Now it all comes down to one meet.
On Wednesday afternoon at Green Lakes State Park, each of Chittenango's cross country teams will meet East Syracuse-Minoa, battling for their respective OHSL Freedom division championships.
Taking the last step toward this showdown, the boys Bears had to survive a severe challenge last Wednesday in a three-way meet with Jamesville-DeWitt and Fulton.
By a slim margin, Chittenango got past the Red Rams, 26-29, while earning a more comfortable 15-48 win over the Raiders.
True, Eric Leonard did win the race, his time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds a full eight seconds better than J-D's A.J. Russell, but it was the Bears' depth that allowed them to survive the Rams' challenge.
Dimitriy Tarasevich claimed third place, in 17:26, while Andrew Maum earned sixth place in 18:09. J-D teammates Ben Kier and Jack Knych had finished between them, so Chittenango needed more help.
And it would get the help. Brian Maum, finishing in eighth place (18:22), was closely followed by Matt Benjamin, in ninth place (18:23), and Robert Doss, who was 10th in 18:25. That helped Chittenango clinch the meet.
As this was going on, the girls Bears were claiming an even more convincing sweep, beating J-D 21-37 and crushing Fulton 17-45.
Michelle Brandt was part of another runaway. She tore through the J-D course in 19:28, nearly a minute and a half ahead of J-D's Eileen Cody.
Brittany Reals, in third place (21:14), led the next pack. Lauren Anderson was fourth, in 21:26, while Jenny Maum took seventh place (21:45) and Rachel Church ran her way to eighth place in 22:02.
By getting the sweep, Chittenango's girls moved to 4-1, right behind ESM (5-0) in the standings. On the boys end, the Bears and Spartans are both undefeated, adding to the excitement.