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Indoor track Lakers witness end to Manley era

The Skaneateles indoor track and field season concluded last Friday at the Section III State Qualifier meet where several Skaneateles athletes vied for a chance to compete at this weekend's state meet at Cornell University.

Despite several rousing performances and numerous personal bests, none of the Laker athletes were able to to advance to the state finals.

Yet the meet was much more than the conclusion of just another season of indoor track. Friday was the last time that high school runners would ever take to the line at Manley Field House's --truly the end of an era in Central New York.

Manley Field House first began hosting high school indoor track races in 1965, and since that time has seen some of the most inspiring and jaw dropping performances of Section III track and field.

Moreover, Manley has not only been the main home for Central New York's indoor track athletes over the years, but also their main source of motivation to keep training through the cold and snowy winter months until the outdoor season arrives.

Over the years, the track and field scene at Manley Field House has morphed into a culture of its own.

From the infamous "Manley" cough the morning after racing product of the arena's dry air, to the "secret locker room" in the back, or even the smell of hot dogs (putrid to athletes competing), and the alcoves to cheer from around the back stretch, Manley remains the home of many memories that CNY high school track and field athletes will cherish for years to come.

The end of the era of Manley, the end of the 2009 season, and the end of the line for the indoor track careers of six Laker seniors, the State Qualifier fittingly contained several seasonal and personal best performances for the Lakers.

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