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CNS track wins New Hartford Invitational

Chris Buchanan's school record in the mile highlighted the Cicero-North Syracuse boys track and field team's conquest of last Friday's 58th annual New Hartford Invitational.

With most of Section III's top stars gathered in one place, the Northstars, with 88.5 points, claimed the top honors ahead of Utica Proctor, who was second with 68 points. Liverpool slid into third place with 48 points.

Yet no one shone more than Buchanan, who pulled away in the mile, ahead of a chase pack that included teammate Jared Walther. Buchanan crossed the line in four minutes, 18.51 seconds, setting a new school standard as Walther won the race for second place in 4:33.95.

Liverpool's Zavon Watkins tore to victory twice on the oval. In the 800-meter run, Watkins prevailed in one minute, 53.43 seconds as no other runner could even break the two-minute mark. It was similar in the 400-meter dash, where Watkins finished in 50.30 seconds and beat Vernon-Verona-Sherrill's Matt Femia by 1.45 seconds.

And that was just the beginning of a big weekend for Watkins, who went to the Chittenango Invitational a day later and, in the featured Fleet Feet Mile, won that race in 4:19.07, beating a full complement of Fayetteville-Manlius challengers, led by Nick Ryan, who finished second in 4:21.54.

CNS had more variety, though. In the pole vault, Mike Hyde took the top spot, clearing 13 feet as fellow Northstar Cameron Shuaghnessy slid into third place with 12 feet.

In the 4x100 relay, the Northstars' quartet of Frank Volino Jr., Mark Broughton, Andrew Johnson and Ryan Connor beat out Proctor, 45.02 seconds to 45.24, while Liverpool's quartet of Keewan Rondinello, Steve Fiorello and Ryan Ronk finished third in 45.60 seconds.

Rondinello, who was sixth in the 400 behind Watkins, made up for this by edging Cooperstown's Jeremiah Ford in the 400-meter hurdles. 58.66 seconds to Ford's 58.73, while CNS's Sam Nassar was sixth in 1:01.40. And the Warriors took the 4x200 relay, where Fiorello, Ronk, Kameron Arnold and Damien Brown posted 1:34.99 as the Northstars took fifth place.

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