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Cornwall’s Karrie Baloga Finishes Fifth Overall In Girls Race

PLATTSBURGH – Championships are rarely pre-ordained.

You still have to train the body, have a strong desire and a singular mindset, among other intangibles, to win a title.

But what Behailu Bekele-Arcuri accomplished on Saturday was, at the very least, a crowning achievement from a natural progression.

The Warwick High School senior capped his remarkable career at the New York State Cross Country Championship Meet by winning the boys Class A title, covering the snow-, slush- and mud-filled course by running 14 minutes, 32.7 seconds in 23-degree weather.

In three previous trips, Bekele-Arcuri finished 10th, second and third.

“I just wanted to be near the top five (runners),” he said of his strategy. “They are a great group of guys and I just wanted to stick behind them. I had my arms controlled and breathing controlled.”

Bekele-Arcuri said he made one key move.

“Coming into the two-mile mark I knew I wasn’t going to outsprint them (the rest of the way), so I took about 30 seconds to sprint and I did that. I just hoped that God would carry me through that last 100 meters. It’s amazing. I wanted to bring it back home to Warwick, the home of the champs.”

Bekele-Arcuri is believed to be only the second runner since the 1940s to have four consecutive top-10 finishes.

Other standout performances included:

* Cornwall’s Karrie Baloga placed fourth in the girls Class A race and fifth overall in a time of 16:14.4, while Carmel runner Katie Turk was eighth in the same race and 10th overall.

* Kayla Schramm of Goshen was ninth in the Class B event.

* Arlington’s Daniel Caso finished 10th in the boys Class A race in a time of 14:56.3.

* Steve Bello of Monticello was ninth in the boys Class B race in a time of 15:08.2, while Ike Blough of Mount Academy was 1.5 seconds behind in 10th.

* Pawling’s Noah Brightman was 14th in Class C.



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