Nov 11, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Both on an team and individual basis, Fayetteville-Manlius added to its storied cross country legacy by earning victories at last Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.
As expected, the girls Hornets, no. 2 in the latest national rankings, tore through the Class AA field at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island, ignoring the rain and mud to finish the top.
And while the F-M boys team could not quite match that finish, Alex Hatz still provided a big thrill when he won the individual Class AA title with the fastest time of the entire meet.
Going first in the morning, the girls Hornets perhaps worried about the challenge of another nationally-ranked team, Saratoga Springs, as they took to the 3.1-mile Sunken Meadow course that featured the famed “Cardiac Hill” at the two-mile mark.
F-M left all the concerns behind, though, as it put together an effort of 22 points that held back Saratoga (48 points) and the rest of the challengers to its throne.
Building upon her great Section III championship effort eight days earlier, Courtney Chapman continued to roll. The F-M sophomore pulled away from everyone and posted a time of 18 minutes, 12.9 seconds, more than half a minute ahead of Suffern’s Shelby Greany (18:46.3) at the line. It was the second-best time ever recorded at Sunken Meadow.
Hannah Luber continued the Hornets’ push, finishing third in 18:54 flat. Molly Malone worked her way to sixth place in 19:09.8, while Meaghan Anklin earned eighth place with a clocking of 19:16.6.
Even as Mackenzie Carter rounded out F-M’s scoring sheet by finishing 15th in 19:25.5, Kathryn Buchan ran well, too, as she got 20th place in 19:42.1. Alexandra Chapman worked her way to 43rd place in 20:23.6.
F-M, aiming for a sweep of both Class AA team titles, came close on the boys side, getting second place with 47 points. Only Shenendehowa, with 30 points, fared better — but Hatz would get the individual crown.
Hatz found himself engaged in a thrilling battle at the front with Shenendehowa senior Alex Leuchanka. Having passed “Cardiac Hill” and the rest of the obstacles, Hatz and Leuchanka came to the last 10 meters dead even, but Hatz inched ahead and, in 15 minutes, 58.8 seconds, beat Leuchanka by three-tenths of a second.
Right behind them, Paul Merriman gave F-M a third-place time of 16:21.76, but the Hornets’ depth could not match that of the Plainsmen as it got all four of its remaining scorers across the line before Brendan Farrell took 26th place in 16:54.71.
Andrew Roache got 34th place in 17:04.78, just ahead of John Cico (17:04.98) in 35th place. Mark McGurrin was 46th (17:23.28) and Joe Hartnett (19:04.03) trailed them.
Each of the F-M teams will go back downstate, this time to Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, this Saturday for the state Federation championship meet.