Marcellus track and field star Mike Quercia went right to the top in last weekend's state championship meet at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium, while teammate Chris Stogsdill nearly got there.
Quercia worked in the 400-meter dash and dominated the Division II (small school) portion of it. Backing up his top seed, he finished in 47.86 seconds, the best time of the day, beating Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton's Dustin Ross (48.84) by nearly a full second.
A day later, in the Federation 400-meter final, Quercia took dead aim at both first place and the 12-year-old Section III record of 47.82 seconds Lubert Lewis (Rome Free Academy) held. He settled for third place in 49.03 seconds as John Thomas (Sheepshead Bay) won in 48.24 seconds.
As for Stogsdill, he looked to be the overall 3,200-meter champion in the first half of that event on Friday, leading as much as 40 yards as he hit the mile mark in 4:24.42.
Up until the final lap, Stogsdill led -- but as he slowed down, three runners passed him, including Jeff Martinez (Johnson City), who won in 8:57.60. On the Division II side, Stogsdill was second in 9:08.84 behind Scott Anderson (East Aurora), who won in 9:03.91.
In the mile on Saturday, Westhill's Chris Moore finished second among Division II runners with a time of 4:17.88 as Anderson (4:13.96) again prevailed. Marcellus' Jesse Garn took fifth (16th overall) in 4:22.07. Fayetteville-Manlius star Alex Hatz won in a state-record time of 4:06.11.
Stogsdill, Garn, Quercia and Tom Riccardi helped Marcellus take second (8:03.64) to Tully (7:59.78) in the 4x800 relay, where Liverpool (7:44.46) won and set a new sectional mark.
Westhill's Vinny Savastano ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:17.61, while Solvay's C.J. Brooks was 13th in the shot put with a toss of 45 feet 5 1/4 inches.
On the girls side, Jordan-Elbridge's Nicole Darling landed in seventh place in the Division II 800-meter run in 2:18 flat. West Genesee's Jessica Andrianos got 10th in the Divison I discus, throwing it 115 feet 6 inches.