F-M girls win state track 4x800 relay

Adding yet another big title to its long list of accomplishments, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls track and field team earned the 4x800 relay championship at Saturday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

Junior Heather Martin put the Hornets out in front with a 2:12.60 opening split. Though sophomore Katie Brislin turned in a slightly slower leg of 2:16.34, F-M's lead grew.

On the third leg, junior Katie Sischo used a 2:13.34 split to keep the Hornets in charge. Fittingly, senior Courtney Chapman closed it out, her 2:13.66 leg leading to a time of 8:55.93 that beat runner-up Shenendehowa (Section II) by nearly eight seconds.

All this followed a 4x400 relay on Friday where, in the course of a fifth-place finish, Martin, Sischo and two freshmen, Katie Muller and Natalie Zazzara, broke F-M's own week-old Section III record, posting a time of 3:56.06. Garden City won in 3:47.88.

Individually, Chapman had a strong showing in the 1,500-meter run on Saturday, claiming second among Division I (large school) runners and third overall in a time of 4:23.01. Only Cornwall's Aisling Cuffe (4:19.83) beat her in the large-school category as junior Jillian Fanning was eighth in 4:35.08.

Martin contended for the Division I 800-meter championship on Friday before claiming third place in 2:11.28, not far from Amima Banks (Mamaroneck), who won in 2:09.32. Fanning had a similar effort in the 3,000-meter run Friday night, taking third in 9:43.20 as Cuffe prevailed in 9:16.63.

Moving to the Division I high jump, East Syracuse-Minoa freshman Nina Zesky made a strong push for the state championship, settling into fourth place as she cleared 5 feet 5 inches. Kaitlin Whitehorn (John Glenn) won with a clearance of 5 feet 7 inches.

During the boys state championship meet, Christian Brothers Academy junior Brendan Smith claimed top Division II (small school) honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Smith finished in 9:31.74, more than 10 seconds ahead of Bayport-Blue Point's Joe Ray (9:41.77) and fifth overall as Packer Collegiate's Ed Owens won the event in 9:15.76.

CBA junior Emmanuel Collins used a time of 11.11 seconds on Friday to qualify for the Division II final in the 100-meter dash, where he ran into a stiff breeze and still finished fifth in 11.37 seconds. Tre Bracey (Alexander Hamilton) won in 11.19 seconds.

In the Division II 4x100 relay, CBA's quartet of Collins, fellow juniors Nate Fornal and Kevin Frasor, and freshman Deshawn Salter finished ninth in 44.27 seconds. F-M sophomore Nick Ryan was seventh in the Division I portion of the 3,200-meter run in 9:11.86.

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