Home » Webutuck runners compete in state championships

Webutuck runners compete in state championships

WEBUTUCK — Two members of the Webutuck cross-country team — Jesse Capellaro and Kayla Kohl — qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s (NYSPHAA) state championships, which were run in Verona on Saturday, Nov. 12.Both Capellaro and Kohl are juniors at Webutuck.Capellaro placed 51st out of 120 runners with a time of 19:58.3 in the boys’ 5K race.Kohl placed 59th out of 120 runners with a time of 24:31.1 in the girls’ 5K race.Since Webutuck is such a small school, no one really expected any of its students to win sectionals and make it to the state championships, said Capellaro, so having two students make it to the state championships was “awesome.”Since Capellaro made it to the state championships last year with a relatively slow time, he was confident that he would return again this year, especially since his personal record for the year was two minutes faster than for the year before.Kohl said she wasn’t as confident throughout the season, and was surprised when she qualified for the state championships. She made her best performance of the season during the sectionals race, which pushed her into the qualifying bracket.“[The state championships race] was really exciting and nerve-wracking because there were so many other runners,” Kohl said.Both Kohl and Capellaro expressed some frustration over the condition of the course, which was difficult to run on and produced slower times for almost all of the runners.“The course was super muddy, like impossibly muddy. You couldn’t run,” Kohl said. “[My time] was slower than I’d wanted it to be, but I was just happy to have made it there.”Capellaro expressed similar sentiments about the course, which he said got a lot muddier the more people ran over it, but “it was still just really awesome to be there. I was really happy to qualify.”Capellaro said he looks forward to running at the state championships next year, and hopes to shave off another minute from his personal record.According to Kohl’s mother, Carol Keenan-Kohl, the students became interested in running in middle school when they joined the Marathon Project, which pairs young students with mentors who use running to teach them how to set and achieve goals, build character and improve their health.The first year, Capellaro and Kohl, as well as Kohl’s mother, father and older sister, completed the Philadelphia half-marathon.Since then, both Capellaro and Kohl have competed in countless other races.Kohl said she is attracted to running because she enjoys setting goals for herself and pushing herself to her physical limit.She and Capellaro train all year, but once the season starts, they have a set schedule of six running days — one hour-long run, two 30-minute runs and three speed workouts — with one rest day.“They never deviate from what their Coach [Shawn] Hosier tells them, and believe me, he tells them what day they can rest and how far they must run on weekends,” Keenan-Kohl said. “They are firm, and look, it has paid off.”“Both Kohl and Capellaro love running, and they are beautiful to watch,” she continued.As part of their training, Capellaro and Kohl competed in the 5K race during the Hartford Marathon in October. With a time of 17:34, Capellaro was the seventh highest ranking male. Kohl, with a time of 21:03, was the fifth highest ranking female.“The race was fun because it was during our cross- country season, so to go from hill cross-country courses with somewhat iffy terrain to a paved, flat road was gratifying,” Kohl said. “Plus the atmosphere of road races is very different from cross-country. It’s festive and crazy and fun. Not that cross-country isn’t fun, but it’s more serious.”

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