On a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon for running, each of Chittenango's cross country teams began the 2009 season against Mexico, gaining a split.
The Bears prevailed, 23-32, on the girls end, but the boys match proved closer -- and ended up in the Tigers' favor by a slim 27-29 margin.
Behind the front-running Mexico star Tia Bullard, who won in 20:06, the girls Bears started with Hannah Murphy taking second place in 23:19 and Becka Sager (23:55) finishing third.
In the second wave, Jordan Donnelly ran her way to fifth place in 24:28, just six seconds ahead of teammate Kelly Anderson (24:34) as Hillary Courtwright got seventh place in 24:44 to clinch victory.
Meanwhile, in the boys race, Chittenango's Josiah Durfee pulled away, winning in 17 minutes, 25 seconds, half a minute ahead of the Tigers' Tyler Pettit.
Mexico took the third, fourth and seventh spots, just enough to fend off the Bears' charge. Chittenango's Kevin Carr was fifth (19:28), two seconds clear of Bruce Gondeck (19:30) in sixth. Jason Ceresoli earned eighth place, in 19:47, with Cliff Reals ninth in 20 minutes flat and Brad Murray (20:16) in 10th place.
The Chittenango girls team will compete Saturday at the Vernon Verona Sherrill Invitational, on the same course where it was just announced that the 2011 New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet will take place.