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Cross country trio wins, sets up showdown

Come next Wednesday, the Marcellus, Jordan-Elbridge and Westhill boys cross country teams will all be gathering to see who wins the OHSL Liberty division regular-season title.

Each of them moved to 6-0 on the season with wins last week. Marcellus swept Skaneateles and Hannibal, with J-E knocking off Cazenovia and CBA, and Westhill defeating Homer and Solvay.

Going first last Tuesday, the Mustangs visited the Skaneateles Polo Grounds for its annual tussle with the Lakers, with Hannibal a third opponent.

It did not prove to be close, as Marcellus blasted past Skaneateles 18-43 and also beat Hannibal 19-42,

Chris Stogsdill, holding back for his work later this week in the Manhattan Invitational, ran with Jesse Garn and generously allowed Garn to win the individual race, both of them crossing the line in 16 minutes, 42 seconds.

Tom Riccardi won a spirited battle for third place with Skaneateles' top runner, Calvin Davis, posting a time of 16:57 as Davis (17:03) settled for fourth.

Hannibal runners Josh Sheldon (17:37) and Tyler Baker (17:45) followed, but Mike Epp earned seventh place, in 17:48, as Nate Heath took ninth place (17:54) and Kyle Tierney finished 10th in 17:56.

A day later, J-E and Westhill took their turns. With Cody Stanton setting a record pace on his home course, the Eagles routed Cazenovia 17-46 and fought past Christian Brothers Academy 20-40.

As for the Warriors, it had to work hard to beat Homer 23-32 at Santoro Park, while also beating its neighbors from Solvay in a 19-42 decision.

Stanton tore through 3.1 miles in 15:55, setting a new J-E course record and beating teammate Mike Marrero by 19 seconds.

Greg Bader battled his way to fourth place, in 16:44, to give the Eagles a cushion behind Stanton and Marrero. Steve Slonosky, in seventh place (17:34), began a surge of J-E runners that included Tom Poppe (17:38) in eighth place and Kyle Becker (17:43) in ninth place.

Meanwhile, Westhill used front-end strength to fend off Homer. Chris Moore won a sprint to the finish line in 17:31, one second better than teammate Kevin Zych, with Solvay's Matt Fedrizzi taking third place in 17:47.

Homer had five of the top 10 finishers in the meet, but since Josh Strough finished fifth (18:33) and Adam Nicolais took sixth place (18:37), the Trojans could not overcome the Warriors' early advantage.

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