The massive earthen dikes looked like a small scale Continental Divide as they separated Dorchester Park from the campus at Whitney Point where cross country teams, including Skaneateles, gathered for last Tuesday's Golden Eagle Cross Country Invitational.
In one of the most efficiently run meets on the planet, there were, at one time, three different races being waged on the same course. And on a day made perfect for running, the Skaneateles cross country teams didn't waste a second.
Rallying without an ill Morel Malcolm, the girls took second behind state Class C no. 3-ranked Tully, while Chenango Forks took third.
Battling the leaders from the gun, freshman Madeline Adams finished a close second while crisscrossing the 5,000-meter course in a time of 20:18.6 behind winner, Sarah Krizan, a senior out of Chenango Forks, who prevailed in 19:51.5.
"It was just so big and so wide open that some of the trails looked like they went on forever," said Adams while concluding that it did seem to go by quickly.
Leading a huge pack of Lakers was sophomore Ellis VanSlyke, who worked the hills and rarely looked back as she finished 10th in 21:29.6 while leaving nothing out on the trails.
In quick order came the Laker throng. In 11th was senior Blair Gage (21:30.0), then frosh Virginia Hamlin in 12th (21:33.5). In 13th with a time of 21:35.7, junior Shannon Byrne never relented.
"Those girls ran the hills like mountain goats," coach Rob Tuttle said. "They sometimes want to know why we don't have dedicated hill workouts. Well, there's hills wherever we go around here. We're ready for them."
Right behind in 18th was senior Dani Mazzeo with a clocking of 21:57.6 and in 20thwas ninth-grader Maria Schillace with a time of 22:06.6. Mazzeo and Elyce Buell (22:15.0) went 1-2 in the JV standings, with Alex Clark (22:46.4) fifth on that side.