Leading off today:
Two Virginians from schools less than 20 minutes apart emerged as champions Saturday in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego.
Drew Hunter of Loudoun Valley High and Weini Kelati of South Heritage High were crowned at Balboa Park after finishing in 14:55.7 and 17:09.7, respectively.
Hunter, a University of Oregon recruit, went out hard in a 4:31 opening mile to win by 12.2 seconds -- the largest margin of victory since 2009. Fordham Prep senior Conor Lundy was seventh in 15:20.9, and Carthage sophomore Noah Affolder placed 15th in 15:33.0.
Kelati, a 19-year-old junior who is a native of Eritrea, won by nine-tenths of a second. Hamilton senior Sage Hurta was 10th in 17:47.9, Corning's Jessica Lawson was 11th in 17:49.3 and Monroe-Woodbury's Kathryn Munks was 37th in 18:44.5.
Choices have consequences: Five days after beating Christ the King for the Federation boys Class AA basketball championship last spring, Wings Academy took the court again in the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals, losing to Virginia powerhouse Oak Hill Academy.
We reported back then (here, here and here) that the decision by the PSAL to enter Wings Academy into the boys tournament and South Shore into the girls field was a source of controversy among the other New York organizations comprising the Federation, just as it had been four years earlier when the PSAL also entered schools.
And now the consequences are becoming apparent. Wings Academy can go ahead with its planned trip to Virginia this month, but the team won't play any games while there. Wings has been canceled out of three games in the "Showcase At The Wood" tournament in Newport News.
Tom Dolan, assistant director for compliance for the Virginia High School League, the state's sanctioning body, confirmed via email this week that Wings will not be allowed to take the court Dec. 21 vs. Hampton Phoebus, Dec. 22 vs. Hampton High and Dec. 23 vs. Newport News Woodside.
"This school has not been authorized to compete in this event by either governing body," Dolan wrote. "The tournament is currently searching for a replacement school."
In a nutshell, here's how it went down:
Robert Zayas, executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, followed through in May on advising the PSAL that the rest of the Federation members found Wings to be out of compliance by playing in the Dick's tournament after the New York season had concluded.
Zayas warned that, if contacted by another state's high school sanctioning body, he could not in good conscience say that Wings was in good standing for the 2015-16 school year. The NYSPHSAA does not have authority over the PSAL, which consists of New York City's public schools, but it is the organization that the National Federation of State High School Associations designates as the clearing house for status inquiries.
Virginia is one of the numerous states requiring its schools to seek sanctioning approval for athletic contests against out-of-state programs. When the tournament director in Virginia got a "no" from the NYSPHSAA, the VHSL supported the denial.
In short, continuing its 2014-15 season after having reached the pinnacle of New York scholastic basketball has come back to bite Wings.
The New York State Sportswriters Association did not receive responses to emails sent this week to the PSAL and the Wings Academy athletic director seeking comment.
Lights, camera, action: Maine-Endwell's football program gets the ESPN "30 for 30" treatment Thursday at 10 p.m.
"62: The Legendary streak of Maine-Endwell High" was the brainchild of M-E alum Thomas Tull, CEO of California-based Legendary Pictures. The Press & Sun-Bulletin reports he commissioned Emmy Award-winning producer/director Jonathan Hock to chronicle the Spartans' quest for a fifth consecutive NYSPHSAA championship, which ended with a loss to Buffalo South Park in last month's semifinals.
A film crew worked five of M-E's final six games this season, as well as for other program activities. The footage has been trimmed down to a 27-minute documentary.