Nov 08, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For a long time, the Marcellus cross country program had to watch, with considerable envy, as neighbors like Skaneateles, Jordan-Elbridge, West Genesee and Westhill snared post-season glory — at least from a team standpoint.
And that was part of what made the Mustangs’ clean sweep of last Saturday’s Section III Class B championship meets at Jamesville Beach Park so special — because, for once, the neighbors were looking up at them, not the other way around.
Not since 1977 had the boys Mustangs won a sectional team title. But Marcellus, a year removed from the Chris Stogsdill era, dominated the 14-team Class B field, posting 36 points to smother runner-up New Hartford (96 points) and everyone else, too.
Each of the seven Marcellus runners finished within the top 20 individuals, including junior Jesse Garn, who went to the front and gradually pulled away from Westhill’s Kevin Zych, winning in 16 minutes, 39.8 seconds as Zych (16:53.9) took second.
Senior Tom Riccardi claimed sixth place, in 17:26.7, while freshman Ryan Manahan worked his way to eighth place (17:33.1) and senior Mike Quercia (17:50.2) landed in ninth place. Another senior, Mike Fallon, was 12th (18:02.7) to clinch the team title, with junior Nate Heath in 15th place (18:20.4) and senior Owen Dean (18:34.1) in 19th place.
It proved a lot closer in the girls Class B meet, but Marcellus, with 71 points, held off New Hartford (76 points) and Westhill (81 points) for that top spot.
With every spot crucial, eighth-grader Rachel Garn led the Mustangs with a fifth-place time of 20:23.1 as freshman Maggie Dunn claimed seventh place in 20:44.4.
Another Marcellus freshman, Molly McGuane, got to 11th place in 21:17.4, but the key was that the top three Mustang runners hit the line before all of Westhill’s team members and were slightly better than New Hartford at the back.
So when sophomore Sarah Kelly finished 24th (22:28.8) and senior Laura Quercia followed in 27th place (22:44.9), the Mustangs prevailed, assuring that both Marcellus teams would represent Section III in the state meet this Saturday at SUNY-Plattsburgh.
On Westhill’s side, Katie Powers led the way, in 12th place with a time of 21:34.7. Catherine Coon was 15th (21:57.9), with Lissa DiPaola 17th (22:07.1), Susan Lopez 19th (22:08.1) and Kathryn Christensen (22:27.9) in 23rd place.
Also in the Class B races, Bishop Ludden/Grimes’ Betsy Black qualified for the girls state meet with a fourth-place time of 20:16.7, as teammate Melissa Buttner (21:39.1) was 13th and the Gaelic Knights were fifth in the team standings. Solvay was 11th, with Alex Polito (25:35.0) the top performer in 69th place.
Back in the boys Class B race, Westhill was sixth (176 points), Ludden/Grimes seventh (179 points) and Solvay 10th.
Aside from Zych, Ludden/Grimes’ Nick Barletta also advanced to the state meet by finishing seventh in 17:29.4, fifth among individuals outside Marcellus. Cody McCarthy gave the Bearcats a 14th-place clocking of 18:20 flat, with teammate Matt Cregan 23rd in 18:37.8. Westhill’s Joe Savastano took 28th place in 18:48.5, with Casey Bunce 47th in 19:23.3.