Hornets fly to AA cross country titles

It's November, which means only one thing -- time for the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams to start stacking up the championship accolades.

First for the Hornets was the small matter of conquering the Section III Class AA races held last Saturday at Jamesville Beach Park, which was handled in a dominant manner by F-M runners of both genders.

Even with Alex Hatz sidelined again, the boys Hornets took charge with 36 points, more than doubling the total of runner-up Liverpool (76 points), who edged West Genesee (79 points) for the second spot.

Brendan Farrell had the honor of posting the fastest boys time of the entire sectional meet, the senior covering the 3.1 miles in 16 minutes, 12.6 seconds to top Baldwinsville's Shaun Thompson (16:20.6) by exactly eight seconds.

Then came junior Andrew Roache, claiming third place in 16:23.4, with senior Paul Merriman following up as he took fifth place in 16:31.1.

Another F-M junior, Mark McGurrin, took 11th place in 17:14.9, and the wave followed. Senior Joe Hartnett, in 16th place (17:29.2), rounded out F-M's scoring column as junior Owen Strong took 17th place (17:30.4) and sophomore Ben Thomas was 18th in 17:32.2. Andrew Veilleux was 25th in 17:44.9.

Then came the F-M girls team's turn, and the win was a given, as were the 15 points for a sweep of the top spots. The question was which Hornet harrier would go to the front on the Jamesville Beach course.

That would prove to be Courtney Chapman, as the junior finished in 18 minutes, 30.2 seconds, again the best time of the sectional meet. In fact, F-M would post the best six times of the entire day.

Right behind Chapman, freshman Jillian Fanning took second place, in 18:41 flat. Sophomore Katie Sischo was third, in 18:44.3, while senior Molly Malone took fifth place (18:47.1) and fellow senior Mackenzie Carter was fifth (18:48.6) and senior Hannah Luber (18:49.2) rounded out the top-five sweep.

It didn't stop there, either. Sophomore Heather Martin took eighth place, in 19:25.8, with senior Kathryn Fanning in 10th place (19:56.3). Eighth-grade Maggie Malone's fine season continued as she took 14th place in 20:50.3 and senior Gennie Ariotti (20:51.4) was 15th.

So now the Hornets move on to SUNY-Plattsburgh for this Saturday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet, with the Federation meet Nov. 21 at Bowdoin Park to follow.

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