Oct 19, 2006 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For the second time in as many weeks, the East Syracuse-Minoa boys cross country team found itself in a tight duel with the Chittenango Bears.
True, the OHSL Freedom division regular-season championship was secure, but now all the league’s teams were together in Phoenix, and the action was just as intense.
Ultimately, it took the Spartans’ sixth runner, Brandon Blincoe, to pull ESM to the title, even though the Spartans and Bears both finished with 74 points, just ahead of Mexico (77 points), with Jamesville-DeWitt (93 points) in fourth place.
Much like the Oct. 18 meet at Green Lakes, ESM fell behind, as Chittenango’s Eric Leonard won the race in a time of 17 minutes, 25.5 seconds and Dmitriy Tarasevich finished fifth, in 17:45.3.
Nick Sadlocha got the Spartans on the board with a ninth-place time of 18:06.8. Greg Lothridge was 14th, in 18:29.1, and both needed to step up, since Jeff Sweeney, the team’s top runner all season, had a tender hip and could not go to full speed.
Saving himself, Sweeney still finished 16th, in 18:30.4, and his teammates were right behind him as Enrico Gonnella ran 17th (18:32.5) and Pete Ferstler finished 18th, in 18:33.3 to close out the Spartans’ scoring.
Still, Chittenango fared well enough behind Leonard and Tarasevich to match ESM’s score. In such instances, the sixth runner serves as the tiebreaker.
Here was where Blincoe entered the picture. He finished 21st, in a clocking of 18:42.2, well ahead of the Bears’ sixth runner, Matt Benjamin (19:02.6), and ESM had another title to crow about.
J-D had a strong showing, too. A.J. Russell was third among individuals in a time of 17:37.3, while Jack Knych got seventh place (17:57.5) and Ben Kier was 13th, in 18:28.4.
The girls OHSL Freedom race at Phoenix had a far different outcome. ESM settled for third place, with 91 points, as Mexico blew away the field with 46 points and Phoenix took second, with 86 points.
Again, no one could catch Leah Andrianos. The ESM field tore through the muddy Phoenix course in 19:26.9, winning the individual title with ease. She was the only runner in the field to break the 20-minute mark.
Brandi Gibson pushed her way to 12th place (21:33.2), while Erica Heidelberger got 21st place in 22:57.1. Mexico prevailed because it placed all of its point runners in the top 15, led by Ashlie Wilson, in fifth place (20:30.2).
As for J-D, it finished fifth, with 96 points, and placed three runners in the top 20. Eileen Cody gained eighth in a time of 20:56.3, while Gabi Barry earned 15th place (22:03.2) and Lauren Sala finished 18th, in 22:31.9.
Everyone now turns to the big post-season events, starting with this Saturday’s OHSL championship meet at Tully High School.