really ready to make that big move.”

As the preparation for next year begins, Zanetti indicated that the emphasis will continue to be on the importance of the team over any one individual. “I think there’s a lot of trust and respect between everybody, so we’re very proud of that part of our program,” he said. 

Read 782 times

Blotter

  • Saratoga Springs Police Department Christopher Noffer, 52, of Terrel, North Carolina, was charged with assault.  Daniel Gudar, 46, of Saratoga Springs, was charged with criminal mischief, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.  Alexis Riffelbach, 26, of Middle Grove, was charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and moving from lane unsafely.  Lawrence Finneran, 71, of Saratoga Springs, was charged with criminal trespass, criminal tampering, and criminal mischief.  Charles Pace, 36, of Queensbury, was charged with tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a narcotic drug.  Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Joann Mare sold property at 43 Kasey Pass to Bevalie McFarland for $360,000 GALWAY Leigh Novak sold property at 5557 Lake Rd to Jason Haribans for $339,900 Heidi Gifford sold property at 1123 Rt 29 to 123 Rt 29 Land Trust for $100,000 John Warholic sold property at 5278 Sacandaga Rd to Jessica Morris for $100,000 GREENFIELD Samuel Ellis sold property at 25 Lady Slipper Lane to Michael Folmsbee for $165,000 MALTA  Thomas Ruby sold property at 35 Hills Rd to Christie Burdick for $440,000 Jennifer Kotch sold property at 31 George Ave to Zacharay Sedefian for $315,000 MILTON…