For the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams, nothing less than a complete conquest of the Section III Class AA opposition would be acceptable.
And that's exactly what the Hornets pulled off during last Friday's sectional championship meet on a gorgeous fall afternoon at Jamesville Beach, just days removed from rain and snow that closed the course to practice for the entire week.
Not content with dominating the girls side (as expected), F-M also had its boys team, led by the junior trio of Alex Hatz, Paul Merriman and Brendan Farrell, zoom to the front of the AA ranks after near-misses at the sectional meet in 2006 and '07.
But the girls would go first. That F-M would win the competition and score a perfect 15 points was generally assumed before the race started. The only question was how complete the domination would be.
The answers came soon enough. Sophomore Courtney Chapman simply took off on the tough Jamesville Beach course, pulling far away from her teammates and not stopping until she had crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 55.6 seconds.
Junior Hannah Luber led the next wave, nearly 20 seconds behind as she finished second in 18:16.5. A half-minute later, senior Meaghan Anklin ran her way to third place in 18:46.2, as junior Molly Malone finished fourth in 18:56.9.
Kathryn Buchan, the lone senior in F-M's lead pack, finished fifth (19:01.5), as junior Mackenzie Carter finished sixth in 19:04.7. Together, Chapman, Luber, Anklin, Malone, Buchan and Carter posted the six fastest times of the entire sectional meet.
Freshman Katie Sischo, in a clocking of 19:23.4, finished F-M's clean sweep of the top seven spots in the meet. Seniors Alexandra Chapman (19:57.2) and Amanda Eisenson (20:09.3) were 11th and 12th, respectively, while Katie Convertino (21:36.4) rounded out the Hornets' roster.
Two and a half hours later, F-M's boys took its turn, and won big. The Hornets' total of 28 points obliterated everyone else as Liverpool, with 76 points, edged out West Genesee (82 points) for second place.