xc meet qualifiersBack row (L-R): Coach Christine Eisenhut, Catie Eisenhut, Allison Keefe, Eden Jackson, Teresa Garcia, Jack Thomas, Coach Becca Lovenheim Front row (L-R): Kinsley Jacobs, Hana Thibault, Emmy Jackson

The Lansing varsity girls cross-country team punched its ticket to the New York state championship round with a big team win at the Section 4 Championship Race at Chenango Valley State Parkā€”an historic first for the Lansing XC program.

The course was one of the more challenging XC routes of the season, with steep hilly trails winding through muddy stretches of forest. Lansing dominated three of the top five finishers in the girls race, with Catie Eisenhut racing to a 2nd place finish (20:12.10), followed by Emmaline Jackson in 4th (20:15.10) and Kinsley Jacobs in 5th (20:40.7). Teresa Garcia finished 14th and Eden Jackson 17th to round out the scorers. Hana Thibault and Allison Keefe finished as a duo, 22nd and 23rd respectively, out of the field of more than 60 runners to put Lansing on top of team scoring for the event.

"I am incredibly proud of this team of girls," said Lansing XC head coach Becca Lovenheim. "They have been working hard since the end of last fall towards this goal.

"We don't have a huge team, and every single runner, from one through seven, has needed to step up her training and her racing, and every runner has.

"I couldn't be more excited for them. It's the first time in program history to our knowledge that a Lansing girls team is heading to states. The team is entering the championships strong and ready to take on the best in the state."

On the boys side, Lansing's Jack Thomas qualified to run at the state championship race as an individual with a 6th place finish (18:01.8) out of nearly 100 runners. As a team, Lansing finished 7th with Ryan Barton finishing 20th (19:02.7), Teddy Brenner 38th (19:38.9), and Sam Bell, Caden Michalec, and Zachary Hwang at 47th, 57th, and 63rd, respectively. Dowain Geesey, Ben Caveney, Daniel Dedrick, and Anders Axelson also ran for the Bobcats varsity boys team at sectionals.

"Our boys team was led this year by captain Jack Thomas," said Coach Lovenheim. "Jack's goal all season has been to qualify for the state meet. If Jack was going to make it as an individual, he had ensure a top-six finish. He raced an outstanding race [at the Chenango Valley sectionals], smart and fierce, to an individual qualifying berth to the NYSPHSAA Championships. 

"Nearly every runner on the team set a personal best time on a very wet and muddy course. For many of them, this was their first Section IV Championships, a valuable racing experience to have under their belts as they set their sights on big goals for the future. It's exciting that Jack will be returning next year, along with 2nd runner Ryan Barton, to lead a very young and motivated team."  

The 2018 NYSHPAA Cross-Country Championships will be held at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island on Saturday Nov. 10. The Lansing XC Girls team and Lansing's Jack Thomas will compete in the Class C races.