XC marks the spot

By TED WADDELL
Posted 10/24/19

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — On Thursday, October 17, cross-county was the center of attention, as the XC teams of Sullivan West took to a three-mile course traversing hill and dale, though mud and …

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XC marks the spot

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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — On Thursday, October 17, cross-county was the center of attention, as the XC teams of Sullivan West took to a three-mile course traversing hill and dale, though mud and past rocky outcroppings against the runners of Tri-Valley.

The woodlands section of the course is quite stunning, if you take the time to look around and aren’t totally focused on speed.

It is lined with the remnants of old hand-laid stone walls from back in the day, venerable trees twisted into wind-whipped shapes accented with moss and ferns, fascinating rock outcroppings and intriguing artifacts from the earlier times of bygone eras.

Tri-Valley XC coach Chip Furman is in his first year at the helm of the Bears XC team.

“It’s been an amazing season,” he said. “We’ve been doing tremendously, and as you can see, Dan’s on fire.” He was referring to runner Dan Rush who took first place.

“We’ve got a great one-through-five team, and just hope to keep healthy for Section IX… We’ll see who we can beat and then go from there.”

Dee Maoploski was on hand as coach of the Bulldogs XC runners on that chilly afternoon with a band of showers lurking on the horizon.

“It was their first time really running in cold conditions, and the wind and course conditions definitely made it challenging,” she said.

“Tri-Valley is a very strong team which we knew going in, and we knew it would be a tough race between Bryce and Dan. Dan has been running very fast all season, and this was the first time they got to compete against each other… Now we will focus on the two upcoming championships, OCIAA’s next Friday, and Sections on, November 6.”

Daniel Rush of Tri-Valley, a 17-year-old senior, narrowly edged Sullivan West’s Bryce Maoploski’s time of 18:29 to take first place at 18:05, a difference at the finish line of 24-seconds.

“It was cool, it was a big gap, and I think I beat Bryce by about twenty-seconds,” said Rush after the meet.

Maopolski’s take on the race and the spirit of cross country?

“It was a really good race, the course was a little rough and muddy… I’m really happy to run against these guys from Tri-Valley, because we’ve known each other for a while,” he said.

And his take on the “rivalry and stuff” of soccer and football versus XC, Maopolski added, “We walk the whole course together (before the race), and talk about how people are doing… It’s nice to know other people who are working  as hard as you do… Hopefully, I’ll run at the states.”

Sean Rush placed third at 19:04, 1:39 out of first place.

His take on Maoploski, by all accounts Sullivan West’s best runner this year?

“He’s a competitor alright,” said Rush, noting, “He always beats me in track, but I come close.”

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