QUEENSBURY - For the Maple Grove girls cross country team, there is always Hope.
Sophomore Hope Pietrocarlo became the first runner in school history to capture a New York State Public High School Athletic Association individual title when she toured the 5,000-meter course at Queensbury High School on Saturday in 18 minutes, 29.5 seconds to win by nearly 24 seconds.
"It's special and Hope is special,'' Maple Grove coach Doc Rappole said. "She ran with the girl, Sage Hurta of Hamilton, who was picked to be No. 1. They stayed together for a mile and a half and Hope decided that was enough of that and she went off and did her own thing. It was a pretty impressive win.''
The Maple Grove High School girls cross country team poses for a photo after finishing in second place among Class D schools at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships in Queensbury on Saturday. Pietrocarlo, center, displays her state-championship medal.
In combination with teammates, Caroline Benson (21st, 19:53), Taylor Norris (23rd, 19:53.3), Grace Auer (26th, 20:01.2) and Kristen Kelemen (42nd, 20:41.7), the Lady Red Dragons finished second in the team standings, finishing with 76 points to Tully's 45. Maple Grove had won the team title each of the last three seasons.
"We gave them a run for their money, but they were the better team,'' Rappole said.
Pietrocarlo was coming off titles in the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association and the Section 6 championships and she did nothing to dispel her reputation as a big-race runner.
"She's a racer,'' Rappole said. "There are kids who are trainers and there are kids who are racers and she's a racer.''
Other area girls and their finishes in Class D were Emma Seiders of Silver Creek (22nd, 19:53.3); Holly Eliason of Clymer-Sherman-Panama (27th, 20:13.8); Hannah Seiders of Silver Creek (48th, 20:55.5); Abby Sirwatka of Maple Grove (82nd, 22:26.6) and Ally Saar of Maple Grove (83rd, 22:26.6). Michaela Tramuta of Fredonia, competing in Class C, finished 56th in 20:13.2.
For the boys, Maple Grove senior Corey Wefing was the top local finisher, claiming seventh place in Class D with a time of 16:12.5, 26 seconds behind winner Jeremy Spiezio of Greenwich.
By virtue of their performances, Wefing and Pietrocarlo will compete in the Federation race next Saturday at Bowdin State Park, which is located near Fishkill.
Other Class D boys competitors from the area were Josh O'Dell of Clymer-Sherman-Panama (20th, 16:41.5), Dan O'Dell of Clymer-Sherman-Panama (49th, 17:29.6); and Frank Zuroski of Maple Grove (68th, 18:01.6).
In Class C, Southwestern's Jordan Powers was 28th (16:47.3), teammate Ryan Hetrick was 36th (16:58.3), Matthew Kruszka of Gowanda was 43rd (17:06.6) and Ethan Francis of Dunkirk was 63rd (17:39.9).