Given her past success, it would be hard to tell exactly how much of a difference it made, but Shoreham-Wading River cross country standout Katherine Lee said she was more focused and determined this year than in year’s past. For a runner who won a public school state title as a freshman, that’s a scary thought.
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Lee was not only unbeatable this season, she was legitimately hard to keep up with. The sight of her running alone, head cocked slightly downward, legs and arms moving fast and efficiently, appeared so often that it bordered on cliche.
And that was fine with Lee, who ran all alone for most of her Class B public school state championship victory. The junior won in 17 minutes, 53.7 seconds on Chenango Valley State Park’s 5-kilometer course on Nov 12. Her main competition was nearly 30 seconds behind her, an eternity of sorts in a sport where the clock is both an enemy and a friend.
Well, for Lee, it’s always a friend.
SHOREHAM-WADING RIVER TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
When the running suddenly stops, a rush of emotions can hit a runner quickly. They’re tired and it’s loud. After a little more than three miles of hard and fast running, everything stops and everyone is yelling. It can be a little overwhelming.
So, it’s understandable that Shoreham-Wading River thought its chance at a Class B public school team state championship was in jeopardy.
“We all crossed the line and were pretty nervous because we heard them announcing East Aurora and we heard a lot of people saying they weren’t sure if we had done it,” Alexandra Hays said.
But the Wildcats had done it, scoring 51 points to win the Class B title by 17 on Nov. 12.
In addition to Lee, who won the 5-kilometer race at Chenango Valley State Park in 17:53.7 seconds, the state’s best Class B team had a number of solid performances. Hays was 11th in 19:01, Maria Smith was 12th in 19:04.3, and Payton Capes-Davis was 18th in 19:14.4.