In the biggest settings, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team makes sure that it brings out its best effort, every single time.
Such was the case when more than 200 teams from across the Northeast and Canada gathered last Saturday for the 44th annual McQuaid Invitational at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester.
Competing in the featured Girls Varsity AAA division race, the Hornets pulled far away from 17 other challengers (including local rivals like Liverpool and Baldwinsville), winning with 27 points as Section II power Burnt Hills finished second, with 61 points. F-M had eight of the top 20 finishers in this elite field.
Courtney Chapman was the fastest runner in the field, as she hit the finish line on the 3.0-mile Genesee Valley course in 16 minutes, 58 seconds, beating Burnt Hills' Sam Roecker by 21 seconds.
Molly Malone led the next charge, in fourth place (17:30), while Mackenzie Carter took sixth place in 17:33 and freshman Katie Sischo earned seventh place in 17:43. Kathryn Buchan got ninth place in 17:51 to round out the scoring.
Of course, the Hornets were far from done. Alexandra Chapman ran her way to 13th place (18:09), while freshman Meaghan Anklin got 16th place (18:23) and Kristen Buchan earned 20th place in 18:29.
Over in the featured AAA boys race at the McQuaid meet, F-M nearly finished on top, getting 88 points, just behind Burnt Hills' winning total of 80 points. Still, the Hornets finished well ahead of other Section III schools like Liverpool (fourth) and Baldwinsville (sixth).
Alex Hatz proved to be the top individual in this AAA race. Averaging less than five minutes per mile, Hatz finished in 14 minutes, 57 seconds, 10 seconds clear of B'ville star Shaun Thompson.
Paul Merriman helped out by finishing fifth, in 15:19. Andrew Roache was 20th (15:53), while Jon Cico took 32nd place (16:08) and Mark McGurrin got 35th place, in 16:11.