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Medals for mettle

Furmans shine against New York's elite harriers

Richard A. Ross
Posted 11/22/22

WAPPINGERS FALLS – Another weekend, another championship race and another fine performance by Tri-Valley’s fabulous Furmans. 

In this year’s Federation race, Adam Furman …

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Medals for mettle

Furmans shine against New York's elite harriers

Posted

WAPPINGERS FALLS – Another weekend, another championship race and another fine performance by Tri-Valley’s fabulous Furmans. 

In this year’s Federation race, Adam Furman placed second with a time of 15:58.90, just seconds behind Monroe-Woodbury’s Collin Gilstrap (15:51.30). Sophomore Van Furman came in with a personal record (PR) of 16:47 50 in a medal-garnering 31st place. All of this transpired after their younger sister Anna had won a medal in the girls race finishing in an impressive 32nd place in 19:36.60. Subsequently, each would have their moment in the medal ceremony after each had turned in their best against the most daunting field of runners they had faced this fall.

To put all of this in perspective, consider this:  As New York States finest public-school harriers had survived their sectional quests and moved on to the NYSPHSAA cross-country championships at Vernon Verona Sherril High School last weekend, the winners from that epic race and those with the fastest times advanced to the next gauntlet, the Federation Championships held at Bowdoin Park. 

Unlike the state meet where runners were competing only against those from their own class defined by school population, the Federation meet pitted runners from all sized schools against one another in both the girls and boys races. What makes the Federation race even more daunting is the fact that it features runners from all of New York State, not just the NYSPHSAA championships. Among those were racers from New York City’s Public School Athletic League (PSAL), the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) and the Association of Independent Schools (AIS). 

In the pre-race seedings put forth by Milesplit, Adam was listed as fifth and Gilstrap was third. The runners listed as first, second and fourth, Baldwinsville’s Solomon Holden-Betts, Ravena’s Ethan Green and Saratoga Springs’ Mason Talarico were nowhere to be seen as Gilstrap and Furman held sway throughout much of the race. The duo dueled with Furman in the lead up until the downhill segment at about the two-mile mark. It was there that Gilstrap took the narrow lead and held off his familiar foe right to the finish. 

Gilstrap and Furman had vied against each other head-to-head this fall. In those instances, including the OCIAA championships and the Burnt Hills Invitational, Furman had emerged victorious. But in the Manhattan Invitational and the Section IX meet, though they didn’t compete in the same race, Gilstrap had the faster time in the merged results. A year ago in the Federation meet, Furman finished seventh in 16:11.00 and Gilstrap was 26th in 16:39.40. But each race is a new venture and, in this race, Gilstrap outran him. In the moments following the finish, Furman registered disappointment. He had wanted the distinction of being NYS’s fastest high school runner. But, finishing second among the 274 elite runners in the state is most impressive. Furman will run in the East Bay Regional Championship (formerly known as the Footlocker Regional Championship) at Van Cortlandt Park on November 26. “I hope to finish in the top ten,” says Furman, a feat which will propel him to the Nationals to be held in Balboa Park in San Diego, California on December 10.

For sophomore Van Furman, races like this one that feature a great density of runners setting off on a narrow path are problematic. Even seventh place runners from winning teams can get out to fast starts and though they will fade later in the race, the damage to runners like the younger Furman is already done. 

That said, Van has shown great ability to pick off runners as the race progresses. Thus he ended up with a great finish in 31st place and got to proudly wear his medal as a result. He was the top sophomore in the race. The only other young runner was North Rockland’s Ryan Tuohy, the younger brother of North Carolina State’s Katelyn Tuohy, a former NYS great. Ryan finished in 27th place. No doubt Furman and Tuohy have a future vying against each other. 

The T-V boys team finished 9th out of the 30 teams in the field. Monroe-Woodbury was first. 

The rest of the T-V runners were as follows: 79. Craig Costa 16:47.30; 150. Vincent Mingo 18:04.80; 183. Thomas Houghtaling 18:26.30.

Earlier in the afternoon, Anna found herself running on this course for the first time. It was the largest race for her to date. She had been sick at the Bowdoin Classic run early in the season. Coach and dad Chip Furman estimated she would finish in the top 30. Anna predicted top 40. Her 32nd place, medal-garnering finish was superb. She ran a speedy 19:36.60 in the race won by Cornwall’s Karrie Baloga, the state’s top runner. 

Anna said, “This was definitely one of the harder courses. This was a new experience for me. One of the big things was to get out really fast and that’s what I did.”

All eyes will be on Adam now at the Northeast Regionals and hopefully on to Nationals as cross-country gives way to indoor track and ultimately spring track. Though the fall season is over except for those last two most storied races, no doubt the Furman trio will be in the headlines to come this year. 

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