Though it could not quite reach the top of the podium, the Fayetteville-Manlius indoor track and field team still managed a strong performance during last Saturday's state championship meet at Cornell University's Barton Hall.
In the girls 4x800 relay, the Hornets battled Warwick Valley to the finish line. Mackenzie Carter, Molly Malone, Hannah Luber and Kathryn Fanning, all sophomores, produced a time of nine minutes, 17.66 seconds that set a new Section III record. Warwick prevailed in 9:16.95, a margin of just 0.71 seconds after two miles on the oval.
Meanwhile, in the boys mile, Alex Hatz had his own brush with a state title, as the sophomore earned second place in a clocking of 4:22.62. Only Kyle Merber (Half Hollow Hills West), in a time of 4:20.84, fared better.
Jamal Johnson raced in both sprints, reaching the finals of the 55-meter dash and taking fifth place in 6.53 seconds as Kevin Malivert (Ramapo) won in 6.42 seconds. Johnson ran to 24th in the 300-meter dash in 37.82 seconds.
Malone matched Johnson's high finish, getting fifth in the girls 1,000-meter run in 2:57.19, not far from Kristin Reese (Carmel), who won in 2:52.86.
Courtney Chapman and Jocelyn Richards appeared in both of the girls distance races. They both fared better in the 3,000-meter run, as Chapman gained eighth place in 10:22.37 and Ricahrds was 10th in 10:30.57. In the 1,500-meter run, Chapman (5:02.30) and Richards (5:03.91) were 19th and 20th, respectively.
CBA's Melissa Zajdel nearly claimed her own state title, teaming with Caitlin McMahon (Tully), Laura Zimmerman (Westhill) and Heather Vroman (Utica Proctor) for a second in the distance medley relay in 10:32.81. Section II won in 10:28.13. On her own, Zajdel finished 12th in the 600-meter run in 1:39.35.