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Hornets flatten Class AA rivals at cross country sectionals

Katie Sischo, Christie Rutledge and Jillian Fanning paved the way as the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team continued its latest national-championship quest with a thorough thumping at Saturday's Section III Class AA championships.

And when that was done, the boys Hornets, with Mark McGurrin and Nick Ryan setting the pace, earned its own one-sided Class AA title, giving itself a chance to defend the state championship next Saturday at Lakeside Park in Pawling, just east of Poughkeepsie.

On the same Vernon-Verona-Sherrill course where the 2011 state meet will take place, F-M's girls administered a clinic on the rest of the AA starters, finishing with 18 points as Cicero-North Syracuse, with 72 points, held off Liverpool (83 points) for the second spot.

Sischo, Rutledge and Fanning went all-out, producing the day's three fastest times. Sischo won in 18 minutes, 8.7 seconds, with Rutledge nabbing second place in 18:13.3 and Fanning working her way to third place in a time of 18:15.5.

Courtney Chapman, in 18:21.2, took fifth, just behind West Genesee freshman Laura Leff (18:20.4), while Heather Martin, in seventh place (18:40.9) finished off the Hornets' scoring. And that was just the front part.

Emily McGurrin emerged in eighth place in 19:14.5, while Maggie Malone got a 10th-place time of 19:25.2. Leah Monsour found her way to 12th place in 19:51.8, a full two seconds ahead of Katie Brislin (19:53.8) in 13th.

Ninety minutes after the girls started, it was time for the boys Class AA race - and time for more F-M domination. The Hornets finished here with 31 points, with West Genesee settling into the second spot (68 points) and Cicero-North Syracuse third with 80 points.

Even though Baldwinsville's Shaun Thompson took individual honors in a time of 16:00.7, Mark McGurrin and Nick Ryan were right behind him, as McGurrin got second place in 16:07.4 and Ryan battled his way to third place with a clocking of 16:20.9.

Andrew Roache remained consistent, finishing fifth in 16:28.6, and Andrew Veilleux also got a top-10 finish, settling into ninth place in 16:54.9.

Jules Wellner clinched the sectional victory when he crossed the line in 12th place in 17:02.1, just ahead of Ben Thomas in 13th (17:04.7) and Owen Strong in 14th (17:06.1). Behind them, Eric Billinson was 18th (17:29.6) as Connor Farrell, in 22nd (17:39.8), and Colin Fitzgibbons, in 28th (17:56.4), also ran well.

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