Based on their starting seven's average times during the season, Townsend Harris Coach Tim Connor felt the Hawks had a legitimate shot to win their second ever cross-country city championship. Instead, they repeated another feat, one that isn't as appealing or glorious yet still significant.
Townsend Harris finished second with 59 points in the 5K race at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx Saturday afternoon for the third time in four years, behind Tottenville (80 points, five runners in the top 19), just like last November.
“We are disappointed, but when you realize how many programs are in the race, you have to sit back and think we did pretty well,” Connor said. “We know we are better that what occurred. But I think the kids ran as well as they could've.”
The deciding factor in the runner-up finish, Connor felt, were two of his runners - Sara Lynch and Katie Sullivan - cramped up, falling well short of their average times. Lynch (48th) finished over a minute behind what she had run much of the year, and Sullivan (121st) over three minutes. “They didn't lose it for us, per se, they just had a bad day,” Connor said. “They had great seasons. Even with the way she ran, Katie ran better there than she did last year. She improved so much. One race can't take that away from her.”
Devotia Moore, the Hawks' star middle distance runner, finished third overall with a time of 20:27.96 (average mile of 6:35.3) behind South Shore's Ashen Gomes and Shannon Brown of Curtis. Fellow Hawks to place well were Susan Wasserman (13th) and Maria Romano (21st).
Despite falling short again, the Hawks' future seems bright. The varsity will make the trip to Wappingers Falls for the New York State Federation Cross Country Championships Saturday. Their jayvee was runner-up to Tottenville and the Hawks' sophomore team won the city title. “The program is definitely going in the right direction,” Connor said.
Elsewhere, in the girls race, Allison Lee of Cardozo finished fifth, at 20:50.65 (average mile of 6:42.6), and Jamaica's Shaquan Neils was 10th. The Beavers will join the Hawks in the state championship Saturday as the only other Queens school to take part in the team competition. On the boys' side, Alex Medina of Newtown, who won the Queens title for the third straight year, took home fourth-place honors, running 16:50.12, a 5:25.2 mile. Curtis's Keith Stapleton won this city title.