By the smallest and biggest margins imaginable, the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams lay claim to both New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A championships.
In a span of two hours at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School, the Hornets lay claim to those state crowns in vastly different manners.
Going first, the F-M boys had to fend off fierce challenges from Rush-Henrietta, Shaker and Arlington. It came down to the Hornets and Royal Comets, and with 63 points, F-M beat Rush-Henrietta by a single point. Shaker (81 points) and Arlington (84 points) were close behind.
No doubt, it helped to have junior Nick Ryan way out in front. Competing in the first race of the day, Ryan proved the fastest runner of the entire state meet, covering the 3.2 miles in 16 minutes, 28.4 seconds, beating Victor's M.J. Erb (16:54.8) by nearly half a minute.
Senior Matt Deyo added valuable points as he tore to third place in 16:58.5, right behind Erb. Senior Ben Thomas was 14th, in 17:18.1, while freshman Bryce Millar was 21st in 17:30.2. All of them finished ahead of Rush-Henrietta's fourth, fifth and sixth runners.
When junior Connor Farrell crossed the finish line in 18:18.6, he was 36th among team entrants. That helped F-M finish one point ahead of Rush, though junior Colin Fitzgibbons was close behind with his time of 18:25.7. Senior Mike Malone, in a time of 18:45.9, rounded out the F-M column.
And the local heroics didn't stop there, as in the Class C state race CBA's Brendan Smith won his own state championship. His time of 16 minutes, 59.4 seconds beat Section III teammate Ian Anderson, from South Lewis, by 13.9 seconds.
When the girls state Class A championship was staged, there was little doubt that F-M would dominate - and it did, getting a perfect score of 15 points to blast past Saratoga Springs (70 points) and the seven other teams present.