Harboring dreams of more sectional, state and national glory, the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams have begun their dual paths toward those high ambitions.
The Hornets' first display of its awesome power came at Saturday's Vernon Verona Sherrill Invitational, on the same grounds where the 2010 Section III and 2011 state championships will be decided.
In the girls race, the Hornets swept all of the top eight spots, and nine of the top 10, a sure sign of what the autumn ahead might hold.
Molly Malone won the race in a time of 18 minutes, 45.2 seconds, as Courtney Chapman took second in 18:48 flat. Katie Sischo was third, in 19:02.0, and Jillian Fanning worked her way to fourth place in 19:07.4 and Hannah Luber earned fifth place (19:09.8).
Leading the next wave, Mackenzie Carter landed in sixth (19:31.6), with Kathryn Fanning seventh (19:45.4) and Heather Martin (20:09.5) in eighth place. Eighth-grader Maggie Malone ran to 10th place in 20:55.1.
F-M's boys team, without the services of Alex Hatz (still recovering from kidney surgery done in late August), had its top remaining runners all working together, too, finishing in all the top four spots.
Brendan Farrell pulled away from the pack, earning the victory in 16 minutes, 25.9 seconds, with Andrew Roache second (16:41.9), exactly 16 seconds behind. Paul Merriman took third in 16:49.9 and Mark McGurrin got fourth place in 16:54.8.
Ben Thomas, by finishing sixth (17:25.9), clinched F-M's domination, but there was still room for Ben Sargrad in ninth place (18:01.8), plus Owen Strong in 12th in 18:18.2.