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Marcellus cross country turns back Westhill

In both convincing and exciting ways, the Marcellus cross country teams earned big wins over Westhill and Hannibal in last Wednesday's three-way OHSL Liberty division meet.

The exciting team battle unfolded on the girls side. Both Marcellus and Westhill easily beat Hannibal, but head-to-head it came down to single points - and the Mustangs pulled it out, 28-31, over the Warriors.

Westhill's pair of Bishop Ludden transfers, Jessica Curry and Betsy Black, took individual honors as Curry won in 18 minutes, 54 seconds and Black took second in 19:10. Marcellus countered with Rachel Garn taking third place in 19:50 and Maggie Dunn finishing fourth in 20:34.

Lissa DiPaola's fifth-place effort in 20:46 kept Westhill in front, but only before a quintet of Marcellus runners snatched victory for their side.

Molly McGuane worked her way to sixth place in 21:14 to begin that charge. Eliza Bell was seventh, in 22:13, as Nadia Bennac and Jennifer Linn both hit the line in 22:15 and Olivia Higgins (22:18) rounded things out.

On the boys side, the main Marcellus challenge came from Hannibal, but the Mustangs prevailed by a score of 23-32 as it pulled away from Westhill 16-41. In the battle of Warrior teams, Hannibal topped Westhill 20-35.

Staying together, Jesse Garn, Joe Fallon and Ryan Manahan shaped a 1-2-3 finish as Garn won in a time of 17:17, with Fallon and Manahan one second behind.

Hannibal, led by Sherzod Shamiev (17:27) in fourth place, earned the next four finishing slots before the Mustangs' John Bell took eighth place in 17:32. Westhill's Casey Bunce led his side by taking ninth place in 17:40, with Mike Epp 10th for Marcellus in 17:45.

Marcellus sent both of its teams to Saturday's Manhattan Invitational at VanCortlandt Park in the Bronx, where the Mustangs flourished in the Varsity F division.

Manahan was sixth in the boys race in a time of 13:16.17, while Jesse Garn was 10th in 13:24.71. Fallon landed in 33rd place (14:07.54) as Bell (14:31.72) and Justin Garn (14:36.88) also ran well.

As for the girls Mustangs, it ran in the Varsity B division, where Rachel Garn had a strong race, claiming 14th place in 16:08.14 as Maggie Dunn (16:59.00) finished 43rd and McGuane was 65th.

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