To settle first place in the OHSL Freedom division last Tuesday afternoon, the Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse-Minoa cross country teams went north, to Mexico. And it didn't bother the Red Rams one bit.
J-D would prevail on both sides of this meet, beating ESM 23-34 on the boys side and 20-36 in the girls meet.
As far as Mexico was concerned, the Red Rams beat the Tigers on both fronts, including a narrow 26-29 decision in the girls event and a 19-42 boys win. The Spartans split, winning on the boys end (21-38) but losing to Mexico 22-34 in girls action.
The boys race featured a duel between J-D's Daniel Frank and ESM's Nick Sadlocha. Each of them pulled away from the rest of the runners on Mexico's 3.1-mile course. At the line, Frank, in 16 minutes, 30 seconds, beat Sadlocha by four seconds.
After Mexico's Evan Oustrich took third place (17:02), the Rams' winning wave began. Bumkuth Jiak landed in fourth place, in 17:15, with Ben Kier tucking into sixth place (17:23), one second behind ESM's Matt Lyons.
Max Smith found his way to seventh place for the Rams with his time of 17:38, beating ESM's Andrew Troast by 11 seconds. Danny Driscoll finished ninth (17:55) to clinch J-D's victory as John Lenish finished 10th in 17:59.
As for the girls race, first place was on the line between J-D and Mexico, too, and the Red Rams came out on top by a 26-29 margin.
J-D's Eileen Cody took charge, nearly breaking the 20-minute mark before finishing in 20:01, well clear of Mexico's Tia Bullard (20:27) in second place.
Cody's teammate, Ameena Dye, got third place in 21:36, holding off ESM's top runner Meghan Vissser (21:40, for that spot. The Rams also needed Grace Bradshaw (22:11) and Paige Morrow (22:38) to crack the top 10 to fend off the Tigers. Erica Heidelberger gave the Spartans an eighth-place time of 22:34.
ESM comes home to host its own invitational meet on Saturday morning on the grounds at Pine Grove Elementary School.