Cornwall cross country coach Dave Feuer has been waiting a long time for a day like Saturday.
Eighth-grader Karrie Baloga posted a third-place finish in the Class B race at Sunken Meadow State Park, and a tight pack of scorers did the rest as Cornwall captured its first state championship.
“It’s 31 years, but I’ll take it,’’ laughed Feuer, who had second-place efforts in 2004, 2008 and 2014.
Baloga covered 3.1 miles in 18 minutes, 53.9 seconds. She was followed by Meredith Hickman (20:06, 25th), Claire Kelly (20:10, 27th), Julia Samuelson (20:22, 34th) and Ashley Hickman (20:34, 47th) for a 28-second spread in the back. Cornwall was actually tied with John Jay-Cross River after four scorers so the fifth finisher made the difference with a 62-68 score.
“When you are one of the teams that has a guaranteed low-digit like we did with Karrie, it really makes things a bit easier for you when you are scoring that high in a state meet,’’ Feuer said. “And when the others can stay pretty much within 30 seconds of each other, it makes for a nice recipe for winning.’’
Kayla Schramm (19:36) of Goshen placed ninth in the Class B race and Monticello’s Sarah Grodin (19:38) was 12th. MHAL and sectional champ Sarah Trainor (18:32) of Roosevelt was fifth in Class A.
The Cornwall boys finished a point out of second place. Cornwall will send its boys and girls teams to the state Federation meet next Saturday at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls.
The Monroe-Woodbury girls placed fourth in Class A and will also go to Feds.
For the boys, Warwick’s Behailu Bekele-Arcuri (16:08) followed his runner-up finish in 2017 with a third in Class A this year. Onteora’s Satch Sumner-Waldman (16:53.9) placed seventh in Class C.
Washingtonville did not compete as a team at states but did earn a spot for the Fed meet.