xc Lansing senior Mikaela Garcia cruises to the win in her last home meetLansing senior Mikaela Garcia cruises to the win in her last home meet. Photo courtesy of Lansing XC

On Sunday September 30 the Lansing Bobcat Cross-Country Teams boarded a bus t 5:30 a.m. for a trip up to the Rochester area for the McQuaid Invitational—one of the largest XC meets in the country with more than 250 schools participating from five states and Canada.

Each race in the scenic Genesee Valley Park featured a field of 300 to 500 runners. For many Bobcats, it was largest race they had ever been in.

Zoltan Csaki (66th, 17:30.7) and Liam Hulsebosch (88th, 17:51.2) finished in the top 100 for Lansing in the boys varsity small schools race, with Jack Thomas (18:15.8), Torsten Gartenberg (18:47.5), and Teddy Brenner (19:06.8) finishing strong to put the Bobcats' team score at 24th out of 48 schools. In a junior varsity division, Lansing runners David Pollack (22:10.6), Anders Axelson (22:12.2), and Ben Caveney (24:34.4) completed their race in a field of 350 runners. For the modified boys, Sam Bell continued his strong season with a surprising top 20 finish (17th overall) in a whopping field of 439 runners. Caden Michalec (118th), Charlie Miller (132nd), Thomas Stallone (137th), Parker Vooris (142nd), Zachary Hwang (183rd), and Seth Riley (239th) all placed in the top half, with Jack Negley, Arjun Kodali, and Bryce Dorer also finishing the race.

In the varsity girls' race, Lansing's Mikaela Garcia posted the best finish of any Bobcat runner on the day with a 5th place finish (19:03.7) in a field of more than 250 runners. Lansing's Emmaline Jackson (48th, 20:55.1), Allison Keefe (60th, 21:14.1), Leigh Miller (89th, 21:55.5), and Eden Jackson (96th, 22:09.8) rounded out the scoring for a Lady Bobcat team that placed 7th out of 43 schools competing. Teresa Garcia (22:49.6) and Hana Thibault (23:18.0) also finished the race. The modified girls' race saw another stellar Bobcat performance with Kinsley Jacobs finishing 6th out of a field of 325 runners. Loveta Geesey also finished the race for the modified Lady Bobcats.

"Our athletes always look forward to the excitement of McQuaid and often run a new personal best paces there.  This year was no exception, with many athletes pushing themselves to new paces amidst larger fields than we ever face otherwise," said Lansing XC head coach Becca Lovenheim. "Kinsley's performance was a fantastic start to the day. Sam Bell's top 20 finish (17th overall) not only earned him a medal but was a tremendous improvement over his 134th place finish in the same race last year.  Mikaela Garcia also improved on her finish from last year, showing a great deal of focus and pushing herself to a new pacing personal best. 

"All around, it was an exhilarating day of racing not only for Lansing but for all of the hundreds of schools present."

xc Lansing senior XCersLansing senior XCers. Photo courtesy of Lansing XC

On Tuesday October 3 Lansing hosted its second and final home meet of the season at the Lansing Town Center Trails, hosting Watkins and Thomas Edison High School from Elmira. The meet began with a seniors' night tribute for Lansing's XX graduating racers—Mikaela Garcia (captain), Leigh Miller (captain), Zoltan Csaki, Liam Hulsebosch (captain), and David Pollack (captain).

The Lansing varsity girls team took first place and Mikaela Garcia celebrated senior night by winning the race (1st, 20:09.2), with Emmaline Jackson (3rd, 21:51.4), Leigh Miller (7th, 22:50.4), Teresa Garcia (9th, 23:01.7), and Eden Jackson (10th, 23:43.4) scoring for the Bobcats. Allison Keefe (23:50.7) and Hana Thibault (25:17.2) registered pushes for Lansing (pushing Thomas Edison's racers down in the point scoring). Haley Sullivan also finished for the Bobcats. Lansing's Kinsley Jacobs finished first in the modified girls race, with Loveta Geesey also finishing the race.

On the boys' side, Watkins Glen—the #1 ranked XC team in New York State at Class C—won the meet with five of the top six finishers. But Zoltan Csaki cracked into the top five, finishing 3rd with a time of 18:17.8. Liam Hulsebosch (7th, 18:53.7), Jack Thomas (8th, 19:01.7), Torsten Gartenberg (11th, 19:22.7), and Teddy Brenner (19th, 20:46.9) helped Lansing put together a strong 2nd overall team finish, ahead of Thomas Edison. David Pollack, Anders Axelson, Ben Caveney, and Dowain Geesey also completed the race for Lansing. In the modified boys' race, Sam Bell and Caden Michalec took 1st and 2nd place, with Thomas Stallone finished 5th, Seth Riley 7th, and Charlie Miller 8th. Parker Vooris, Zachary Hwang, Jack Negley, Arjun Kodali, Brandon Brotherton, and Bryce Dorer finished for the Bobcats, too.

"Our seniors have played a big role in our program and will be missed," said Coach Lovenheim after the meet. "We wish them all the best. 

xc Lansing seniors Zoltan Csaki and Liam Hulsebosch along with xc Lansings Jack ThomasLansing seniors Zoltan Csaki and Liam Hulsebosch along with xc Lansings Jack Thomas. Photo courtesy of Lansing XC

"With ideal running conditions and a home crowd to cheer them on, 23 of our runners set new personal bests. Sam Bell and Kinsley Jacobs each set new course records with their modified race wins, and Mikaela Garcia continues to hold not only the 3-mile home course record but now also the 5K course record, as she led from the start and expanded her lead, running to a new personal best in the process. 

"From our top scorers all the way through our rosters, the athletes put forth very strong performances, applying what we have been working on in practices to their racing, and working together throughout the race."