Liverpool Perfect competitive conditions - sunshine, comfortable temperatures, a fall breeze - greeted the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool cross country teams for their annual head-to-head meet Wednesday afternoon at Longbranch Park.
And in this case, it was the Northstars prevailing on both fronts, by a narrow margin of 26-29 on the boys side, by a more comfortable 23-33 margin on the girls side.
Given that CNS held state Class A rankings on both sides (something that Liverpool didn't have), the results weren't a surprise, but the Warriors did make it quite interesting on the boys end.
Every one of the top finishers were within close sight of each other, but CNS got valuable points from going 1-2 as Anthony Lupia won in 16 minutes, 52 seconds, just one second better than teammate Neil Gill.
Anthony Ostuni followed, leading Liverpool's push as he got third place in 17:05. Drew Henry followed, in fourth place in 17:10, and the Warriors' Travis Chewning-Kulick put himself in fifth place in 17:13, winning a tight race for that spot.
Inches behind Chewning-Kulick, CNS's Brian Traub edged Liverpool's Kevin Abel for that important sixth slot, both finishing in 17:14. This retained the Northstars' lead, and when Matt Crough (17:20) and Colin Greenseich (17:28) crossed the finish line ahead of the Warriors' Connor Buck (17:30) in ninth place, CNS had the meet win.
They ran in groups during the girls race, but CNS created an insurmountable lead through a sweep of the top three spots.
Nicole Watterud led that effort, winning in 19 minutes, 15 seconds, with Jackie Halstead settling into second place in 19:27 and Taylor Parry impressive with a third-place time of 19:47.
A quartet of Liverpool runners followed, led by Kaitlyn McNamara, who was fourth in 20:04. Caroline Dieffenderfer claimed fifth place in 20:11, with Morgan Mahoney sixth in 20:27 and Abby McNamara seventh in 20:31.