VERONA — Cross Country competitors from public schools across New York made their way to Vernon-Verona-Sherill (VVS) high school on Saturday to compete in the New York State Public High School …
VERONA — Cross Country competitors from public schools across New York made their way to Vernon-Verona-Sherill (VVS) high school on Saturday to compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) State Championships. Nine runners from Sullivan County, spanning classes B through D were present, and the Furman siblings each took home some hardware at the event.
For the second consecutive year, Tri-Valley produced an individual State Champion in Class D. Van Furman, who finished second behind his brother Adam last year, had nobody standing in front of him at the finish line this year as he surpassed his brother’s time by more than 30 seconds.
For the past two years, the Bears represented Section IX as a team, but this year Pine Plains edged out Tri-Valley at the Sectional meet. “We knew we’d have a tough time getting back to States this year,” Tri-Valley Coach Chip Furman said. “Pine Plains had a lot of returning upperclassmen.”
Despite not sending an entire team, three of the five individual slots from Section IX were occupied by Tri-Valley runners. Craig Costa finished 26th in the Class D race and Noah Edwards took 51st.
The girls had a similar level of success, with three Lady Bears also reaching States as individuals.
Anna Furman, now in her freshman year, was the Class D runner up for the second year in a row. The girls’ winner, Brynn Bernard, won the State Championship again. Bernard is a senior now, which could mean Anna, who beat the third place finisher by 21 seconds, should be a favorite to win next year.
“Anna did what she needed to do,” Coach Tyler Eckhoff said. “Brynn Bernard was able to hold on and break away in the final 600 meters, but Anna took her shot and she should be proud.”
Amelia Mickelson, who battled back from an injury last season, finished 27th in the race, while Em Richardson took 55th.
Monticello sent two runners, Eduardo Salinas and Diya Patel to race in Class B as individuals. Patel finished 78th overall and Salinas landed just outside the top 30, finishing 31 overall. The runners, both in their junior year, set their goal for States early in the season and worked hard to make it.
“We use the ‘Three B’s’ (Breathe, Believe, Battle),” Monticello Coach Scott Cooper explained. “The two have put in a lot of work, running all year and they both deserved to be there.”
The pair worked hard all season to make it to the State Championships.
“Their work ethic and enthusiasm made it possible,” Cooper said. “They both took some time to look around and soak in the experience. It’s something they earned.”
Fallsburg sent a runner to the State Championships for the third season in a row, and Isaiah Hershewsky was the first Comets boy to make it.
“Last year was Isaiah’s first season of cross country, and he has grown tremendously since then,” Fallsburg Coach Danielle Halikias said. “He’s the first Fallsburg boy to ever get to States, which is a huge achievement for both him and the school.”
Hershewsky finished 67th in the Class C boys race, and will look to return and place higher in his senior year.
“It was exciting to see him go. He has trained hard to get here,” Halikias continued. “We started last year with the goal of getting to States this year, and we’re looking to build on this for next year.”
For many runners, the State championship marks the end of the Fall 2023 season, but for Van and Anna Furman, the two will be headed to Bowdoin Park on Saturday to take on the Federation race and vie for a spot at the upcoming Foot Locker Regionals.
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