For the first time this autumn, Cody Stanton emerged from the woods at Jamesville Beach State Park and made his way to the finish line in front. He hopes that's the case again in six weeks' time.
Not only did Stanton win the Division II portion of last Saturday's Chittenango Invitational, he did so with the fastest time of the entire meet, which accounted for four heats, 60 teams and more than 1,000 runners overall. It's the same course where the Section III championships will be held on Nov. 7, exactly six weeks after this meet took place.
Steadily, Stanton moved away from his main challenger, Baldwinsville's Shaun Thompson. He finishedin 15 minutes, 40.2 seconds, well clear of Thompson, who was second in 15:48.6.
Overall, J-E finished third in the team standings, with 95 points, behind B'ville (37 points) and West Genesee (67 points). Mike Marrero took seventh place in 16:11.5, while Greg Bader was 23rd in 17:20.8. Steve Slonosky was 27th (17:39.;7), with Tom Poppe (37th, 18:01.4) and Mitch Alpha (41st, 18:05.1) a bit further back.
For WG, Billy Gabriel took 10th place (16:39.9), with Steve Houghmaster 11th (16:42.1) as the Bees earned the second, third and fourth spots through Shaun Thompson, Nate McCabe and Ethan Pacheck to get in front for good. Sam Reedy came in 14th place (16:51.8), with Martin Leff in 15th place (16:52.3) and John DeLallo 17th in 17:11.3.
Of course, the Wildcats also appeared in the girls Division II race, where eighth-grader Laura Leff's sensational start continued.
Leff quickly ran away from the Division II field and didn't stop until she had posted a time of 18:26.9, nearly a minute and a half ahead of Vestal's Mary Katherine Kulp, who was second in 19:50.3.
Despite this, WG finished a close second in points to Tully, 58 points to the Black Knights' 56. Katie Bott was seventh (20:12.3), with Anna Leo 12th (20:28.8) and Abby Kastick 13th (20:33.8), but Tully had seven of the top 22 finishers, just enough to prevail. Alex Incaudo finished 25th in 21:14.5.