Nov 19, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Early on a sun-drenched Saturday morning at Lakeside Park in Pawling, seven girls from the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team set out in pursuit of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA championship.
By the time they were done less than 20 minutes later, the state title was safely in the Hornets’ hands again, the fifth straight year it has claimed this big prize.
F-M, the nation’s top-ranked team, achieved a perfect score of 15 points, leaving Saratoga Springs in second place (45 points), and the other seven AA teams far behind as it took yet another big step toward defending its national crown at the Nike Nationals early in December.
Once the race had started, two Hornets, junior Christie Rutledge and sophomore Jillian Fanning, quickly separated themselves from their main individual challengers, star freshmen Maria LaMontagne (Cicero-North Syracuse) and Laura Leff (West Genesee), who would take third and fourth, respectively.
It was Rutledge, who wasn’t even on the varsity squad a year ago, that finished with the individual state title as she crossed the line in 17 minutes, 31 seconds, while Fanning worked her way to second place in 17:44.1.
Before any Saratoga runner could show up, four more F-M runners would beat them. Junior Katie Sischo, the Section III individual champion, finished in 18:18.8, grabbing fifth place as senior Courtney Chapman worked her way to sixth place in a clocking of 18:27.1
In all, six Hornets finished in the top nine, as junior Heather Martin finished eighth in 18:37.7 to round out the scoring and complete F-M’s perfect mark. Just behind her, sophomore Katie Brislin got ninth place in 18:40.2 and freshman Maggie Malone finished 34th in 19:32.3.
Later on Saturday morning, F-M’s boys cross country team set out to earn its second straight state Class AA title, but had to settle for third place. The Hornets had 80 points, just behind Warwick Valley (78 points) for the runner-up spot as Shaker won with 58 points.
Individually, CNS’s Chris Buchanan claimed the state title in 15:55.9, edging Saratoga’s Sam Place (15:56.7) by less than a second, but no F-M runner hit the line until sophomore Nick Ryan finished 13th in 16:25.1, behind two Shaker competitors.
Senior Andrew Roache got 17th place in 16:31.6, and fellow senior Mark McGurrin was 23rd in 16:37.2, but all the other Shaker place-finishers ended up ahead of F-M’s fourth runner, Jules Wellner, who was 56th in 17:06.5. Ben Thomas was 65th in 17:13.8 as Andrew Veilleux (17:31.6) and Owen Strong (17:49.9) rounded out the field.
In Class A girls, Jamesville-DeWitt finished 10th in the team standings. Ameena Dye finished 58th in a time of 20:42.6, followed by teammates Laura Wengert (21:33.7), Rebecca Bergman (21:43.1), Katie Pinkes (22:05.6), Rebecca Doss (23:19.9), Avery Share (23:23.0) and Samantha Clemons (23:57.4). East Syracuse-Minoa freshman Gabby Pallotta was 97th in 21:50.7.
Moving back to the boys side, CBA’s Brendan Smith finished third in the Class C race in a time of 16:22.1, behind only Holland Patent stars Dylan Racha (16:06.5) and Cody Racha (16:06.8). ESM’s Mike Coogan was 22nd in Class A in 16:59.2.
F-M’s girls team will skip this Saturday’s state Federation meet, choosing instead to race Nov. 27 at the Nike Nationals New York/Northeast Regional qualifier, held on the same Bowdoin Park course as the Federation event.