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Hornberger wins fourth sectional title, Hamburg girls fifth

The Hamburg boys cross country team takes off from the start of the Section VI Championships last weekend at Long Point State Park.
T.J. Hornberger recorded the fastest time of the day with a15:50, as he won his fourth consecutive Section VI championship on Nov. 1 on a muddy and windy course at Long Point State Park. Junior teammate Calvin Butlak finished third overall in the Class B race with a16:50 and qualified for the state championships for a second straight year. Locals joining them will be Hamburg’s Jake Wojnicki, who took sixth in Class B with a 17:01 to return to states, and Frontier’s Matt McCann, who will be competing in the Class A race.

Those racers move on next week to Queensbury, where Hornberger is one of the favorites, along with Brian Cook of Pearl River, to capture the Class B title. Lake Shore traveled to Queensbury, earlier in the year, for the Adirondack Classic. Hornberger looks to avenge a second-place finish as he was passed in the last 100 yards by Cook. The two recorded the second and third fastest times ever, at the course.

Also for the Lake Shore boys, Ian Yargeau just missed out on qualifying by finishing 11th with a time of 17:11. Junior Josh Wheeler (37th) and eighth-grader Gus Wolf (69th) completed the scoring and helped lead Lake Shore to a third place finish in Class B; Brendan Wheeler and Drew Brueckl helped round out the varsity seven.

The Hamburg boys finished eighth out of 20 teams, led by Wojnicki’s strength and endurance on the course. Finishing second on the Bulldog squad in his first sectional appearance was freshman Dima Blundell (49th overall) who had his best race of the season. Also recording their best performances of the season were sectional first-timers Ben Pyne (65th), Matt Hess (75th) and Nate Robertson (101st). Running in their second consecutive second sectional competition, Aaron Wojnicki was 64th and Jake Haney (76th).

The Hamburg girls finished fifth of 17 teams, in a Class B race featuring five state-ranked teams. Six Hamburg runners finished with better times than they ran in September on the same course, in more favorable conditions. Olivia Luthringer led the Hamburg effort, followed by Erin Cuddihy, Hannah Fredriksen, Morgan Lewis, Molly Kabsa, Isabel Luthringer, and Erin Kane. Captain Leah Covelli noted that the team will return its top seven next year, after the Bulldogs’ best ranking ever, fifth, in the WNY large school poll.

The Lake Shore girls all ran faster times on the course from earlier in the season, leading to a ninth place finish. Natalie Cummings ran her best race of the year, but missed out on the state qualifying by two runners, as she placed 10th in 19:57. Kaylee Majuk shaved 2:37 from September’s run to finish in 21:55 and place 39th. Senior captain Rachel Youngers, Emily Becker, Madeline Kromer, Alyssa Kij, and Chelsey Valle also closed out the season with fine runs.

More details on the state championship run in this week's Sun News.

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