WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y — St. John the Baptist’s Patrick Kain felt his legs moving a little faster than he may have wanted them to. Boys cross country, especially at this time of year, is all about energy conservation and, early in Saturday’s state Federation championship at Bowdoin Park, the junior knew that it was time to deploy the proverbial parachutes if he wanted to finish high.
“I went out pretty fast,” Kain said. “I tried to slow down a little, settled into the pack, and tried to stay with them . . . I was just really excited for the race. This was one of my last races as a junior and I wanted to do well for the team.”
Kain was one of two Long Islanders to finish in the top 20 in the 5-kilometer race that pits the best runners in the state, regardless of class or public/private status, against each other. Sachem North’s Jonathan Lauer finished 16th in 16 minutes, 37.5 seconds. Kain was 18th in 16:41.6. Guilderland’s Noah Carey won the race in 16:06.
Watkins Glen scored 145 points and won the team competition. Chaminade (fifth, 230 points) was the only Long Island school to finish in the top 10.
Northport’s Isaiah Claiborn was 22nd in 16:46.9 and Chaminade’s Patrick Conklin was 25th in 16:50.
Once Kain got settled down from his opening burst of energy, he was able to find a comfortable pace.
“I settled into the front pack,” he said. “I fell back a little on one of the hills but, after that, I just went down the hill really fast and caught up to them.”
Kain said he felt the energy escape from his body near the two-mile mark, a place that features a barn as a landmark for runners curious how far into the race they are.
“I just had to make it up the hills,” he said.
Kain found that energy again toward the end of the race — not wanting to ruin one of the final races of the season with pesky fatigue.
“The last 400 meters, I just started picking it up,’ Kain said. “I just had to do it for the team.”
Runners in both the boys and girls races had to battle unusually warm temperatures, which remained in the high-50’s and low-60’s with sunlight that blanketed the course.
It came as a bit of an annoyance to runners who were treated to much cooler temperatures last weekend at the state public school championships and CHSAA Intersectionals.
“I like running in the cold and the rain,” Kain said. “I just drank a lot of water and dealt with it.”