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Luber leads Hornets at cross country sectionals

Everyone on the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team was quite eager to get back to Jamesville Beach Park for last Friday's Section III Class AA championship meet.

In that same venue back on Sept. 15, the Hornets were disqualified from the Chittenango Invitational for "striding out" after the starter's request that everyone get in line for the start of the race.

This time around, everyone stayed in place until the gun went off -- then F-M proceeded to crush the field and remind everyone why it is the nation's top-ranked team.

Each of the Hornets' nine runners finished in the top 12 in the Class AA field, as it earned 15 points to earn the title as West Genesee (98 points) finished second.

Even more impressive was the fact that F-M posted the five fastest individual times of the entire sectional meet on a perfect day for running -- sunny skies, temperatures around 50 degrees, little wind, and a fast, dry 3.1-mile course unhindered by mud.

Hannah Luber led this charge. The sophomore went straight to the front and gradually pulled away from her teammates, never stopping until she crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 30.8 seconds, a time that also beat most of the men that ran at Jamesville Beach.

Freshman Courtney Chapman found her way to second place, in 17:53.2, while junior Kathryn Buchan earned third place in 17:55.7.

Two more terrific sophomores rounded out this top-five sweep, as Mackenzie Carter ran to fourth place (18:04.7) and Molly Malone finished fifth, in a clocking of 18:22.5.

F-M senior Jocelyn Richards finished seventh (18:32.3), just beating out sophomore Kristen Buchan (18:37.2), who was eighth. Junior Meghan Anklin was 10th (18:42.7), and fellow junior Alexandra Chapman found her way to 12th place in 18:46.3.

Somehow, F-M head coach Bill Aris must choose just six of these great Hornet runners to compete when the state championship meet is held Saturday at Norwood-Norfolk, near Massena and the Canadian border.

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