LEADING THE PACK — Jake Wojnicki is pictured running at the State Championship. He finished 62nd in the Class B race.
Ever since his first of four sectional titles, Lake Shore’s T.J. Hornberger bided his time and gradually worked his way up the ladder in state competition. This season, he accomplished his ultimate goal in winning a state title.
After finishing second and third the past two seasons, Hornberger won the Class B state title, running a 15:16. 3 at the competition on Nov. 9 in Queensbury. His toughest competition, Brian Cook of Pearl River, who beat Hornberger on the same course earlier in the season, finished third. Lake Shore junior Calvin Butlak finished 37th overall in his second time at states, with a 16:19.4.
Also in that race, Hamburg senior Jake Wojnicki ran a 16:43 in the 5K race, good for the fifth fastest time of the 12 Section VI runners who qualified in Class B. Wojnicki finished 62nd overall and is only the second Hamburg runner to compete in consecutive state cross-country championships. Additionally, he was able to lead his team this year to a winning season with an Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division II record of 6 – 4, an improvement from last year.
Although the Hamburg girls had no state qualifiers, Hannah Fredriksen and Morgan Lewis were selected as Runners of the Week, based on their performance in the sectionals. They join Erin Cuddihy and Olivia Luthringer, who were previously selected. The four selections are Hamburg’s most in a season. The Bulldogs rank of fifth locally and in the top 25 in the state is also a program-best.