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F-M cross country wins at Manhattan meet

It took just 2.5 miles for Tommy Gruenewald to make some history at last Saturday's Manhattan Invitational.

And it took the collective efforts of the Fayetteville-Manlius boys cross country team to claim the team title in the Varsity F division at this annual classic, staged on the famed Van Cortlandt Park course in the Bronx.

Minutes before Gruenewald started, Craig Forys, from New Jersey, had set a new course record, finishing in 12 minutes, 10.7 seconds to win the Varsity E race.

Now it was Gruenewald's turn. He matched Forys' pace step for step, and just a little bit more. When he crossed the line, the timer read 12:10.6. Gruenewald had beaten Forys' record by one-tenth of a second.

Buoyed by that, the rest of the Hornets would perform well enough to claim the team title in Varsity E.

Geoff King led the way, finishing second behind Gruenewald in a time of 12:39.4. Luke Fitzgibbons was 11th (13:23.2), while Ben Kimple ran to 17th place (13:29.5) and Andrew Sargrad, in 24th place (13:46.4), rounded out the scoring.

F-M's state-ranked girls team participated in the 33-team Eastern States event that was part of the Manhattan meet and finished in fifth place. Midlothian, from Virginia, took the team crown.

Mackenzie Carter finished 17th among individuals in a time of 14:51.8. Kathryn Buchan was 29th (15:15.5), followed by teammates Jessica Hauser (15:38.5), Molly Malone (15:42.3), Catie Caputo (15:58.1), Rachael Weiter (16:20.2) and Hilary Hooley (16:28.4).

Just before going to the Bronx, the Hornets completed a perfect run through the OHSL Colonial American division by sweeping city foes Fowler and Nottingham last Wednesday at Burnet Park, even though all the top runners were resting for the big weekeend ahead.

In the boys meet, Paul Merriman, in a time of 17:45, beat Nottingham's Stephon Martin to the line by two seconds to claim the individual title. F-M beat Nottingham 23-35 and Fowler 15-44.

Eric Snavely, in fourth place (17:57), led a pack that included Kris Barnes (18:37), Tim Duett (18:39) and Joe Hartnett (18:57). Blair Hanson (19:30) and Terry Creamer (19:47) also posted solid times.

In the girls meet, where the Hornets beat the Bulldogs 15-50 and the Falcons 19-44, Courtney Chapman ran away from the field, her time of 20:19 a full 38 seconds clear of Fowler's Margaret Richardson.

Alyssa Panozzo, in a time of 21:04, led the next pack that included Dana Gould (21:20), Allyson O'Brien (21:37), Alexandra Chapman (21:43), Erica Losito (22:19) and Lis Daggett (22:24).

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