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PLATTSBURG, NY — On Friday, November 15, Sullivan West’s fleet-of-foot Bryce Maopolski made it to the state’s cross-country championship meet for the second consecutive year, …
PLATTSBURG, NY — On Friday, November 15, Sullivan West’s fleet-of-foot Bryce Maopolski made it to the state’s cross-country championship meet for the second consecutive year, finishing 42nd out of 132 competitors.
The 2019 New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) meet was held in Plattsburg, NY, nearly 300 miles from Sullivan West, where, according to boys’ varsity XC coach April Rutledge, Maopolski is “consistently our top runner.”
In the run-up to the states, Maopolski finished fourth overall at the November 6 XC meet against teams from Class C high schools, thus guaranteeing him a ticket to the states.
During Sullivan West’s 2019 fall sports awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 13, Rutledge said, “So, this Friday we are headed to Plattsburg to play in the snow and freeze our butts off.”
To get to the NYSPHSAA XC championships, Maopolski won meets against Fallsburg, O’Neill, Port Jervis, Burke and Livingston Manor, and placed second in the Bulldogs’ home meet against the Bears of Tri-Valley.
In addition, he was near the front of the pack at several competitive invitationals: sixth at Washingtonville and Chenengo Valley, eighth at Middletown, 15th at Tully and seventh at Saugerties.
At the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) meet on October 25, Maopolski placed 38th out of a field of 142 runners. On November 6, he raced against competitors from Class C schools, taking fourth, which qualified him to compete at the states.
At the big show in the snow this year, he completed the three-mile course with a time of 16:10, a 45-second personal best.
Last year, the NYSPHSAA XC championships were held at Sunken Meadows on Long Island, where Maopolski finished the 3.1-mile long course at 18:02, placing 47th.
In 2019, the course was cut a 10th of a mile due to the wintery conditions.
“It was an amazing experience, and one of the strongest races I’ve run,” he said, according to Dee Maopolski, coach of Sullivan West’s girls’ varsity XC squad.
“The course was flat and fun. Running in the cold wasn’t too much of a challenge.”
Running on “a mixture of mud, ice, snow and slush” most likely gave the runners a taste of the upcoming winter in our neck of the woods.
“It was super fun… I felt great, and wished it was 3.1 miles like it was supposed to be, but I was pleased with my performance,” said Maopolski.
Personally, I’ll take a sunny day on Tobago, perhaps with a stiff British rum-infused drink in one hand while reading a Dugger/Nello seafaring mystery novel by Ferenc Máté to help while away the late afternoon, as the sun starts to sink slowly towards the horizon line.
But back to reality.
When Maopolski arrived at the state meet, he discovered he was the recipient of the NYSPHSAA Section IX Class C Sportsmanship Award, which he modestly concluded is “quite an honor.”