Westhill girls put end to Skaneateles cross country streak

Some members of the Westhill girls cross country team were not even born in 1992, the last time the Sknaeateles Lakers lost a league meet.

At least all the current Warriors can now say they were part of the team that put an end to that streak, which stretched out over 15 years and involved 93 opponents.

On the brand-new course at Marcellus last Wednesday afternoon, Westhill used its depth and balance to beat Skaneateles 20-35, while at the same time holding off a fierce effort from the host Marcellus Mustangs 27-34 to clinch the OHSL Liberty division regular-season title.

To make this big piece of history, Westhill needed to stick together. And it did so, leaving the individual glory to both of their opponents -- but winning the larger battle in the process.

By the time junior Heather Clancy crossed the finish line in 21 minutes, 54 seconds, she was in fourth place. Marcellus' Carrie Carlton had darted to the front and won in 20:34, well clear of Skaneateles' Rachel Hosie (21:16), while the Mustangs' Ariel Briggs finished third, seven seconds ahead of Clancy.

Neither Marcellus nor Skaneateles, though, had any answer for Westhill's quintet. The four runners that finished behind Clancy all did so within a 24-second span.

Freshman Lissa DiPaola led that group, finishing fifth in 22:15, while sophomore Katie Powers eased her way to sixth place, in 22:22. When senior Crystal Whiteside (22:38) and junior Holly Katko (22:39) finished right on top of each other, the Skaneateles streak was over -- and the Marcellus challenge had been thwarted, too.

Making the day even sweeter for Westhill, the boys Warriors also came up with a sweep, taking out Marcellus 20-40 and beating Skaneateles by a similar 21-40 margin.

In a memorable duel, Westhill's Andrew Corcoran gave Marcellus' Chris Stogsdill, undefeated in 2007, a big-time scare.

Stogsdill did prevail, but his time of 16:53 was just four seconds better than Corcoran (16:57), and Corcoran's battle seemed to fire up the rest of the Warriors, who took over from there.

Eric Moore finished third, in 18:06, well clear of Laker teammates Sam Smolenski (18:28) and Calvin Davis (18:30). Westhill then claimed four of the next five spots.

Kevin Zych led that charge, in sixth place (18:46), while David Krawczyk finished seventh (19:04) and Adam Nicolais (19:06) got eighth place. Vinnie Savastano, in a time of 19:16, also sneaked into the top 10.

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