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F-M runners win fifth straight national championship

Another junior, Heather Martin, was next, working her way to 16th place (eighth in the team standings) in 19:12.2. And when senior Courtney Chapman crossed the finish line in 29th place (12th team) in 19:37 flat, F-M's fifth national championship was secure.

Two more Hornets were present, as junior Emily McGurrin took 96th place in 20:39.1 and sophomore Katie Brislin, close behind McGurrin, was 107th in 20:46.8. All of F-M's place-finishers were done by the time Saratoga got its first runner home.

As for the boys race, F-M was not expected to win. But it had a lot of confidence following its New York/Northeast Regional victory on Nov. 27 at Bowdoin Park, and that did not dissipate a week later in Oregon.

This version of the Manlius XC Club produced 135 points, easily clear of Columbus, Ind. (165 points) and 19 other teams for the runner-up spot. Only Arcadia, from California, did better as it won the Nike National meet with 92 points.

It was senior Mark McGurrin providing F-M's lead, as he worked his way to 17th place (seventh among team runners) with his time of 16 minutes, 45.4 seconds. Running together, senior Andrew Roache and sophomore Nick Ryan both were timed in 16:52.5, though Roache finished 27th and Ryan 28th.

Senior Andrew Veilleux was 47th in the team event, and 87th overall, in 17:40 flat. Junior Ben Thomas earned 58th place among team runners in 17:46.5 to round out the scoring as junior Jules Wellner finished in 18:02.9 and senior Eric Billinson had a time of 18:05.6.

What makes the F-M's girls' championship feat all the more remarkable was that it had just one senior, Chapman, among its top seven runners. So it will be favored again in 2011 to sweep every state and national honor in front of them - just as it did in 2010, and the four years prior to that, too.

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