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DyeStat.com – News – Karrie Baloga Gives Cornwall Central NY A Second Winner At Nationals

DyeStat.com - News - Karrie Baloga Gives Cornwall Central NY A Second Winner At Nationals

Baloga Took What She Learned From Two Previous Trips And Ran With ‘100 Percent’ Confidence

By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor

SAN DIEGO – Karrie Baloga arrived at Balboa Park with one mission this weekend: Win. 

The senior from Cornwall Central had been thinking about her return to the national meet, this year called the Champs Sports Cross Country Championships, eager to make th most of her third trip. 

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Baloga pulled away from Ellie Shea of Massachusetts and Paityn Noe of Iowa in the last mile of the race to win in 16:49.2 for the eighth-fastest performance ever at Balboa Park. 

“I ran with 100 percent confidence in myself and the ability that I have,” said Baloga, who won the New York Class B state title and the New York Federation title this fall on the way to qualifying for nationals. 

The blueprint was already embedded in her training. Dave Feuer from Cornwall Central was happy to have lightning strike twice as he became the first to coach two girls to national titles in San Diego. Aisling Cuffe won the 2010 championship before going on to a successful career at Stanford. 

The first congratulatory text to pop up on Feuer’s phone came from Cuffe. 

“Similarities, the drive to be the best,” Feuer said of his two champions. “Never taking a day off, getting the most out of every practice, and just living their sport and loving it at the same time.”

Baloga competed as a freshman and placed 11th, then improved to fourth in 2021. Cuffe took a similar path through her three national appearances, going from 12th (2008) to fourth (2009) to first.

“I’ve done a lot of things physically and mentally with Karrie that worked well with Aisling,” Feuer said. 

Shea, who races for Emerging Elite Athletics, finished second after not finishing the 2021 race. She was six seconds back in 16:55.1. 

Paityn Noe of Ballard IA finished third (17:01.5) in her first appearance at the national meet and was the top finisher among the athletes who competed last weekend at Nike Cross Nationals, where she was 10th. 

Sophomore Abby Faith Cheeseman of The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tenn. was fourth in 17:13.4 and her South teammate Ciara O’Shea from Madison Central (Richmond, Ky.) was fifth in 17:21.5. 

The Northeast scored 32 points with Baloga and Shea leading the way at 1-2, while Zariel Macchia (sixth), Leah Stephens (seventh) and Angelina Napoleon (16th) helped the region win the team title. 

Sophia Kennedy, one of two teammates from Park Tudor High…

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