Two high-quality boys track and field teams from West Genesee and Baldwinsville got together on Wednesday afternoon at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium and produced an instant classic full of close races and fine performances on both sides.
Yet when it was done, it was the Wildcats pulling out a 72-69 victory over the Bees because it fared 10 points better in field events and, on the oval, was ready even for the best of B'ville's effort.
Take the 4x800 relay, involving WG's quartet of Billy Gabriel, John DeLallo, Matt Byrnes and Matt Gonnella. The Bees, featuring Shaun Thompson, Alec Peinkofer, Andrew Fleming and Ethan Pacheck, set a school record with a time of 8:01.2 - but the Wildcats still won as DeLallo, the anchor, crossed the finish line in 8:01 flat.
On his own, Gabriel went under two minutes in the 800-meter run, prevailing in 1:58.7 to counter Thompson's sweep of the mile (4:44.3) and 3,200-meter run (9:54.5).
Meanwhile, in the sprints Sean Howard needed just 11 seconds to beat Rudy Sapp by half a second in the 100-meter dash, while Luke Potash prevailed in the 400-meter dash in 52.5 seconds. And in the 4x100 relay, Howard, Potash,
Xander Perosa and Kesean Sparks won another tight race over B'ville, 45.3 seconds to the Bees' 45.5.
In those pivotal field events, Howard continued to stand out, winning the triple jump by going 37 feet 10 inches and matching B'ville's Antonio Peck in the long jump, each with a best of 19 feet 8 inches. David Martin was first in the shot put with 41 feet as Peter James, by clearing 11 feet in the pole vault, led a 1-2-3 sweep that amassed more important points.
A day later, the West Genesee girls team hosted Baldwinsville, and it proved just as close - but this time the Bees prevailed, topping the Wildcats 74-67.