SANDY CREEK For the last half decade, Frontier League girls cross country runners have been chasing Victoria Campanian.
But they have never been able to catch her and, at Tuesdays league championships on Sandy Creeks 3.05-mile course, the South Lewis senior made sure they never would.
Campanian won her fifth straight league title and led the Falcons to a first-place team finish, ending Beaver Rivers four-year streak.
South Jefferson senior Nick Tyler won the boys race for his first league title, but the Spartans finished second in the team standings to Beaver River, which also earned its fifth straight league championship.
Campanian moved to the front of the pack about halfway through the first mile, and stayed there until she crossed the finish line in 18 minutes, 41.92 seconds.
Campanian shaved 26.58 seconds off her time from last years league championship victory.
With this being my last year, Ive always gotten first and I just wanted to get first again, said Campanian, who led the Falcons to the team title for the first time in her varsity tenure.
Im happy for us all. We want to continue to do good at sectionals and hopefully go to states as a team, she added.
Immaculate Heart Central junior Gabby Thompson placed second, just less than 34 seconds off of Campanians pace.
Catching Tori? Thats a dream, said Thompson, likely echoing the thoughts of every league runner of the last five years.
It would be really cool. Sometimes youll have a really awesome day and youll get close. I know Tori works really hard and shes a good runner, Thompson added.
Last years runner-up, South Jefferson sophomore Skylar Pastor, placed third, followed by Christina Platt of South Lewis and Beaver Rivers Victoria Rollin.
Brooke LaLone, Megan Washburn and Elanore Brooks finished in spots eight through 10 to help the Spartans finish just five points behind the Falcons for the team title.
Carthage was a distant third.
For Tyler, Tuesdays win was the culmination of four years of hard work.
The South Jefferson senior said that he has been working toward his goal of winning a league title since he placed first in the modified race as an eighth-grader.
Tyler placed sixth in the league championship race as a sophomore, and finished third last year.
Im speechless, said Tyler, whose winning time was 16:35.59.
Ive been running with some of the best runners in the state for the past four years now, guys from Beaver River, South Lewis, all over. Ive been just close enough with their times, trying to work my way up, Tyler added.
Beaver River senior Alex Hall finished 21 seconds behind Tyler to claim second place.
Nate Cobb was fourth, Dustin Neddo finished sixth and Andrew Purcell placed ninth to lead the Beavers to their fifth straight league championship.
Its good to have guys like Nick Tyler around because they work all summer and theyre so fast, and they just keep you going because they push you all the time, Hall said. Thats what pushes my teammates and I because those guys are right there, so we cant get lazy and we cant take anything for granted.
Nick Anderson of Carthage finished third and Chris Shelmidine of South Jefferson rounded out the top five.
In the team standings, South Jefferson was 20 points shy of Beaver River for a second-place finish, and South Lewis took third.
The next big event for area runners will be the Section 3 championships on Nov. 3 at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School.
The state championships are scheduled for the following Saturday, Nov. 10, at Elma Meadows Golf Course and Park, near Buffalo.
Thats where you get to see all your hard work that you did, all the times that you didnt go to the mall with your friends or go hang out with people, its where you get to see all your hard work pay off and I love it, Thompson said.