Cross country Warriors end CNS streak

Sure, it was just an opening meet, the first of many endeavors in the new CNY Counties League for the Liverpool cross country teams.

But the brisk temperatures were closer to autumn and summer, so perhaps it was fitting that the Warriors' biggest rival, Cicero-North Syracuse, would be the opposition last Wednesday at LongbranchPark.

And here, the girls Warriors would put an end to the Northstars' three-year dual meet win streak, which had stretched out to 18, by edging CNS 27-28.

Having already competed (and won) at the V-V-S Invitational four days earlier, Liverpool arrived at this showdown with some confidence, as it ceded the top spot to CNS star Taylor Wendler (19 minutes, 45 seconds), but took over from there.

Running behind Wendler, Miranda McConnell finished in second place, in 20:19, as Trina Bills took third place in 20:34, just two seconds ahead of CNS's Lauren Slocum.

Squeezing in between a trio of Northstars, Lesley Bowers earned fifth place, in 20:58, but needed its last two place-finishers to reach the top 10 if it wanted to win -- which is exactly what happened.

Melissa Riehl, a sophomore, blazed her way to eighth place in a time of 21:05, just behind Alicia Greco. And when Rachel Putnam crossed the line in ninth place (21:34), the Northstars' win streak was over.

This was, in every way, a day of triumph for Liverpool. The boys cross country Warriors joined their female counterparts on top, beating CNS 21-36.

Liverpool swept the top three spots, led by Ethan Hickey and Bryan Picciotto. Hickey crossed the line at Longbranch in 16:18, one second ahead of Picciotto, while Colin Savage gained third place in 16:45.

CNS took the next three spots, but Liverpool had more depth. Dan Szilagyi earned seventh place (17:11), while Andrew O'Leary got eighth place (17:26) and Tommy Piraino sneaked into 10th place, in 17:35.

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