Westhampton Beach sophomore Ermel Bautista was welcomed to his first ever New York State Cross Country Championships on Saturday with some of the toughest conditions the event has seen in quite some time.
The course at Wayne Central High School, located just outside of Rochester, was described by many local coaches as a slushy and bumpy surface which froze over Friday night, creating sections of hard and irregular surfaces to go along with temperatures in the 20 degree range on Saturday morning. By the time the Class B race went off, which Bautista was running, the ground had thawed and created a muddy course.
Bautista powered through the tough conditions and finished the race in 18:17, which placed him 65th out of 127 runners. He placed fifth out of the 12 Section XI (Suffolk County) runners that ran the race.