Canton’s Cross Country teams began their season with a 5k scrimmage in Norwood-Norfolk last week against most of Section X. Their opponents included Norwood-Norfolk, Malone, Brushton-Moira, Potsdam, Massena, and Gouverneur.

The Bears boys varsity team right as the starter gun went off. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Shannon)

The season opener was an unscored scrimmage, but the bears established themselves as a threat in the forthcoming season. Both the boys and girls had three runners in the top ten, even though the boys have only one senior. However, both the boys and the girls have a large sophomore group. Norwood-Norfolk did the best with first, third, fourth, and fifth for the boys, and first through fourth for the girls.

For the boys, sophomore Daniel Armendariz-Huang placed eighth with a time of 21:37, sophomore Kaden Worthley placed ninth with a 21:44, sophomore Lucas Watts placed tenth with a 21:46, and sophomore Rylan Lee-Powell placed 16th with a 22:55. Other early finishers for the boys were junior Nick Moquin with a time of 23:55, freshman Duncan Harper with a 23:57, freshman Adam Sabatini and junior Aaron Putman both with a time of 24:40, and sophomore Aidan Pearson with a 24:49.

For the girls, senior Grace McDonough placed fifth with a time of 24:27, freshman Bennett Schmitt placed sixth with a 25:02, and sophomore Johanna Tupper placed seventh with a 25:15. Other early finishers for the girls were Violet Foster with a 27:39, senior Rori McCarthy with a 28:11, sophomore CJ McKinley with a 28:36, sophomore Olivia Simser with a 28:46, and sophomore Haley Burnett with a 28:47.

The teams competed on an older, hillier course at Norwood, since their current course is undergoing renovation.

“Those hills weren’t the best, but we just had to power up them and when you’re at the top it feels good,” said sophomore Rylan Lee-Powell after his run.

The modified teams also raced today, and both the boys and girls had fast times on their course. It was shorter than they expected at only 1.15 miles, but still had some difficult hills.

“The course today was hot and hilly, and our athletes did extremely well despite the conditions. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings us when the temperature gets a little bit cooler,” said Coach Kristopher Boettcher on the bus ride home.

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