Even as Vernon Verona Sherrill played host to its annual cross country invitational on Saturday, the bigger news was what was announced earlier this month.
Officials awarded the 2011 New York State Public High School Association cross country championship meet to VVS, giving all the younger runners in the area, both boys and girls, a goal to shoot for.
To be exact, the date of the state meet at VVS will be Nov. 11, 2011, a year after the 2010 Section III championships will be staged there following a three-year stint at Jamesville Beach State Park.
The VVS course winds around the athletic fields at the high school and also heads into wooded areas near a water tower, all finishing up on the f0otball field sidelines. That last fact will allow thousands of spectators to sit in bleachers and get a panoramic view when all the runners come home.
In the first of what will prove to be three seasons full of warm-ups for the big show in 2011, the annual VVS Invitational took place on Saturday, with competition in "Red" and "White" divisions on both the boys and girls side. In all, 21 girls and 19 boys teams took part.
VVS saw its girls team grab fourth in the Red division with 113 points. Lauren MacDonald, in a time of 20 minutes, 37.7 seconds, was ninth, but best among runners outside of Fayetteville-Manlius, the reigning national champions posting the top eight finishers, including Molly Malone, who won in 18:45.2.
Outside of MacDonald, Kerry Miley had the best effort, taking 17th place in 22:32.3, while Casey Kane was 24th in 23:32.5. Oneida, seventh in the 11-team field with 165 points, had Erin Durdan finish 22nd in 22:59.4, with Jen Scholl 35th (24:32.9) and Lena Reginelli (24:53.9) close behind Scholl.
Beginning her senior campaign in the White division race, Canastota's Allison Lasnicki pulled away from the field, winning in 19:16.5, the only runner to break 20 minutes in this division.