ARMONK Drew Dorflinger had never run the Mike Gulino Bobcat Run faster but he was unhappy.
He finished behind Syracuse-area runner Sean Kuehn of Central Square, who set a new meet and course record Saturday in winning the Bobcat varsity boys race in 16 minutes, 25 seconds.
Dorflinger, who’d won both the Red Raider and Brewster Bear meets, finished in 16:27.3.
Disheartened, he said, “I kind of raced scared. I should have gone (after Kuehn) sooner.”
But team-wise, Dorflinger had no reason to be anything but happy.
When the scores were later tallied, the Panthers won the 30-team boys varsity division with Aiden McDermott placing eighth out of 184 runners, Declan McDermott 12th, JC Yahia 15th and Dylan Bronkema 30th.
Pleasantville coach Brett Alcantara seemed particularly pleased with Bronkema, a first-year cross-country runner, who has been the Panthers’ “consistent fifth runner” this season.
“He has played a very big part in the team’s success and has been showing great improvement,” Alcantara said.
Port Jervis junior Kaylah Quarshie repeated as girls varsity champion, topping a 140-runner field in 19:07.9.
She laughed about the course, terming the logs and sticks runners vault in the woods “sketchy.”
“It’s a unique course,” Briarcliff’s Caroline Pennacchio agreed. “It’s entertaining. It spices it up a bit.”
Vaulting the logs didn’t seem to slow her. The senior ran a Bobcat personal-best of 19:23.8 in coming in third.
She was fourth last year and top three was her goal, she explained, since only the top three win trophies.
She caught and passed Lakeland-Panas senior Sunny Nagpaul (19:28.6) in the last 100 yards of the 3.1-mile course.
But with Grace Bugara finishing second (19.20.7), Nagpaul fourth, Jenna Pressman fifth, Maggie McCarthy 13th and Claire Smith 19th, Lakeland-Panas won the girls varsity team title. Briarcliff was second in the 28-team competition.
Bugara was happy with her race and with the course.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training since the summer and I’m finally seeing a lot of results,” she said, adding, “It felt good. It’s a good course to run. It’s not just one giant hill. It’s a very fair course.”
Thirty-five schools competed Saturday, up from six when the meet began nine years ago.