South Side’s Carly Woelfel took only positive vibes to the starting line of Saturday morning’s Nassau Class II cross country championship at Bethpage State Park. While the period before a race can sometimes be filled with self-doubt, the senior was filled with an overwhelming sense of confidence.
“I came into the race feeling really great,” Woelfel said. “On my jog over to the line, my legs felt the best that they had all season. My mindset was really, really positive today. Sometimes in the race, I’ll think, ‘What if this girl passes me?’ But, today I thought, 'What if I’m county champ?' "
That question was answered quickly as Woelfel sped towards a 19-minute, 14.33-second victory on Bethpage’s 5-kilometer course, the fastest time of the day at the Nassau class county championships.
“That confidence and energy kept building throughout the race,” Woelfel said. “A little over a mile in, I started to take all that energy and started to pull ahead a little bit. Once I was at the two-mile mark, I was like, ' ... Let me pick it up,' and I shifted into new gears from there on out."
North Shore won the Class II team championship with 42 points. It is their 14th consecutive class county championship and first in Class II, where they were moved before this season, coach Neal Levy said. Junior Sophie Rosencrans was fourth in 19:49.01. Senior Nicole Schneider was seventh in 20:22.42, sophomore Kate Gilliam was eighth in 20:27.66, and eighth-grader Elle Archer was ninth in 20:28.15.
Syosset took the top three places, and four of the first five, en route to a 22-point win in Class I. Sophomore Emily Berg won in 19:57.90, junior Sumaira Mayan was second in 20:22.09, eighth-grader Samantha Goldberg was third in 20:29.89, and sophomore Nicole Conklin was fifth in 20:37.62.
The week of nearly constant, and sometimes pounding, rainfall made the course quite muddy early in the morning, Berg said.
“It was very mushy and the footing was hard,” Berg said. “But time didn’t really matter today, it was more place and our team winning ... You kind of just try to stay to the sides more and run around it.”
Cold Spring Harbor senior Fiona Haegeland won Class III in 19:25.26. Lynbrook won the team championship with 70 points. Caitlin Buchala, a Lynbrook senior, was 11th in 21:37.27.
“Our first mile was kind of fast,” Haegeland said. “I knew that if I really pushed the second mile, that I would really break away from [the field]. When I saw that they were a little further behind, I just knew if I maintained that pace, I would finish in first.”