Friday, November 6, 2009

Iron lungs: LSI's Hurley conquers asthma, headed to states

La Salle Institute senior Denis Hurley crosses the finish line at the Section II championships Friday at Saratoga Spa State Park. He finished sixth in the Class AA race, capturing the final berth in the state meet a week from Saturday at SUNY-Plattsburgh. (Photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

A year to the day before Friday's race, Denis Hurley was diagnosed with asthma and has battled mixing medications and his running routine ever since.

The senior, who is No. 1 in his class academically at La Salle, held out just long enough to capture what had been an elusive bid for him.

"Freshman year, I was thinking what I want to do is I want to make it to the state meet when I’m a senior," Hurley, a Delmar native, said. "Asthma kind of hobbled that and coming into the year, I thought I didn’t really have a chance. I worked hard over the summer and it was just kind of a miracle. I never expected this. I never thought I would actually meet that goal."

"We never know with a 1,000 yards to go whether he’ll be able to finish strong or not," said La Salle coach John Leonard. "At Burnt Hills, he collapsed and almost passed out at the finish because he couldn’t breathe. he ran great. Still, I’m surprised he was sixth. I did not think 15:33 would be as far back as sixth. I thought that might be third or fourth. everyone ran great, there were fantastic times out there today."

Ballston Spa's Max Groves (who finished fifth, left) and Hurley's mother come to his aid immediately following Friday's race.

Saratoga Spings freshman Keelin Hollowood crosses the finish line first in the girls' Class AA race in a time of 17:13. The Blue Streaks have won the Section II title 13 of the past 14 seasons.

Shenendehowa's Lizzie Predmore finished second in the AA race in a time of 17:25. She heads to the state meet and is also the youngest of the Predmore clan of Ballston Lake famous for their decades-long dominance in the Troy Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Scott Maughan (left) and Otis Ubriaco (right) finished 1-2 in the boys' Class A race. In fact, the defending New York State champions took the first four spots in order.

Lansingburgh senior Alney Tobias leads the pack of Class B runners past the reflecting pool in Spa State Park Friday. He finished third and for the second consecutive season, he and teammate C.J. Sousis will head to the state meet. Tobias, in fact, represented the Knights in the indoor and outdoor track and field state meets as well.

The Saratoga Springs girls bolt off the starting line Friday afternoon. The Blue Streaks are ranked No. 2 in New York State and No. 3 in the nation.

For more coverage, including the list of all Rensselaer and Saratoga County athletes to advance to the state meet, check out Saturday's editions of The Record and The Saratogian.

For times and order of finish, consult the always wonderful

In other boys action, Shenendehowa won the Class AA title for the fourth consecutive season and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, the defending New York State Class A champions, won another Section II title.
Broadalbin-Perth captured the Class B race, Fonda-Fultonville edged Voorheesville by a single point to claim the Class C title and Berne-Knox-Westerlo topped Berlin by 14 points in the Class D championship.
The Saratoga Springs girls won their 13th Class AA title in the past 14 years, edging second-place Shenendehowa by four points. Columbia’s Kaylee Scott, who placed tenth overall in a time of 18:12, qualified for the state meet.
Queensbury swept the top three spots in the Class A race, slipping past defending New York State champions Burnt Hills by six points. Catherine Maloy of the Academy of the Holy Names placed fifth (17:58), qualifying for the state meet.
Scotia-Glenville won the Class B title and Voorheesville topped Schuylerville in Class C. Hoosic Valley’s Maggie Sanderson, seventh in the Class C race in 20:30, is bound for the state meet.
The Greenwich girls took seven of the top eight spots in the Class D race, cruising to the team title. Berlin’s Kayleigh Corrado, 12th overall, is headed to Plattsburgh. In all, six Rensselaer County runners qualified.

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