Brown goes against the best at Federation race

Submitted Photo Fredonia’s Runner of the Year, Emily Brown, competing at the New York State Federation cross country race held at Bowdoin Park in Wappinger Falls. Brown finished 138th overall against a field of over 250 of New York state’s best cross country runners.

WAPPINGER FALLS — To be the best means that you got to beat the best, and that is exactly the opportunity Fredonia cross country runner Emily Brown had at the New York State Federation Cross country race Saturday, at Bowdoin Park in Wappinger Falls.

“It’s the best of the best, it’s a very competitive race,” Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said.

The Federation race is composed of all top runners in the state, spanning across all Classes A through D.

Inarguably facing the best competition she’s ever seen, Emily Brown gave everything she had at Bowdoin Park. In the end, Brown ran with a time 20:58 to take 134th place against the top 250-plus runners in New York.

“It was crazy,” Brown said after the race. “You can’t just go out and be in the top, because all the girls out there are want to be at the top. … This year, I was just happy to be there and I had a couple of girls in my head that I want to be in front of.”

The course was difficult and the competition was fierce, however, Brown was determined to make some noise and hold herself to a high standard this year the Fed.

“I know during the last 1000 meters, I wanted to pick it up a little bit from where I was to get out in front of some of the girls,” Brown said. “It was really exciting to be out there, but I would’ve liked to have a better race, and it wasn’t the race I wanted. The course was great and the rain held off, but it was just a really hilly course. It’s one of the hilliest courses I’ve ran on.

Katlyn Tuohy was the winner of the Federal race. The No. 1-ranked cross runner in the nation finished with a time 16:52 to come out on top.

“I actually started the race right next to her,” Brown recalled jubilantly. “It was awesome because she’s just insane; she’s crazy-fast.”

With the Federation race at an end, Brown has concluded her 2017 season for Fredonia, and upon reflection, Brown seems content with her results.

“I’m actually very happy with the season,” she said. “I felt I came back a lot from last season, and running stronger than ever before. There are always people ahead of you. Hopefully, I’ll pass more people next year. Every year you just want to be stronger and be the best person you can be — for yourself and your team.”

“Her passion for the sport of running is just so impressive,” Zirkle said of her Runner of the Year. “She’s got high goals for herself and she works so hard to achieve them. She ran well (Saturday). She showed incredible heart out there.”

Brown gave the Federation race her all, as she has throughout her successful sophomore campaign, and coach Zirkle is very grateful for Brown and all the hard work she put in this year.

She’s the hardest worker I’ve ever coached,” Zirkle said. “She’s very coachable and that makes her the best type of athlete to coach. She’s learning all the time, and that makes coaching really exciting. She pushes herself to be the best and that’s the ideal athlete that you want to coach.

“She’s had an incredible season, and we’re looking forward to next year,” Zirkle concluded.