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Next stop: Disney World

October 3, 2018
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - How is Lake Placid's Annie Rose-McCandlish celebrating after breaking through with her first cross country victory of the season?

She's going to Disney World.

On Tuesday, Rose-McCandlish led the Blue Bombers girls to three wins on their home course at Mount Van Hoevenberg in a four-way meet. Lake Placid knocked off rival Saranac Lake, Ticonderoga and EKMW to improve to 10-3 in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference.

Article Photos

Lake Placid's girls dash off the starting line in Tuesday's Champlain Valley Athletic Conference cross country meet at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
News photo — Lou Reuter

In the boys race, Saranac Lake continued its unbeaten run by chalking up three more victories to improve to 13-0.

With their three wins, the Blue Bombers girls avenged a loss to Saranac Lake earlier this season. Lake Placid's boys entered the meet ranked seventh in the state in Class D and finished the afternoon with two wins in a loss, falling to the Red Storm and topping the Sentinels and EKMW.

Following the meet, seven members of the Lake Placid's girls team and seven Blue Bombers boys runners departed for Disney World for a few days of fun and a high school invitational race that takes place on Friday.

Up until Tuesday, Rose-McCandlish had struggled in CVAC meets this fall, but she came through in a big way this time, finishing 47 seconds ahead of the next fastest racer. Rose-McCandlish crossed the line in 20 minutes, with Saranac Lake's Katie Samperi finishing runner-up in 20:47 and Gwen Mader of the Red Storm placing third in 21:16.

"I've been getting these really bad cramps, and we haven't figured out why yet, so it felt really good to get back into it," Rose-McCandlish said. "I definitely wasn't expecting to win. I just kind of stopped paying attention because nothing has gotten any better. I haven't won yet this year, so it feels pretty good. Nothing bothered me today."

Lake Placid runners went on to take three of the next four positions as Harley Cohen, Anya Morgan and Sara Rose-McCandlish finished fourth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Saranac Lake's Bella Wisler was fifth, Marli Damp of Lake Placid was ninth and Faith Rothaupt of the Red Storm rounded out the girls top 10.

The Blue Bombers girls defeated the Red Storm 26-31, and topped both Ticonderoga and EKMW by 15-50 scores.

The Red Storm boys entered the meet fresh off an invitational victory Saturday in Glens Falls, and ranked third in the state in Class C. Although one of Saranac Lake's top runners, Anderson Gray, was sick and finished back in the pack, the boys did what they've been doing all season, which is picking up the slack. Saranac Lake landed seven runners in the top 10, with James Catania taking top honors with a 16:34 finish time. Lake Placid's Noah Fine was runner-up in 16:48, and Micah McCulley and Peter Fogarty of the Red Storm finished third and fourth in 16:52 and 16:58. Logan VanBuren of EKMW was fifth, also finishing in 16:58.

Andrew Fogarty and Jacob Alberga placed sixth and seventh for the Red Storm, Mike Skutt of Lake Placid finished eighth and Adam Hesseltine and Tucker Jakobe were Saranac Lake runners who rounded out the top 10.

"It's just about respecting the league," Saranac Lake coach Bill Peer said. "This is a league meet, and in league meets we do our job and take care of business. We want to win the CVAC and you have to do that by wining the dual meets. It's a work day, and they did that.

"Anderson recognized that he didn't feel well so it was best to just dial it back," Peer continued. "We had a kid that's sick, so it was good to have some other kids step up today. It's nice to know you have that kind of depth. McCulley ran well, Peter Fogarty was up there, so our pack moved up and it was good."

"Just coming off such a great race we had last Saturday, it was really important to keep our focus," Catania said. "We're just working as a team and getting the job done every meet. Our whole pack is up there. It's great. At the start of the season we weren't sure where we were. In the end it's states, but right now, we just want to keep improving race by race."

Saranac Lake's boys defeated Lake Placid 19-42, beat EKMW 17-46 and topped Ticonderoga 15-50. The Blue Bombers boys got past EKMW 21-37 and ran past the Sentinels by a 16-46 score.

Fine is a senior attending Keene Central School and a first-year member of the Blue Bombers boys squad. Fine said he has competed in track for EKMW during past springs and finally got the opportunity to race in cross country this fall. On Tuesday, he was satisfied with second place but would love to come out on top in a race before the season wraps up.

"I'd like to get first. It's a work in progress," Fine said. "I was finally allowed to run this year and I really love it. I get excited before the races. Every morning I'm looking forward to running. I'm happy with second. It was all right but I always try to run faster."

Unfortunately, Fine didn't make the trip to Florida with his Lake Placid teammates, who began fund raising for the adventure a year ago. Blue Bombers coach Mel Frazer said this is the second time her team will be attending the race at Disney World, which takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

"I took a group four years ago, so it's kind of like the every four years take the kids somewhere big," Frazer said. "We discussed a Manhattan invite or Disney, and they raised money to go to Disney. It's supposed to be mid 90s - hot. Luckily were getting there tomorrow. We'll have a couple days to acclimate, hopefully. It's just a fun team trip."

Although Annie Rose-McCandlish was able to come through with her first victory this fall, when she work up Tuesday, the race later in the day wasn't the first thing on her mind.

"I was definitely thinking of Disney World," she said. "I'm so excited. I've never been to Florida or Disney World, so I'm really going to have a lot of fun. Obviously, it's going to be a lot hotter."



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