At the end of their outstanding high school careers, it was fitting that two great runners -- one from Fayetteville-Manlius, the other from East Syracuse-Minoa -- offered one more championship chapter.
F-M's Tommy Gruenewald and ESM's Leah Andrianos both claimed gold at last weekend's state championship meet at Kingston's Dietz Stadium, all part of a strong local contingent.
Gruenewald, going to Stanford University this fall, wasted little time taking over in the boys 3,200-meter run on Friday night. He set a torrid pace and carried a big lead after one lap, then kept building that margin throughout the next seven laps.
By the time he hit the line, Gruenewald had a time of 9:03.09, more than nine seconds ahead of Edgemont's Zach Borenstein, one of the biggest winning margins of the entire state meet.
As a follow-up, Gruenewald also contended in the mile on Saturday, finishing in third place with a time of 4:15.36 as Richard Schmitz (Port Washington) won in 4:14.21.
Meanwhile, Andrianos, who is heading to the University of Connecticut, took over in Saturday's girls 1,500-meter run.
For two-thirds of the race, Andrianos stayed with the pack, but as they came to the homestretch in the next-to-last lap, Andrianos burst out in front, and her kick was so strong that the rest of the runners could not even come close to matching it.
Andrianos hit the line in 4:30.57, her best 1,500 time yet. She beat Sachem East's Laura Greene by 5.44 seconds, as her Section III teammate, Elizabeth McMahon (West Genesee), finished seventh in 4:41.87, setting her own school record.
Elsewhere in the state Division I meet, F-M's Zach Powers finished in the medals in the boys high jump, clearing 6 feet 6 inches for fifth place. Peter Bligh (Greece Arcadia) won by clearing 6 feet 9 inches with fewer misses than Cicero-North Syracuse's Andy Kahl.