By Keith Harrington
Coming in to the Adirondack League Cross Country Championships, Granville-Whitehall's Amber Gibbs was the overwhelming favorite to win the girls race. Gibbs was not only unbeaten on the season in league meets, she rarely was challenged on the course, often winning by as much as three or four minutes.
Gibbs did not disappoint on Thursday, dominating once again to claim the ADK crown at Queensbury High School.
Gibbs, a junior navigated the 3.1 mile course in 21:14.19, an average of 6:51 per mile.
After the race Gibbs was asked how she felt about achieving a goal she has been chasing for a few seasons.
"I would say rewarding. I was working for this for a long time," Gibbs stated. "I definiitely wanted it."
Gibb's coach Tim Best was equally as excited.
"I'm very pleased. She's worked really hard. This has been a goal of hers for the last couple years," Best said. "She had some injuries last year and I told her today was her day. She took advantage of it and I'm Very proud of her."
After the start Gibbs quickly positioned herself near the front of the field. When the runners emerged from the woods and entered the shoot it was clear that she was in complete control.
"There was mud on the course, but it was a good course. I like this course," Gibbs explained. "I did glance behind me. In fear that there might be someone back there. I think I knew when that first hill came along that I had it."
"When she came around with that big lead, I was expecting that, but I was still relieved," Best added.
Samantha Savage of Corinth/Hadley-Luzerne was second, followed by Brynn Tyler of Hartford, Taylor Syvertsen of Lake George and Rylee Dunbar of Corinth/Hadley-Luzerne.
Layla Johnston of Lake George, Kara Tucker of North Warren, Kayla Grant of Lake George, Sophie Unkauf of Lake George and Erica Sialunski of Argyle rounded out the top 10.
Corinth/Hadley-Luzerne followed up their regular season league title by claiming the team title. Lake George was second.
Gibbs now looks ahead to the Section II meet and an opportunity to qualify for the New York state championships.
"That is a goal. I've wanted to go to states. I'm going to make it my goal to go there," Gibbs said.
"That's been a goal of hers as well. It's something to shoot for. We'll run on the same course a week from now and see what happens," Best concluded.
The Section II meet will be held at Queensbury High School on November 5th.