Continuing to uphold fine running traditions, West Genesee and Jordan-Elbridge cross country runners both found means of success during Saturday's Section III championship meet at Jamesville Beach Park.
In perfect early-November conditions, the boys Wildcats nearly toppled Liverpool for the second spot in Class AA, but settled for 79 points and third as the Warriors (76 points) also trailed Fayetteville-Manlius, who won with 36 points.
Steve Houghmaster managed to stand out in a tough AA field. His sixth-place time of 16 minutes, 38.2 seconds was third among individuals outside the F-M fold, clinching for him a berth in Saturday's state meet at SUNY-Plattsburgh.
Right behind Houghmaster, Billy Gabriel worked his way to 12th place in 17:17.7, while Sam Reedy claimed 14th place in 17:22.7. John DeLallo earned 24th place (17:44.1) as Martin Leff finished 26th (17:45.4) and Mark Reilly (18:04.8) was 31st.
Three WG runners are going to Plattsburgh, as eighth-grade girls star Laura Leff and her freshman teammate, Anna Leo, both hadfine showings in the AA girls race.
All Leff did was post a time of 19:05.6, the finest individual effort of anyone outside the no. 1 nationally-ranked F-M squad, who swept the top six positions. Leo, meanwhile, worked her way to fourth place among non-F-M individuals and 11th overall in 20:20.2 to qualify.
As a team, West Genesee nabbed third place, with 82 points, trailing only F-M and Cicero-North Syracuse. Abby Kastick was 22nd, in 21:32.1, just ahead of Alex Incaudo in 23rd (21:35.8) as Katie Riley got 28th place in 22:02.5.
Meanwhile, in the sectional Class C boys race, J-E expected a close battle with Holland Patent, but watched the Golden Knights prevail with 55 points as the Eagles settled into second with 71 points.
Mike Marrero is headed to the state meet after posting a fourth-place time of 16:57.9. Both Cody Stanton, in 10th place (17:32.9), and Greg Bader, in 11th place (17:33.5), just missed that qualification mark, while Steve Slonosky finished 18th in 17:52.3 and Mitch Alpha, in 28th place (18:10.2), rounded out the scoring.
J-E finished eighth in the girls Class C race, well off the winning pace Tully set. Kim Foltz led the individual Eagles as she claimed 30th place in 22:26.5 and Phebe Alley, in 22:40.2, got 36th place.