Carly Woelfel could not have asked for a better finish to her cross-country career.
The nimble South Side senior is heading back to the New York State championships for an unprecedented fourth straight year after dominating the Class B 5K qualifier at Bethpage on Saturday with a time of 19 minutes, 5.90 seconds. The time was almost eight seconds better than runner-up and rival Nicole Schneider of North Shore.
Woelfel held the lead in each of the first two miles and pulled away in the final 800 meters in recording the fastest time of the day. That distinction also earned her an automatic berth in the Nov. 23 Federation meet in Wappingers Falls, which combines the fastest runners in New York state in once race regardless of class.
“She’s so disciplined and dedicated,” South Side coach Chris Webster said. “She’s naturally a talented, fast runner, but the key is she puts in the extra time and discipline to get that extra edge.”
The previous week, Woelfel outlasted the Spottiswood sisters, Marissa and Maya, from Bellmore JFK to win her second county title. Her time of 19:41.3 was 17 seconds better than Marissa.
“It was like redemption,” Webster said of Woelfel’s second-place finish in last year’s county final. “I knew that going into the county championship that she had runners out there that wanted to beat her. I felt it was a nice redemption for her to finish her running career as a county champ. It was really nice to see.”
Woelfel finished seventh in the last year’s Class B 5K state final at Chenango Valley High School, ninth in 2017 and tenth three years ago.
Joining Woelfel at Plattsburgh this weekend will be junior Avery Brull, who qualified for her third state competition after placing seventh last weekend with a time of 19:45.70. She placed sixth in the county final with a time of 20:11.23.
“Most of Avery’s success has come from the amount of time and effort she puts into her work after practices,” Webster said. “All summer, she got up at 6 a.m. and went to the track every day. It’s not so much natural as it is a reflection of her own self-discipline and efforts.”
Woelfel and Brull led a girls’ team that went 12-1 during the regular season and a second-place finish at counties. The two of them, along with senior Kaitlyn Mohr, earned All-County honors, while Cameron Coletti, Cailin O’Toole, Madeline Getty, Simone Ruiz, Alex Sitterly and Lizzy Quilty were named All-Conference.
The boys’ team showed tremendous growth and won the division title with a 12-1 record while finishing as the runner-up in the conference. They were led by seniors Charles Ohanian, Roberto Milan and sophomore Chris Goldstein.
“They had a lot of quiet success,” Webster said. “I have a lot of younger guys coming up and moving up in the ranks. I think in the next several years, we’re going to have a really good boys’ team.”
Goldstein finished 15th in the county race with a time of 17:30. Ohanian was seven spots behind at 17:44.1 and sophomore Kieran Cook placed 33rd after crossing the finish line in 18:17.9.
Ohanian and Goldstein were All-County runners this season, while Cook, senior James Alberella, sophomore Robert Casey earned All-Conference honors.