Absent its most exciting performer (for justifiable reasons), the Fayetteville-Manlius boys track and field team suffered a rare defeat on Wednesday afternoon as West Genesee showed up and beat the Hornets 77-64. It did help that the F-M girls team, at full strength, took apart the Wildcats 108-31.
The F-M boys did not have Alex Hatz available to dominate distance races, as he was preparing to take on the best high-school runners in the country at the prestigious and historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
Hatz would compete in the 3,000-meter run -- and finish second to Jamaica's Kemoy Campbell in a close race to the finish. Campbell finished in 8:20.14 -- but Hatz, with his clocking of 8:21.01, broke the sectional record set by former F-M star Tommy Gruenewald in 2007 at the Nike Outdoor Nationals.
Without Hatz, the Hornets lost all three relays and saw WG's Steve Houghmaster, who participated in two of the relays, take the 800-meter run (1:58.9) and mile (4:27.3), events where Hatz would normally win with ease. WG teammates Matt Ulrich (110 high hurdles, 400 hurdles) and Jake Lafaver (200-meter dash, 400-meter dash) also won twice.
F-M countered with a near-sweep of the field events. Chris Ruggeri took the long jump (18 feet 3 inches), high jump (5 feet 6 inches) and triple jump (39 feet 4 inches), while Vin Nguyen put together top throws in the discus (117 feet 7 inches) and shot put (37 feet 8 inches). Ryan Jones ran the 100-meter dash in 11.5 seconds and Andrew Roache needed 9:52.8 to prevail at 3,200 meters.
Meanwhile, the F-M girls team was flattening West Genesee, with Audrey Wallace setting the pace. Wallace won three times, covering the 400 hurdles in 1:10 flat and going 29 feet 8 inches in the triple jump as she also claimed the 100-meter high hurdles in 17.7 seconds.