Hornets blast way to Federation cross country title

For the third time in as many weeks, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team drilled through a post-season competition -- and earned its second consecutive state Federation championship.

Following up on dominant performances at the Section III (Nov. 2) and New York State Public High School Athletic Association (Nov. 10) events, the Hornets turned the Federation meet at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls into its own showcase, leaving 26 opposing teams far behind them.

When all the scores in the girls race were calculated, F-M had 26 points, well clear of Saratoga Springs, who was a distant second with 80 points. East Aurora, the state Class B champions, was third with 124 points.

F-M freshman Courtney Chapman nearly captured the individual Federation title, too, as she covered the 3.1-mile Bowdoin Park course in 18 minutes, 3.8 seconds. Emily Lipari (Roslyn) won the individual title in 17:58 flat.

Sophomore Mackenzie Carter worked her way to fourth place, in 18:36.1. Fellow sophomore Hannah Luber had a solid race, too, as she took sixth place in 18:44.6, just ahead of another Hornet 10th-grader, Molly Malone, who was seventh in 18:46.6.

Senior Jocelyn Richards, who took 15th place in a clocking of 19:02.6, made it five F-M runners in the top 15, while junior Kristen Buchan finished 37th (19:31.1) and junior Meaghan Anklin finished 46th, in 19:40.9.

This weekend, the Hornets are expected to be back at Bowdoin Park for the Nike Northeast Regionals, where top teams like Burnt Hills, Warwick Valley and Greenwich (all of whom skipped the Federation meet) will challenge F-M's supremacy.

F-M's boys team was also invited to the Federation meet and fared quite well, taking fourth place in 199 points. Shenendehowa (101 points) took the championship, with Queensbury (159 points) and Smithtown (175 points) second and third, respectively.

Alex Hatz led the Hornets, running to 21st place in a time of 16:35.9. Paul Merriman finished 44th (16:48.9), while Andy Sargrad gained 55th place (16:57.0) and Andrew Roache finished 75th in 17:15.9. Eric Snavely (17:46.9), Brendan Farrell (17:54.8) and Ben Sargrad (18:29.5) also ran well.

East Syracuse-Minoa's Jeff Sweeney proved to be the fastest Section III runner at the Federation meet, taking 12th place in 16:23.6, one spot ahead of Liverpool's Ethan Hickey (16:25.4) for that honor.

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