Though the West Genesee cross country teams encountered Cicero-North Syracuse on Wednesday afternoon at Oneida Shores, it wasn't the first time they had seen each other - or competed against each other.
Twice, in September, the Wildcats and Northstars had dueled in invitational meets - first at Jamesville Beach Park Sept. 11, then at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill a week later. Both times, WG won on the boys side, but CNS took the girls meet.
And that's exactly what happened here, too. The Wildcats won an exciting boys race 23-32, while the girls, without Laura Leff to lead them, lost to the Northstars 17-43.
As in the VVS meet, Billy Gabriel chased CNS star Chris Buchanan for individual honors. Gabriel posted a terrific time of 16 minutes, seven seconds - but Buchanan prevailed in 15:59 on the same Oneida Shores layout where he set the course record against Baldwinsville a week earlier.
Gabriel's supporting cast made sure the Wildcats prevailed, grabbing the next three spots. Martin Leff finished third, in 16:03, while John DeLallo needed 16:13 to take fourth place and Matt Byrnes got fifth place in 16:33. Matt Serrao worked his way to 10th place in 16:51 behind a quartet of CNS runners.
Laura Leff's absence allowed CNS to dominate the girls race, earning five of the top six finishing slots as Nicole Watterud won in 18:46. Only Abby Kastick kept it from being a total sweep, as she led the Wildcats with a fourth-place clocking of 20:03. Amy Hannahan was seventh (21:01), with Mary McGlynn taking ninth place in 21:09.