SECTION IV CROSS COUNTRY: TIOGA'S HURD EARNS FIRST TRIP TO STATES; WAVERLY'S ACKLEY JUST MISSES (17 PHOTOS)
(2021-11-04)By BRIAN FEESValley Sports Report
CHENANGO VALLEY - Thomas Hurd came into Thursday with a plan to attack the course at Chenango Valley State Park.
The Tioga junior wanted to get out to a good start and stick with the lead pack during the Section 4, Class D Championships.
For Hurd, the plan worked to perfection as he finished sixth to earn a trip to the state championships.
"It feels good, it's actually the first time," Hurd said of making states for the first time.
Tioga coach Jim Burrowes hadn't had a state qualifier since he's been with the Tigers and he's happy to see Hurd make it.
"It's pretty awesome, it's the first time I've gotten someone to go so it's a great feeling," Burrowes said. "The younger guys are looking at him and thinking, I know what I need to do now."
For Burrowes, it's easy to tell runners they can make states, seeing Hurd do it in person helps them understand what is possible.
"A picture is worth more than 1,000 words," Burrowes said.
For Hurd, he kept an eye throughout on where he was and he stuck right at the last spot to make states.
"I was counting, I was trying to stay right there," Hurd said.
Burrowes was happy to see the plan work out for Hurd.
"He had a good strategy and he digs deep at the end and always has some type of sprint at the end, even if he's pushed himself hard."
There were times Hurd made sure to dig deep to pick up speed and not let anyone catch up.
"There was a lot (of times he had to gain speed), two times I sprinted," Hurd said.
For Hurd, now it's onto states right back at the same course.
"It's the same course and now I know it and I can beat these guys," Hurd said.
Delhi's Vincent VanMaaaren won the D race in 17:58.70.
Andrew Earley was 26th for Tioga in 20:31.10 and Isaiah Fore was 31st in 21:03.20. Will Slater was 46th in 22:14.20 and Colt Herrala was 57th in 23:45.70. Casey Herrala was 71st in 28:43.10 followed by Dawson Philhower in 72nd in 28:50.20.
Tioga finished sixth in the D race at 135 points. Trumansburg won at 40.
In the Class C race, Waverly's Nate Ackley ran a similar strategy in the race, sitting with a pack of runners for much of the race.
Ackley finished seventh in the race in 18:06, just one spot and less than two seconds behind Oneonta's Brandon Gardner for the last spot at states.
What hurt Ackley was that only one runner from Lansing, the team champion, finished in the top five, so only the top six made it into states.
Gavin Schillmoeller was 55th for Waverly in 20:34.60 and Matt Atanasoff was 59th in 20:44.70.
Sam VanDyke finished 67th in 21:26.50 and Brayden Hurd was 86th in 25:07.
Lansing won the team title at 58 points. Waverly was 10th at 225.
IN TOP PHOTO: Tioga's Thomas Hurd. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES
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