Runners help all-stars win state cross country titles

Top cross country runners from West Genesee and Jordan-Elbridge were both part of winning Section III All-Star squads at last Saturday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at SUNY-Plattsburgh.

This happened on both ends of Class AA for the Wildcat trio of Steve Houghmaster (boys) and girls teammates Laura Leff and Anna Leo.

Houghmaster, in fact, contended for the overall boys AA championship, working his way to fourth place among individuals in 15 minutes, 40.2 seconds. Nick Hughes (North Rockland) won in 15:26.3.

Along with Baldwinsville's Shaun Thompson (third), Cicero-North Syracuse's Chris Buchanan (eighth) and Liverpool teammates Alex Wilke (17th) and Anthony Brais (35th), the Section III All-Stars finished with 165 points, wiping out Section I (326) and the other All-Star teams.

Much the same thing happened in the girls AA meet, where Section III won with 125 points, ahead of Section II (217) and the rest thanks to the work of Leff and Leo.

Leff's eighth-grade campaign continued to dazzle as she finished ninth in a time of 17:43.1, not that far from repeat champion Courtney Chapman (Fayetteville-Manlius), who won in 17:25.4 ahead of a pack of Hornets that swept the top five.

Meanwhile, Leo worked her way to 61st place, in 19:25.6, the freshman helping Leff, CNS' teammates Nicole Watterud (26th) and Marissa Colburn (48th), and Liverpool's Lesley Bowers (40th) claim that top spot.

From Jordan-Elbridge, Mike Marrero helped the Section III All-Stars prevail in Class C, 182 points to 323, by tearing his way to 10th place in a time of 16:23.8.

Marrero was just behind teammate Aaron Walker (Canastota), who was eighth, and just ahead of Calvin Davis (Skaneateles) in 13th place. Ohure Sam (Tully) was 17th, and Tom Voorheis (CBA) ran to 30th place to clinch yet another Section III state crown.

In the Class B boys state race, Bishop Ludden/Bishop Grimes' Nick Barletta finished 14th, in 16:15.2, and Westhill's Kevin Zych had a solid showing, taking 26th place in 16:29.2 as the Section III All-Star squad finished fourth.

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