Once the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams start to run in the autumn, very few ever catch up to them.
In fact, in 2007, the girls Hornets won the state, Federation and national titles, and lost very little from that squad, so it could repeat all those feats in 2008.
Also, much of the F-M boys team that narrowly lost the Section III Class AA title to Liverpool is back to try and take that crown back, adding to the possibilities.
They all made a sterling debut last Wednesday afternoon, at Corcoran, in a head-to-head meet where the Hornets won 15-50 on both fronts.
After some intense practice on the Corcoran track, F-M went to the task of the meet, with the usual one-sided results.
The top nine F-M girls runners went to the finish line together. Isabel Carapella, in 20 minutes, 54 seconds, was at the front of the pack. Meaghan Anklin, Kathryn Buchan, Kristen Buchan, Mackenzie Carter, Alexandra Chapman, Courtney Chapman, Molly Malone and Katie Sischo followed in short order. Amanda Eisenson (21:15) led the next pack.
As to the boys race, that proved to be a slight variation, in that Ben Sargrad and Ben Thomas ran ahead of the pack. Sargrad won in 17:37 and Thomas, in 18:15, took second place.
Owen Strong, with a time of 18:28, led the charge as Jon Cico, Joe Hartnett, Alex Hatz, Mark McGurrin, Paul Merriman and Andrew Reache all finished one second behind. Robb Griffin got 10th place in 18:31.
From there, both F-M teams made their way to Jamesville Beach State Park for Saturday's Chittenango Invitational, held on the same course where the Section III championships will be decided on Oct. 31.
In the girls Division II race, F-M, even without its top five performers (Carter, Anklin, Malone, Courtney Chapman and Kathryn Buchan), still won with 31 points as Baldwinsville took second with 68 points.