Nov. 14, 2012: The Bronxville girls' cross-country team won its fifth consecutive state title on Saturday at the New York State Championships in Buffalo, New York. This is the eleventh state title for Bronxville, which has won the state title ten times in the last fourteen years.
Eighth-grader Kaitlin Ryan finished 5th in the Class C Championship with a time of 19:12.5. This was her best race of the year. Emilie Hoffer placed 17th, Delia Hayes, 21st, Morgan Nobles, 23rd, Courtney Campbell, 26th, Argentina Chrappa, 30th, and Hilary Rizzo, 32nd. The Broncos won the championship with a 42-point margin.
This team has made it look easy to win the states for yet another year, but it faced some challenges during the season that other teams might not have been able endure. First came the news that one of the top runners, Meredith Rizzo, had had foot surgery during the summer and would likely miss the entire season. Despite the loss of Rizzo, the team had a strong start to the season, but midway through the fall, Mary Cain, two-time defending New York state champion, announced that she would be training with Alberto Salazar and unable to compete with the team.
The Broncos never wavered in their training as the season went on, and the adversity did not faze the top seven runners. Ryan, an eighth-grader who joined the team this year, took over as the number-one runner after Cain left in mid-October, finishing first at both the Bowdoin Coaches' Invitational and at the Section 1 Championships. Hoffer has had a strong season, being one of the leaders throughout all the meets. Ryan and Hoffer earned individual medals at the state championships for placing in the top 20. Hayes moved to the varsity seven late in the season and took full advantage of the opportunity. She was ranked seventh on the team going into the state meet and ended up being the third-place finisher for the Broncos, missing an individual state medal by one place.
"You read stories about athletes who by some strange circumstance get an opportunity and excel," said Coach Jim Mitchell. "Delia is the epitome of such an athlete. She is what our season is all about."
Bronxville has always had a good cross-country team, and most who follow the Broncos have high expectations, but every season is different and there are always obstacles to overcome.
Coach Mitchell summed up the perfect season. "Cross country is not about the individual but about the team, and our girls are a perfect example of this. In each race, we are only as good as the seventh girl. They knew this and exemplified it. Fifty seconds separated our seven on Saturday on a difficult, muddy course. That is a great cross-country team and I couldn't be prouder of them."
The girls will be running at the New York State Federation Meet in Wappingers Falls on November 17.
Pictured here (L to R): Kaitlin Ryan, Morgan Nobles, Delia Hayes, Emilie Hoffer, Argentina Chrappa, Courtney Campbell, and Hilary Rizzo.
Photo by Beth Campbell