Southern Tier Athletic Conference - Girls Varsity Cross Country
On the women's side Madison Klein from Horseheads won the championship cross country meet in a time of 19:08 beating Faithe Ketchum and Lindsey Butler by 8 and 14 seconds.
The team results were much closer on the female side. Corning narrowly edged Ithaca by 2 points finishing at 51 & 53. This was a difference of 3 tenths (.3) of a second between Grace Scouten (Corning, 22:11.4) and Zoe Marschner (Ithaca, 22:11.7). It was an exciting race to watch.
Third and Forth place teams were Elmira and Horseheads.
Interview with Race Director and Owego Free Academy Cross Country Coach John Heath
Confluence Running: Talk to me about the STAC Championships
John Heath: We love hosting meets up here at Pheasant Hill [Country Club]. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I come up about two weeks ahead of time and start mowing the course, getting it ready. The Springsteens who own the golf course here they used to run Cross Country for Windsor so years ago when we came up, we came up here because of the flood in 2011. They invited us up. And they’ve been a super big help ever since then. Anytime we want to host a meet here, big or small, they’re out there with their heavy machinery helping us make the course as good as it can be for the runners. STAC Championships is always fun to host for us. It’s a nice sized meet. It’s the time of the season when people are running fast. We like to be able to offer a championship feel event here and I think we do a pretty good job of that. We put a lot of effort and take a lot of pride into it.
CR: It’s a well run event. Really smooth.
JH: We’ve got a lot of helpers. Over the years, you realize that our parent group is so strong. And it’s nice having a large team because we can reach out to a lot of people for help. It’s really cliché but it really takes a village to run a big meet like this. We have the right type of helpers and we have enough of the helpers, I think the community itself, you know the running community around here, loves these kinds of events. Our big meet in September, and then hosting the STAC meet now, it’s a good time for our team.
CR: I did see a lot of parents out there on the course today, on the hill and at the finish line.
JH: It’s awesome. When I ran cross country in high school, the courses were runners courses. You’d head out into the woods, you were on a trail, there’s no spectators around and it was awesome. [Though] since I started coaching over the last 10 years you’ve seen courses become a lot more spectator friendly and it’s done wonders for the sport. There’s nothing more exciting then a group of runners coming up and there’s 500 fans lining the course cheering for them. That’s exciting as a fan and as a runner, and I love that feeling for the kids.
CR: Any top athletes that we should be looking at? I saw Parker Stokes out there today.
JH: Parker Stokes went under 16 minutes today. An old teammate of his, Dan Schaffer, has the course record, I know I’m on camera, I think it’s about 15:38. Just as a note on that day, it was rock solid, super dry race course type of conditions. Today, Parker [Stokes] broke 16 [minutes] on a squisy wet course. He fell on the maze on the first turn. Yeah, first turn that was slippery, he went down. He ran a fantastic race. He had the Corning Guy  and the Windsor Guy [Joshua Stone] working with him for most of the way to help him go, but he had a great race.
CR: What about on the Women’s Varsity [XC] side?
JH: Women’s winner was Maddy Kline from Horseheads with Lindsey Butler from Corning having pushed her the majority of the way as well. Again it was State Ranked, top teams here, [and] top individuals. That always makes for a nice championship event.
CR: Are they top ranked in the state?
JH: Corning’s team, boys team, is one of the top. They were [New York] state champions in class A last year and just as a strong team this year. I believe they’re definitely ranked in the top 3, class A. Ithaca’s state ranked, they’re in the top 20. Our team from Owego, we’re top 20 in class B. It’s nice for us to see some of that competition and kinda see what its like to run against some really good teams.
CR: Anything else you’d like to add?
JH: I just love doing this. And I love it when the weather can support the people hanging around for a while. I love people enjoying the sport.
Matthew Francis Gawors is a lifelong endurance athlete. He specialized in the 800m in High School and switched to marathons in college. In 2009, he switched over to competing primarily in Triathlons. His passion and goal is to support the Binghamton community by improving their physical, emotional, and financial health through physical fitness events and tourism. He owns the running special store, Confluence Running, has worked as the Director of Parks, Recreation, and Youth Services for Broome County, and currently is employed by Binghamton University as the Aquatics Director for Health and Wellness Studies.
Mail: 46 S Washington St, Binghamton NY 13903