MALONE – Dylan Perry was glad to not have a running start before launching up the hillside at Franklin Academy.

In years’ past, cross country races typically started at the far goal post on the west side of Crowner Field. This year, the starting line was pushed east to the other goal post right at the base of the hill.

“It was the hardest part. After getting through that, the rest was easy,” Perry said. “It’s nice not having a running start so there’s not that nervous, intense feeling of running up it after a long start. You’re not waiting for it and that felt pretty good.”

Perry was the first overall finisher for the Huskies in the boys meet at 18:34 – less than two minutes from the course record of 16:45. His teammates, Tye Royal and Watson Chodat, followed up at 19:36 and 19:51 respectively.

Franklin Academy’s Bethany Poirier placed first for the girls meet at 24:42, followed by her teammates Adeline Chodat at 26:42. Brushton-Moira’s Olivia Bobbie finished third at 26:58.

The Huskies won the tri-meet against Brushton-Moira and Tupper Lake overall in team score, 15 across the board for boys and girls. Both Brushton-Moira teams were incomplete.

The course has gone through a few more changes than just the starting point.

A cut-through at the top of the hill as well as near the finish line have been removed in an effort to remove accidental cutting and keep the course more streamlined. The run around the memorial garden has also been altered as well.

“Those are places where, when you run around the memorial garden, it kind of goes into a mental slowdown area,” boys coach Matt Tessier said.

Girls coach Chad Lawrence added, “It’s a faster course than it has been. We’ve eliminated one hill."

The winds were rolling through at roughly 15 miles an hour at the start of the girls race. By the time the boys were running, wind speeds picked up even more.

“You know what? I think it might be higher than that, it might be 20,” Tessier said during the midst of the boys race. “A 10-mile-an-hour gust has a 5% effect on your time, so I figure it might be close to double with it going 20 miles an hour.”

Despite heavy gusts blowing into his mask, Perry was mostly unaffected by it and was allowed to remove his mask once far enough ahead of the pack.

“I didn’t even notice the wind. The few times I did it felt nice,” Perry said. “It’s nice cooling you off when you’re running (and) overheating, especially with the mask.”

With nine boys and six girls from Franklin Academy placing in the top 10 in each varsity meet, Tessier was pleased with how it was handled, but noted that it’s something that still has to be worked on.

“I thought the guys ran really well, considering the wind was fighting them the whole way,” Tessier said. “And we’ll probably have a conversation on how to run against the wind. What most people do is try to fight it and what you have to do is streamline.”

The mouth of the chute is wider now due to the need for social distancing. While still not allowed to pass one another after hitting the finish line, it may be enticing for runners to do so without a tight space to bottleneck.

Coaches are stationed at the chute to keep runners from passing one another while also trying to maintain distance from each other.

“It’s just getting the kids to realize when they get into the chute, they’re not to pass anyone,” Lawrence said. “Normally, because of social distancing, it is wider. Normally we funnel the chute down so we can’t pass anyone.

“Here we have to train them to not pass anyone. If someone ahead of them is grabbing their knees because they’re tired, they’re just going to have to wait.”

Elsewhere

Chateaugay girls soccer defeated Tupper Lake 5-1. Olivia Cook and Chloe Champagne (one assist) combined for four goals. Lexie Jarvis also scored for the Bulldogs. The Lumberjacks' lone goal came from Elizabeth Stalhammer in the second half.

Chateaugay held senior day honors for Champagne , Cammi Champagne , Jordyn Holbrook, Emily Boadway, Rachael Jarvis and Emma staples.

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