Starting its post-season work, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool cross country teams both sought top honors at last Saturday's CNY Counties League championship meet at Jamesville Beach Park.
On the girls side, the Northstars rose up to second place, earning 59 points, while the Warriors gained third place with 92 points. Both trailed reigning national champions Fayetteville-Manlius, who won with 16 points.
Maria LaMontagne managed to break the Hornets' stranglehold on the top spots. And even with that, four F-M runners hit the line before LaMontagne grabbed fifth place in a time of 18:00.5.
Just behind her, Nicole Watterud grabbed seventh place in 18:50 flat, with Jacqlynn Halstead landing in 10th place in 19:29.9. Katie Laris finished 18th in 20:43.9 as Jessica Jelfo took 21st place in 20:49.6 to round out the CNS scoring slate. Mackenzie
Cummings was 26th (21:11.4) and Marissa Colburn got 29th place in 21:20.9.
Liverpool's Ashley Letteney also worked her way into the top 10, the sophomore finishing ninth in 19:28.7 to lead the Warriors' third-place effort.
Kaitlyn McNamara finished 16th, in 20:16.4, with Rachel Putman earning 19th place in 20:44.2. Morgan Mahoney claimed 25th place (21:08.8) as Jessica Turner took 27th (21:15.6) and Caroline Dieffender was 30th in 21:30.8.
Moving to the boys CNYCL meet at Jamesville Beach, CNS had to settle for third place with 70 points, ahead of fourth-place Liverpool (107 points) as F-M won here, too, with 27 points and Baldwinsville (60 points) rose to second place.
Reflecting the team contest, the individual race boiled down to two seniors, CNS's Chris Buchanan against B'ville's Shaun Thompson. Buchanan finished in 15 minutes, 45.6 seconds - but Thompson, back from a broken foot that sidelined him in September, won in 15:37.4.
Otherwise for the Northstars, Anthony Lupia finished 14th in 16:59.6, while Eric Hart took 19th place in 17:11.6 and Neil Gill was 20th in 17:14.5. Jared Walther, in 22nd place (17:17.2), rounded out the scoring as Tom McAndrew finished 29th in 17:45.1 and Alex Bottorff (18:11.1) was 40th.
Sophomore Drew Henry led the Liverpool pack, the sophomore getting 17th place in 17:09.8, just ahead of teammate Brandon Rudd, who was 21st in 17:16.7.
Finishing in a pack, Zach Crosby was 25th, in 17:30.3, with Anthony Ostuni 26th (17:35.1) and Kevin Abel 27th in 17:39.4. Casey Guilfoil claimed 30th place in 17:45.2.
All this leads to the Section III Class AA championships, which take place Saturday at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School. The girls race is at 11 a.m., the boys starting at 12:30.