Marcellus beats J-E, takes cross country league title

In the course of a month, the Marcellus boys cross country team squared off against each of the other seven OHSL Liberty division squads - and beat them all.

The Mustangs, no. 2 in the latest state Class B rankings, completed this season-long sweep Wednesday against Jordan-Elbridge, holding off the Eagles 24-33 in a first-place showdown.

Marcellus also topped Christian Brothers Academy 22-39 in the three-way meet, while J-E beat the Brothers by that same 22-39 margin to secure second place in the league standings.

The presence of CBA star Brendan Smith forced the Mustangs' Jesse Garn to increase his tempo. Garn obliged, and his time of 17 minutes, six seconds was enough to beat Smith (17:19) by 13 seconds.

Just as important, Garn's teammate, Ryan Manahan, rolled to third place in 17:30, nearly half a minute better than J-E's best runner, Jack Gugel, who was fourth in 17:54. Two more Eagle runners followed as Steve Slonosky finished fifth (17:56) and Greg Bader took sixth place in 18:02.

To clinch matters, the Mustangs had four more runners finish ahead of the rest of the J-E pack. Justin Garn was seventh in 18:41, just ahead of Joe Fallon (18:42) in eighth, while John Bell (18:49) edged out Mike Epp (18:50) for ninth place.

The girls meet proved more lopsided in favor of Marcellus as it rolled past J-E 17-44 and CBA 21-38, with the Eagles squeaking past the Brothers by a one-point margin, 28-29.

Rachel Garn led a 1-2-3 sweep at the top for the hosts, as Garn prevailed in 21 minutes, 50 seconds. Maggie Dunn took second in 22 minutes flat and Molly McGuane was third in 22:36.

The Eagles' Phebe Alley fit her way into fifth place in 23:37 amid a pack of CBA runners, but the Mustangs would take over again. Jennifer Linn was eighth in 23:59, part of a pack where Eliza Bell (24:00) and Nadia Bennacer (24:01) also ran well.

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