SOMERS, N.Y.— Despite the brutal heat and humidity, the Yorktown boys and girls cross country teams took to the trails around Somers High School on Sept. 10 to compete in the 16th annual Big Red Cross Country Invitational meet.
Yorktown competed in the Division 2 races, with the Husker girls’ team turning in a sixth-place finish while the boys finished in eighth place.
In addition to battling the weather and a tough field of competitors, the Huskers were also without two of their top runners as Grace Cooney for the girls and Matthew Severino for the boys had to take the ACT test Saturday morning.
“We did OK, but some of our top runners were really affected by the heat,” Yorktown coach Keith Smith said. “[Somers] even moved the race up an hour because of the heat, but it was still a tough day to run.”
In the Division 2 girls race, Yorktown finished sixth with a score of 120. Brewster dominated the race as the Bears had seven of the top eight finishers to run away with the team title.
Leading the way for Yorktown was senior Heather Donnelly as she finished in 21st place with a time of 24:32.28. The Huskers were bunched together as Marlee Pincus was in 26th, Alyssa Pelkey was 28th and Alexa Primiani was 31st.
Rounding out the top seven finishers for the team score were Anna Kunz in 41st, Kayla Caputo in 43rd place and Kate Kouril in 54th place for the Huskers.
“Donnelly ran very well in the heat,” Smith said of his top female finisher. “Pincus was a pleasant surprise. It’s her first season running and her first ever cross country race, so she did very well. It was also the first race ever for Primiani.”
The same was true for the Yorktown boys team as a number of Huskers turned in impressive performances in their first ever varsity cross country race. Yorktown finished eighth with a score of 194, with Harborfields winning the team race and Brewster finishing second.
The temperatures were rising as the Husker boys competed in the next-to-last race of the day and the heat took its toll.
The top four finishers for Yorktown were all juniors, with Gregory Calidonna leading the way in 28th place overall with a time of 19:25.02.
John Ahearn was second for the Huskers in 30th place, while Salvatore Pepe was third in 38th place. Matthiew Oteiza was 49th, Thomas Hynes was 52nd, Michael Ruvo was 86th and Stephen Good was 90th to round out the team scoring for the Huskers.
“Our top runner is usually Hynes, but he was really affected by the heat,” Smith said. “For Calidonna, it is his first time running cross country and it was his first race. It was also the first race for Pepe. They both did very well and Ruvo ran a personal best by more than three minutes. We have a strong junior class and it will be interesting to see what we can do when we have a full team competing in good weather.”