---- — Eighth out of 113 Class D runners is exceptional, according to Cooperstown cross country coach Jessie Ravage.
She was talking about eighth-grader Samantha Fanion’s finish during the state meet for cross country at Elma Meadows Golf Course in the Buffalo area on Saturday.
“She ran close to a flawless race,” Ravage said.
Fanion’s time over the 3.1-mile course was 19:41. The race was won by Greenwhich’s Madeline Montague in 18:24.
Fanion was the first Cooperstown girl to qualify for states since 1999, when Lisa Brassaw placed 23rd for the Redskins in 21:08.
Caleb Edmonds was the last Cooperstown boy to make the state meet. He finished sixth in Class D in 2009.
“Fanion is a quick runner with a lot of ability,” Ravage said.
The eighth-grader qualified to go to the state meet on Nov. 3. after finishing fourth overall in the Class D race of the Section Three Championships. She clocked a time of 20:33 in the girls race and earned one of five individual berths to the state meet.
During the Section Three Championships at Vernon-Verona High School, the girls team came into the race ranked fourth by tullyrunners and matched the ranking. The boys ranked ninth and finished in eighth.
“Nearly every member of the two squads surpassed their early season times on the VVS course and posted their strongest speed ratings compiled by tullyrunners for the season,” Ravage said.
Cooperstown’s varsity girls team scored 135 points behind South Lewis, 60; Sauquoit, 88; and Remsen, 115. They outran fifth-place Beaver River by a single point. Following Samantha Fanion, Kate O’Handley was Cooperstown’s second runner in 32nd place with a time of 22:59. Abby LeCates finished 39th (23:17) followed by Becca Odell in 41st (23:29) and Jaime Zoltick in in 43rd (23:42). Seniors Francesca LoRusso and Sara Breiten rounded out the varsity seven in 50th (24:09) and 60th (24:36) respectively. Sylvia Johnson finished the course in 28:59 (117th); Katie Booan ran 33:04 (130th). Maddy Sandler sat SATs and could not race.
The varsity boys scored 215 points; Beaver River won the meet with 59. Senior captain Jake Burnham led Cooperstown’s team, placing 28th with a time of 19:12. Jacob Lansing finished in 39th, clocking 19:40. Mike Boyle and Nick Fanion were 55th and 56th, both clocking 20:15. Connor Fay rounded out the scoring five in 63rd (20:33) followed by Jacob Russell in 71st (20:58). Max Ofer completed the varsity seven in 93rd (22:08). Pat Wilson ran 23:10 (107th); Alex Greenberg finished in 25:08 (125th).
The Cooperstown cross country teams will be losing Sara Breiten, Francesca LoRusso, Katie Booan, Jake Burnham, Mikey Boyle, and Aidan Macaluso to graduation.