CNS boys battle to AA indoor track title

Just as it had done all season, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys indoor track and field team found a way to reach the top of the standings during last Wednesday night's Section III Class AA championship meet at Manley Field House.

Overall, the Northstars finished with 103 points, fending off a strong challenge from Rome Free Academy, who got second with 82.5 points as Liverpool (65 points) finished third.

More than a third of those points came from CNS's ability to dominate field events, thanks to stars like Andy Kahl and Craig Barber.

Kahl, by himself, earned 19 points. He won again in the high jump, clearing 6 feet 6 inches to beat Baldwinsville's Brian Kane by eight inches. Devin Mertens finished third as he cleared 5 feet 8 inches.

In addition, Kahl took second in the triple jump, going 42 feet 1/2 inch as only RFA's Shawn Carter (45 feet 7 3/4 inches) fared better, and was sixth (19 feet 3 1/4 inches) in the long jump, too.

Craig Barber's season-long reign in the pole vault continued, as he managed to clear 12 feet 6 inches to wipe out the field. Dan Minahan contributed a third in the shot put with a toss of 46 feet 1 1/2 inches.

Over on the oval, CNS nearly swept the relays. In the 4x400, Tony Rogers, Jeff Azzoto, Shaun Hyde and Brandon Marlow combined for a victory in a time of 3:34.57, more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Liverpool (3:37.21).

Azzoto was also a participant in the 4x800 relay, helping Jake Whritenour, Kevin Cusworth and Nathan MacNabb as the Northstars, with a clocking of 8:20.40, beat Baldwinsville (8:25.34) by nearly five seconds.

Only in the 4x200 did CNS get topped, with Rogers, Devin Young, Vincent St. James and Ben Brown putting up a time of 1:34.24 as RFA won that event in 1:33.21.

MacNabb had an individual impact, too, claiming second place (2:36.61) behind Fayetteville-Manlius star Alex Hatz (2:34.83) in the 1,000-meter run and earning fourth place (4:37.86) in the mile, too. Whritenour was fifth in the 600-meter run (1:28.11) as Chris Buchanan (10:02.27) and Cusworth (10:08.30) were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the mile.

St. James sprinted his way to a fourth-place time of 6.78 seconds in the 55-meter dash, while Ty Howington got fourth place in the 55-meter hurdles in 8.43 seconds, ahead of teammate Keenan Williams (8.92 seconds), who was seventh and just missed the points standings.

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