With times seemingly being lopped off by a meat-cleaver, the Skaneateles boys look to be a cross country team on the move.
"We're better, no doubt," said Coach Rob Tuttle. "It's real visible. But there's still room for more improvement."
In last Wednesday's OHSL Liberty division opener, the boys Lakers lost to state-ranked Jordan-Elbridge 16-45 while Hannibal's best team in school history won 15-42. The Skaneateles girls looked sharp on their home course that measures 3.05 miles of good turf.
"We're a nice mix of young and old," said coach Jack Reed. "I liked their intensity. Hopefully we can catch some luck, stay healthy and have a good run at the end of the season."
J-E's Steve Slonosky (17:17) led a 1-2-3 Eagle finish that left the local Lakers working hard to catch up. Taking 10th in the three-team race was Sam Kriever who knocked off 55 seconds from last season's home course race with a fine 18:11.
Danny Sakal trumped Kriever's rate of improvement by finishing 1:09 faster than last year as he placed 12th in 18:43. Close behind in 16th place was John Watt III whose 18:51 was 1:53 faster than last season.
Improving by 43 seconds and taking 19th in 19:19 was Matt Delasin while the Lakers' fifth and final scorer, Ethan Johanns, took 20th in 19:22 which represented an improvement of nearly five minutes.
"We aren't winning yet, but this young team with three of the top five coming from the sophomore class, is on the right track," said Reed, also extolling squad's willingness to begin to dive into the world of discomfort where victory is forged.
Looking ahead a few years, the coaching staff can't wait for the modified boys to join this group of sophomores. They're athletic and gung-ho according to Reed.
"You don't see enthusiasm like this very often," he said.