BY TIM TAYLOR
Valley Sports Report
CANDOR — Mariah Nichols placed 15th to lead the Tioga girls and Ty Middendorf finished 16th to pace the Tiger boys at the SVEC Iron Kettle Farm XC Meet Tuesday.
Weather conditions were pleasant, making for a good day for runners to begin the season.
"First race, a lot of new runners. A lot of them are just getting the feel of how a race runs," Tioga head coach Jim Burrowes. "There were five schools, counting us, so I think they got a good feel of what a race is like. For the most part it wax fairly flat and not too intimidating."
Middendorf maneuvered around the Iron Kettle Farm 5K layout in 22 minutes flat as the Tigers took fourth out of five teams.
Mason Card placed 20th with a time of 22:36, Kyle Earley was 25th in 23:21, Thomas Hurd took 31st in 24:05 and Nate Jaye claimed 35th, clocking 24:36.
Also competing for Tioga, but not scoring were Josh Reis, 49th in 28:09; Zach Nichols, 51st in 29:34; Colt Herrala, 52nd in 29:38; Max Dydynski, 54th in 29:56; Dawson Philhower, 58th in 34:04; Zander Whitmore, 59th in 34:10; Jack Cary, 61st in 36:39; and Reed Cook, 63rd in 41:46.
Tioga placed fourth in the five-team meet with 104 points. Newark Valley placed all five scoring runners in the top 10 to win the team challenge with 33 points. Dryden was second with 52 and SVEC finished third with 69. Edison rounded out the field with 110.
SVEC's Callum Avery repeated as the boys winner with a time of 18:19.
Burrowes likes the fact he's got a large boys team to work with, a luxury which has eluded the program in the past.
"One of my most exciting parts is we've got 15 high school boys," he said.
Tioga did not have a full team, but Nichols posted a time of 29:56 and Nicole Deboer took 24th in 38:47.
Dryden took first in the team standings with 48 points and the Purple Lions' Emily Miller ran away with the top individual honor, clocking 21:35 to win by more than 1 1/2 minutes.
Newark Valley was second with 53 points, Edison scored 55, SVEC recorded 61 and Tioga had 100.
Tioga will compete in the OFA Invitational Saturday at Owego Free Academy.
IN PHOTO: Tioga's Mariah Nichols (L) and Max Dydynski. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR
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