This was an important week for the Canton Cross Country Teams, with a dual meet in Massena on Sept. 11 and the Beaver River Invitational on Saturday. Although the Bears were missing key runners at both races, they stayed strong and ran well.

On Sept. 11 the Bears traveled to the Nicandri Nature Center in Massena, where the boys team placed second and the girls team placed first, taking four spots in the top five. On Saturday the Cross Country teams traveled to the 42nd Annual Beaver River Cross Country Invitational, just North of Lowville, where both the girls and boys teams placed two runners in the top 15, earning exclusive meet shirts.

Bailey Vink from Potsdam and Nick Moquin from Canton just after the first mile. Moquin completed the rest of the race with one shoe. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Shannon)

On the Nicandri Nature trails, the beautiful autumn view was on full display through the entirety of the run. The trail was somewhat hilly, but all of the runners were able to overcome this challenge as well as the obstacle of missing teammates. Salmon River’s junior Cayde Lazore-Jacobs and freshman Gunner Mitchell were able to race to first and second together, running most of the race shoulder-to-shoulder, and finishing with times of 19:55.30 and 19:58.20. Equally close in times were Canton sophomores Kaden Worthley (20:24.60) and Lucas Watts (20:27.90), who placed third and fourth. Fifth place went to Salmon River senior Tehoronhithe (20:44.60), and Canton sophomore Rylan Lee-Powell placed sixth with 21:24.80. Later in the race Canton freshmen Adam Sabatini and Duncan Harper had an exciting finish, with four runners completing the race within one-and-a-half seconds of each other. They placed 11th and 13th with times of 22:31.20 and 22:32.60. The final scores saw Canton beat Massena 18-43, and Salmon River beat Canton 23-32.

The Girls team easily filled seven spots in the top ten and four spots in the top five. Canton freshman Bennett Schmitt (22:51.20) placed first once again, followed closely by her teammate, Senior Grace McDonough, who placed second with 23:05.50. Third place was taken by Salmon River sophomore Jasmine Oakes, with a time of 23:21.40, and sophomore Johanna Tupper (23:42.60) from Canton placed fourth. Finishing out the top ten for Canton were sophomores Haley Burnett (25:02.30) who placed fifth, CJ McKinley (26:32.30) who placed sixth, and Lorelei Harper (28:13.90) who placed ninth. Canton senior Lynzie Lawton placed tenth with a 28:22.90. Salmon River, Massena, and Tupper Lake all had only one runner, so the Bears won easily.

The Cross Country teams then traveled Saturday to the Beaver River Cross Country Invitational, where their opponents included Pulaski, Norwood-Norfolk, Beaver River, Malone, Indian River, Phoenix, Thousand Islands, Watertown, Carthage, Potsdam, Adirondack, Gouverneur, and Ogdensburg.

In the boys’ race there were 100 runners, with first place going to senior Luke Tighe from Pulaski with a time of 16:40.90. On the Canton team, sophomores Daniel Armendariz-Huang and Lucas Watts were able to make it into the top 15, placing 13th and 14th with times of 19:04.80 and 19:08.30. Sophomore Rylan Lee-Powell finished next with a 19:48.40 which landed him 27th place. However, on the Canton team, the star of the show was junior Nick Moquin who finished fourth for Canton and 37th overall with a 20:44.00. Just after a mile into the race, Moquin lost a shoe but continued running for over two miles until he finished the race. Even though he had only one shoe, he was able to beat more than 60 racers and come within 20 seconds of his season best. The Bears placed fifth overall out of 13, only one point behind Malone.

The Beaver River course was relatively flat, with a quick first mile, followed by a steep hill that runners had to tackle twice before finishing. First place in the girls race went to Adirondack Freshman Cora Hinsdill who had a 19:26.50. Canton’s first finisher was freshman Bennett Schmitt who placed fifth overall out of 92 runners, with a time of 20:52.20. She was followed closely by her teammates senior Grace McDonough and sophomore Johanna Tupper, who placed 11th and 17th with times of 21:43.10 and 22:04.10. Senior Rori McCarthy took 36th place with a 24:29.70, and sophomore Violet Foster took 37th place only two seconds behind her with a 24:31.70.

The final scores for the girls saw Norwood-Norfolk place first with 38 points, Adirondack place second with 48 points, Beaver River place third with 76 points, and Canton place fourth with 97 points.

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