Jake Lafaver's win in the 400-meter dash proved to be the big moment for the West Genesee boys track and field team as it took fifth place at last Wednesday's Section III Class AA championship meet at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium.
A series of high finishes left the Wildcats with 56 points, just behind Corcoran (58 points) in fourth place. The hosts from CNS won, with 103 points, as Rome Free Academy (80 points) and Baldwinsville (79 points) got second and third, respectively.
Lafaver took charge in the 400 long before hitting the stretch, and breezed to victory in 50.60 seconds, nearly a full second ahead of CNS's Mike Fiume (51.52 seconds). Lafaver's twin brother, Zack, finished seventh in the 400.
Elsewhere, Jon Richardson nearly won the five-event pentathlon. He was first in two of the five events (110 high hurdles and 1,500-meter run) and posted 2,719 points, just behind Utica Proctor's Pedrick O'Garro, who won with 2,781 points.
Steve Houghmaster won a close battle for second place in the mile, posting a time of 4:27.22 as Fayetteville-Manlius star Alex Hatz set a new personal mark, winning in 4:08.18. Also, Houghmaster teamed with Ethan Wojcik, Billy Gabriel and Jake Lafaver for second place in the 4x800 relay (8:16.69) as Liverpool won in 8:09.41.
Zac Karpinski claimed third place in the 200-meter dash (22.86 seconds) and fifth place in the 100 (11.40 seconds), while Matt Ullrich needed 59.23 seconds for third place in the 400-meter hurdles.
Tom Hopkins battled his way to fourth in the 3,200-meter run (10:00.10) and Sam Reedy was fifth in the 3,000 steeplechase (10:43.91). Karpinski, Greg Kurtz, Zack Lafaver and Christos Dimkos got to sixth in the 4x100 relay in 45.32 seconds.
In the girls edition of the AA meet Thursday, West Genesee had 21 points, taking ninth place. CNS, with 106.5 points, edged past F-M by just 1.5 points to win it.
Katie Bott ran to third in the 400-meter dash in 59.79 seconds. Jessica Andrianos got fourth in the discus with a toss of 99 feet 7 inches. Carly Graham was fifth in the 800-meter run (2:22.02), where F-M's Molly Malone set a new sectional record with her time of 2:09.93.
Graham, Bott, Amy Hannahan and Kristin Waters took third in the 4x800 relay in 10:03.63. Waters joined Paige Copeland, Colleen Smith and Brianna McGraw for a fifth (4:22.03) in the 4x400 relay.