In what might prove the key meet in the OHSL Liberty division regular-season championship race, the Marcellus boys cross country team won hard-fought decisions over Hannibal and Solvay Tuesday afternoon at Longbranch Park.
The Mustangs beat the Bearcats 21-34 and the Warriors 23-32, a more impressive feat when considering the fact that Solvay (at no. 8) and Hannibal (at no. 11) are both comfortably placed in the state Class C rankings.
Among individuals, Ryan Manahan again prevailed, covering the Longbranch course in 16 minutes, 6.7 seconds, well clear of the runner-up, Solvay’s Cody McCarthy, who edged the Mustangs’ Joe Fallon, 16:23.7 to 16:24.5, for second place.
Hannibal teammates Ryan Perry (16:28.3) and Ben Griffin (16:37.6) took the next two spots, but the Mustangs went ahead to stay when John Bell landed in sixth place in 16:38.7 and Justin Garn took seventh in 16:39.6.
Solvay’s Matt Battaglia was 10th in 17:24.4, though it was not enough for the Bearcats to prevent a 25-30 loss to Hannibal.
Less drama was found in the girls race, where Marcellus dominated both Solvay (16-47) and Hannibal (15-48), the Bearcats also losing to the Warriors 20-38.
The Mustangs’ top four runners stayed together as a pack out in front. Rachel Garn won, in 20:36.5, with Maggie Dunn (20:36.8), Molly McGuane (20:37.1) and Mary Morocco (20:37.3) close behind, all of them topping Solvay’s Ashlee Riggins, who was fifth in 21:06.9.
Then Eliza Bell ran to sixth place in 21:13.4, starting another Mustang pack. Tori Stoppen was eighth, in 21:49.7, while Dominique Weeks was ninth (22:37.7) and Jenny Linn (22:44.1) was 10th.
It was Westhill/Bishop Ludden’s turn on Wednesday to sweep, and it did so, the girls beating Jordan-Elbridge 15-46 and Christian Brothers Academy 19-39 to keep pace with Cazenovia (who swept Skaneateles and Homer) atop the OHSL Liberty division. J-E lost to CBA 20-35.