F-M cross country headed for Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame

Want to talk about sports dominance?

Here's a rare and wondrous example from right here in Central New York: for four years running, from 2006 through 2009, the Fayetteville-Manlius High School girls cross country team won both state and national championships.

In light of F-M's longstanding success, the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame will honor the high school's Girls Cross Country teams of 2006-2009 on Oct. 18, at the 24th annual dinner at Drumlins Country Club. This year's team-recognition award is sponsored by Solvay Bank.

Last year, the Hornets -- featuring runners Mackenzie Carter, Courtney Chapman, Jillian Fanning, Hannah Luber, Molly Malone, Heather Martin and Katie Sischo -- won the 2009 New York state championship with an unprecedented perfect score of 15. F-M runners had finished first through fifth in the race run at SUNY Plattsburgh on Nov. 14, 2009. That was the first time that feat was accomplished in the history of the meet.

Chapman crossed the finish line first with a time of 17 minutes, 25.4 seconds. She was followed by teammates Molly Malone, Jillian Fanning, Mackenzie Carter and Katie Sischo.

F-M's sixth and seventh runners placed 15th and 20th, respectively, as the Hornets topped second-place Saratoga.

and the team went on to win the Nike Cross Country Nationals in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 5, 2009 to complete another complete sweep of all season opponents.

Coached by Bill Aris and his assistant, John Aris, the F-M Girls Cross Country teams of 2006-2009 won a total of 20 championships. They were four-time CNY Counties League champions, four-time Section III champions, four-time New York State champions, four time regional champions and four-time national champions.

"During those years the girls were all outstanding runners, stellar competitors as well as team players," said head coach Bill Aris. "They really all are selfless kids. They all love each other, and they all work for each other."

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