Alabama Runners Conquer Bowdoin Challenge: Churchville-Chili senior Ryan Giglia Jr. embraced the challenging Bowdoin Park cross country course with its formidable incline and descent at the Nike Cross Country regional championships.
Tackling the demanding first half of the course, he conserved energy uphill and surged downhill, finishing 15th. Despite narrowly missing the top 10 and a shot at Nike nationals, Giglia’s performance was impressive, clocking 16 minutes, 36.7 seconds.
Rush-Henrietta junior Haylie Smith mirrored Giglia’s success in the girls’ race, securing the 16th spot, only 16 seconds away from qualifying for Nike nationals. Both athletes led the Rochester area’s 51 boys and girls entries, showcasing their resilience and determination in the challenging terrain. Giglia’s coach, Paul Glor, praised his fearless approach, urging him to aim for greatness, not just the good. Giglia gained over 10 positions, a testament to his grit and training.
In the boys’ race, Oakfield-Alabama senior Connor Domoy secured the 16th spot, followed by Pittsford Sutherland junior William “Will” Tempest in 18th and Harley-Allendale Columbia sophomore Oliver Simmons in 21st. All three earned medals, showcasing the strength of Section V runners.
Among the girls, Rush-Henrietta senior Christian Wescott claimed victory in the boys’ open race for the second consecutive year, finishing in 16:47.0, a performance that would have placed him 21st in the championship race.
Fairport senior Jake Passalugo, battling the lingering effects of a sinus infection, started but did not finish, while the team secured sixth place. The Foot Locker regionals moved to Franklin Park in Boston this year, attracting runners ready to conquer new challenges.