ESM cross country sweeps to Freedom titles

Spartans top J-D on both ends; Coogan, Fairbanks win

— Years of watching its neighbors finish on top ended for both of the East Syracuse-Minoa cross country teams when it hosted Wednesday’s Onondaga High School League Freedom division championship meets.

On the familiar Pine Grove course, the boys Spartans filled out half the top 10 and, with 25 points, roared past defending champion Jamesville-DeWitt (67 points) and the rest of the seven-team field.

Given the margin, there was more excitement in the individual race, where Mike Coogan went stride-for-stride with Mexico’s James Loomis for more than three miles. At the line, though, Coogan, in a time of 17:09, beat Loomis by two seconds.

Nearly a minute later, Joe Coogan got third place, his time of 17:56 three seconds better than teammate Jesse Perrone. Louis Ferrone was seventh, in 18:22, while Nick Schug, with his 10th-place clocking of 18:44, clinched the title. Brandon Miller was 14th (18:55) and Jacob Barber took 16th place in 19:13.

From J-D’s side, Nick Harron had the best showing, eighth in the same time as Ferrone (18:22) ahead of Billy Hohreiter, who was ninth in 18:26. Isaac Tupper was 13th, in 18:54, with Jack Healy (19:09) in 15th place and Matt Murad 24th in 19:41.

The closer girls OHSL Freedom meet again boiled down to ESM and J-D. And once again, the Spartans prevailed, with 41 points to the Red Rams’ 55. Chittenango was third with 71 points.

Individually, it was J-D’s Rachel Fairbanks seizing the top spot in 20 minutes, 24 seconds, just ahead of ESM’s Gabby Pallotta, who was second in 20:45.

Morgan Young, in sixth place (21:44), and Brittany Kubecka, in ninth place (22:04), began the Spartans’ getaway, reinforced by Cindy Brownson, in 11th place (22:21), and Bridget Benz, who was 13th in 22:28. Cherish Flynn was 14th (22:34) and Paige Courbat was 19th in 23:02.

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