Excitement built for the West Genesee track and field teams as they went east to meet rival Fayetteville-Manlius on Wednesday afternoon, with superiority in the CNY Counties League American division at stake.
And the boys Wildcats would take advantage of somewhat fortunate circumstances and finish on top, beating the Hornets 77-64 as the WG girls team lost by a 108-31 margin.
WG did not face a full-strength F-M boys team, for the Hornets' star distance runner, Alex Hatz, was saving himself for an appearance at the prestigious Penn Relays later in the week.
Hatz's absence showed up in several key events, especially the 800-meter run and mile, where Steve Houghmaster took over and sped to victory both times. Houghmaster covered the 800 in 1:58.9, then turned to the mile and won that event in a clocking of 4:27.3.
Matt Ulrich also took two titles, beating the field in the 110 high hurdles in 15.8 seconds and adding a 400-meter hurdles victory in 1:01 flat. Jake Lafaver added his own double, taking the 200-meter dash in 23.5 seconds and winning the 400-meter dash in 51.2 seconds.
WG also swept all three relays. Houghmaster, John DeLallo, Martin Leff and Sam Reedy took the 4x800 in 8:24.5, while Reedy and Houghmaster joined Jake Lafaver and Zach Lafaver to claim the 4x400 in 3:37.2. In the 4x100, Luke Potash, Sean Howard, Kesean Sparks and Zander Petrosa earned the win in 46.1 seconds.
Beaten in most of the field events, the Wildcats would snatch one title in the pole vault as Jeremy Cantello cleared 11 feet 6 inches.
F-M dominated the girls meet, its deep pool of distance runners thwarting all the Wildcats' attempts to gain a foothold, and Audrey Wallace led the Hornets with wins in the 100 hurdles (17.7 seconds), 400 hurdles (1:10.0) and triple jump.
WG only won twice -- in the discus, where Naomi Schofield threw it 76 feet 1 inch, and the pole vault, where Allie Miedaner cleared 8 feet.