CHENANGO FORKS — Two local runners competed at the NYSPHSAA Cross Country Championships at Chenango Valley State Park on Saturday.

Tioga junior Thomas Hurd finished 58th with a time of 18 minutes, 42 seconds in his first appearance in the State meet.

“It was great,” Hurd said of the experience. “A little overwhelming for me, but great.”

He was also pleased with his performance.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “I beat some Trumansburg people. It was a little wet. That threw me off a little bit, but I made it through. My socks might be soaked but that wasn’t going to stop me.”

Immediately after finishing, Hurd already has his sights set on next season and has set a bigger goal.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “We’ll try to get the whole team to come next year.”

Waverly freshman Harper Minaker also made her first appearance at States.

She finished 87th, clocking a 22:31.

“I tried to stay with the same pack and keep trying to push myself with them,” she said. “Then it would be way harder to get out in front of them than it would be to get on the outside.”

It was unfamiliar territory for the freshman, who would have qualified for States in 2020 had there been a championship meet.

“It was crazy. There was a lot going on,” she said. “Especially with more people, the start line is bigger and everyone is pushing differently than smaller races.”

The appearance at States was a result of hard work dating back to the end of last season, according to Waverly coach Nate Culver.

“She’s been working all summer,” Culver said. “She went to a running camp and just stayed hungry. Finally she got her first experience, and I’m really happy for her.”

Culver also expressed excitement at what the future holds for the freshman.

“She’s absolutely bought into the program. She’s dedicated,” he said. “Running is her life, and as long as we can keep her healthy, big things are ahead.”

Ryan Sharp can be reached at rsharp@morning-times.com or (570) 888-9643 ext. 229. Follow @RealRyanSharp on Twitter.

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