The Nanuet girls lined up in a row, striking a pose with Megan Young in the middle of them all, flashing a winning grin with the Class B championship plaque in her hands. Then coach Sheri Dempsey snapped the image of a special cross country team.
"It's amazing," Young said. "We knew this whole year we could do it. I've waited six years for this. I love my team so much."
The Golden Knights experienced a golden moment at the Section 1 Cross Country Championships Tuesday. Young arrived first in 18:44.8 and Marykate O'Meara crossed fifth, and they combined with five teammates to claim the program's first sectional crown since the Class C days of 1994.
And in the process, Nanuet ended Pearl River's remarkable run of 33 consecutive sectional titles under coach Dan Doherty, winning 42-52 over the second-place Pirates.
"A comparison for my girls has been that it's like the Giants going up against the Patriots in the Super Bowl," Dempsey said. "That's been our motto."
But Doherty didn't approach this race in the context of The Streak, which included the first five in Section 9.
"Personally that was nice, but I just feel really bad that we're not 2012 sectional champions and not getting a chance to run in the state meet," Doherty said. "To me, that's much more important than any streak."
The winning teams in the four classes and the five fastest finishers from among the other teams in each race at this storm-delayed meet qualified to make a fast turnaround and run in that state meet Saturday in Elma, near Buffalo.
"It's going to be tough ... but I'm definitely ready for Buffalo. I'm going to see if I can win," Carmel's Eric Holt said after winning Class A in a course record for a Section 1 runner, 15:48.92.
"I didn't even think I was running that fast," the senior said.
The Bronxville girls, despite Mary Cain leaving the program last month, took Class C for their 16th straight title. The Broncos placed all seven girls in the top 11, all running under 21 minutes, topped by eighth-grader Kaitlin Ryan at 20:00.77, good for second.
"They're a great group," coach Jim Mitchell said. "They're really coming into their own now that they have a little more identity and the newspapers aren't writing about 'Cain this and Cain that.' "
Stephen Shine did something that his coach, Sean Ryan, believed was a Briarcliff boys cross country first -- taking a sectional title. The senior won Class C in 16:28.56, then said: "Especially since I took second in the county, it's really great to have it."
Brian Cook of Pearl River ran 16:23.97 to win Class B. But Tappan Zee won that team title, its first since 2004.
"All of our hard work has paid off," runner-up Luke Gavigan said.
Kate Zendell placed third, helping the Suffern girls claim Class A, their first sectional crown since 2007. Coach Jeff Dempsey said: "As a group, they ran really well."
Rye Neck's Natalie Tanner became the champ among the Class C girls, running 19:48.76.
"I'm really excited," Tanner said. "It's my senior year. I really wanted to finish it off well in my last season."
Hamilton's Jason Ortiz and Robin Jessamy finished first in their Class D races. But Haldane swept the boys and girls team titles, the boys winning for the fifth straight year.
"Having five in a row means a ton," coach Tom Locascio said, "because maybe the kids will get a little pat on the back."