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Mayfield girls claim sectional title

Mayfield's Tatjana Bjelica makes her way toward the finish line of the girls 7.5K event at the Section II championships Wednesday at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center in Benson. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

BENSON – The Mayfield girls Nordic ski team is heading back to the state championships.

The Lady Panthers made the most of their home-course advantage, dominating Wednesday’s Section II championships, placing four skiers in the top 12 to claim their second-straight championship at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center.

Mayfield won the girls title over Queensbury, 9-24, while Scotia-Glenville placed third with 44, Glens Falls fifth with 60 and Johnstown placed fifth with 70 points.

Queensbury repeated as the boys’ champion, claiming three of the top four spots to beat Lake George 7-39, while Shenendehowa was third with 41 and Mayfield was fourth with 44 and Glens Falls completed the top five with 49 points. Johnstown placed eighth with 108 points.

“Absolutely, but no matter where you race it is someone’s home course,” said Mayfield coach Ryan Bornt about having a home-course advantage. “It hasn’t been here in quite a few years and we were excited to be able to host this year. It was a little bit nerve racking with the snow. Two weeks ago, we were wondering if there was going to be enough snow.”

Mayfield's Madison Relyea hits the finish line to post a time of 22:56.3 over the 7.5K course at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center Wednesday to win the Section II championship. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

The top 12 skiers advance to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Nordic Ski Championships on Feb. 24 and 25 in the Finger Lakes Region at the Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Center in Springwater.

Mayfield’s Madison Relyea led the Lady Panthers, winning the girls’ 7.5K event with a time of 22:56.3, while Fianna Halloran was third with a time of 24:16.8, while Tatjana Bjelica was fifth in 25:47.5 and Delaney LaFontaine placed eighth in 26:38.5.

“If they didn’t ski hard, anything can happen,” Bornt said. “Maddy isn’t going to go around and walk the course and win. There are people on her tail. If those girls who were fifth and eighth [Bjelica and LaFontaine] didn’t ski their guts out there would have been in the teens. I am willing to bet the separation between 15th and eighth is very small. Five or six seconds, which is very little on a five or six mile course. There is no place to hide on the course.”

All four girls represented Mayfield at the state championships last season with the Lady Panthers placing second in the team standings.

Relyea was second at the 2019 state championships, while Halloran finished ninth and LaFontaine was 31st. Bjelica did not compete in the second run at the meet. Relyea, Bjelica and Halloran teamed up to place sixth in the skate relay on the second day of the meet.

Mayfield's Shawn Allen starts the boys 10k skate event at the Section II championships Wednesday at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center in Benson. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

They will be joined this year by teammate Braydon Jourden, who earned a trip to the state championships with his ninth place finish in the 10K boys’ race with a time of 27:53.8.

Mayfield’s Navea Aponte placed 38th in Wednesday’s championship event with her time of 37:56.4 and Lissi Weichel placed 39th in 38:30.4.

Molly Sweeney led the Johnstown girls with her 14th-place finish in 28:02.4, while Hannah Maxson placed 27th ion 32:08.6 and Carolyn Fitzpatrick placed 29th with a 34:01.3. Nicole Simon turned in a time of 34:31.9 to finish 30th, while Ally Queeney placed 33rd in 36:16.7 and Natalie Baxter placed 35th with a time of 36:49.9.

Shawn Allen placed 14th for the Mayfield boys with his time of 29:44.1, while Brice Williams was 21st in 31:20.6 and Dylan Merk placed 41st in 35:53.3 over the 10K course.

Trey Naselli led Johnstown with his 22nd place finish in 31.58.9, while Jayden Elson was 42nd in 37:07.8 and Garrett Bobowski placed 44th in 38:15.2 to go with a 45th-place finish from Tyler Downing in 38:22.6.

Mayfield's Braydon Jourden pushes toward the finish during the Section II Nordic ski championships Wednesday at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center in Benson. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Section II Nordic Championships

at Lapland Lake

GIRLS

Team results: 1. Mayfield 9, 2. Queensbury 24, 3. Scotia-Glenville 44, 4. Glens Falls 60, 5. Johnstown 70, 6. Guilderland 82. Lake George Inc., Hadley Inc., Saratoga Inc., Johnsburg Inc., Shenendehowa Inc.

Individual results: 1. Madison Relyea (May), 22:56.3; 2. Katrin Schreiner (Hadley-Luzerne), 23:52.9; 3. Fianna Halloran May), 24:16.8; 4. Lorraina Guay (Q), 25:07.8; 5. Tatjana Bjelica (May), 25:47.5; 6. Katie Culliton GF), 25:50.9; 7. Avery Bayse (Johnsburg), 26:06.1; 8. Delaney LaFontaine (May), 26:38.5; 9. Brittany Barton (Q), 26:50.3; 10. Sheridan Millington (Johnsburg), 26:54.9; 11. Annalise Beyerbach (Q), 26:55.0; 12. Iris Wiedmann Shen), 26:57.5.

Johnstown's Hannah Maxson makes her way along the girls 7.5K race at the Section II championships Wednesday at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center in Benson. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Local finishers: 14. Molly Sweeney (Johnstown), 28:02.4, 27. Hannah Maxson (Johnstown), 32:08.6, 29. Carolyn Fitzpatrick (Johnstown), 34:01.3, 30. Nicole Simon (Johnstown), 34:31.9, 33. Ally Queeney (Johnstown), 36:16.7, 35. Natalie Baxter (Johnstown), 36:49.9, 38. Navea Aponte (May), 37:56.4, 39. Lissi Weichel (May), 38:50.4.

BOYS

Team results: 1. Queensbury 7, 2. Lake George 39, 3. Shenendehowa 41, 4. Mayfield 44, 5. Glens Falls 49, 6. Saratoga Springs 58, 7. Johnsburg 61, 8. Johnstown 108, 9. Scotia-Glenville 113, 10. Guilderland 130. Hadley Inc.

Individual results: 1. Lucas Jenkin (Q), 25:09.1; 2. Nick Logan (Q), 25:20.7; 3. Lindsay (LG), 26:25.3; 4. Teddy Borgos (Q), 26:36.9; 5. Thomas Wiedmann (Shen), 27:19.7; 6. Sam Rowley (Q), 27:20.7; 7. Sam Bordeau (GF), 27:25.5; 8. Ben Jenkin (Q), 27:46.1; 9, Braydon Jourden (May), 27:53.8; 10. Gabe Smith (Johnsburg), 28:17.8; 11. Philip Matthews (Shen), 28:42.8; 12. Joseph Cocozza (LG), 29:32.5.

Local finishers: 14. Shawn Allen (May), 29:44.1, 21. Brice Williams (May), 31:20.6, 22. Trey Naselli (Johnstown), 31:58.9, 41. Dylan Merk (May), 35:53.3, 42. Jayden Elson (Johnstown), 37:07.8, 44. Garrett Bobowski (Johnstown), 38:15.2, 45. Tyler Downing (Johnstown), 38:22.6.

Johnstown's Molly Sweeney skates her way to the finish line for the girls 7.5K race at the Section II championships Wednesday at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center in Benson. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Johnstown's Jayden Elston makes his way along the boys 10K course at the Section II championships Wednesday at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center in Benson. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Johnstown's Trey Naselli starts out on the 10K boys course at the Section II championships Wednesday at Lapland Lake Nordic Ski Center in Benson. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

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