Sep 19, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
So the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country machine fires up again, ready to pursue more sectional, state and national titles all the way into December.
Such has become the annual routine for head coach Bill Aris and his Hornets. Every year from 2006 to 2010, F-M has won the Nike Nationals in Portland, Ore., on the heels of cruising to Section III and state titles.
And the Hornets are heavily favored to repeat at every level in 2011. Of last year’s top seven runners, only Courtney Chapman, now a standout at two-time NCAA champion Villanova, has departed. Everyone else – Christie Rutledge, Jillian Fanning, Katie Sischo, Heather Martin, Katie Brislin and Emily McGurrin – returns, as does Maggie Malone, Leah Monsour and Alana Pearl.
Also, the F-M boys cross country team is defending its sectional AA title and vying for higher honors, as Nick Ryan, Ben Thomas and Jules Wellner lead the returning cast.
The Hornets’ first big showcase would come Saturday at the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Invitational, where it won both overall competitions against more than 100 fellow teams on the same course where the state championships will get run in mid-November.
Running in the Varsity 1 event, F-M’s girls had 16 of the top 19 finishers. That included Fanning, who in 18 minutes, 5.2 seconds posted the fastest time of the entire day, just 4.2 seconds ahead of West Genesee’s Laura Leff.
Two other F-M veterans, Rutledge (18:23.2) and Sischo (18:44.8), finished behind Fanning, with freshman Annika Avery making a big impression after her transition from soccer as she ran to fourth place in 18:48.1. Brislin (19:10.3), Jenna Farrell (19:11.0), Hannah Smith (19:19.2) and Martin (19:24.6) rounded out a top-eight sweep of Varsity 1, while Maggie Malone was 10th in 20:02.9.
F-M’s boys team had 91 points for the overall title, and took full command of the Varsity I race with 23 points, far ahead of runner-up Ithaca (96 points) and the other 15 entrants.
Ryan pulled away for the individual Varsity 1 victory, the Hornets junior covering the 3.1-mile VVS course in 16 minutes, 10.7 seconds, more than 20 seconds ahead of North Babylon’s Kris Moran and third overall for the day.
Matt Deyo took third place in 16:32.5, while Bryce Millar was fourth in 16:35 flat. Colin Fitzgibbons, in seventh place (16:48.6), led a pack that included Wellner (16:49.6) in eighth and Thomas (16:53.1) in ninth place. Connor Farrell was 11th in 16:56.0.
Though CBA was eighth in Varsity Race 3, Brendan Smith won the individual title, his time of 16:38.8 well clear of Dobbs Ferry’s Brendan Wortner (16:56.1) and the rest of the field. David Carey gained 27th place in 18:27.5.
Jamesville-DeWitt rose to fourth place in boys Varsity Race 5, led by Jack Healy, who was 22nd in 18:07.9, and Will Hohreiter, 24th in 18:10.7. Nick Harron in 27th place (18:26.4), was close behind, with Matt Murad in 45th place.
East Syracuse-Minoa, in boys Varsity Race 2, was seventh among 15 teams, with Mike Coogan roaring to fifth place in a clocking of 16:50.8. Jesse Perrone was 27th (17:55.6), with Joe Coogan in 39th and Louis Ferrone in 41st place.
Moving to the girls side, in Varsity Race 2 ESM’s Gabby Pallotta finished in 21:04.1 and claimed 15th place as the Spartans took seventh in a 12-team field. Bridget Benz (44th), Cindy Brownson (47th) and Morgan Young (49th) all finished in the top 50.
Megan Pierce helped CBA’s girls take sixth place in Varsity 3, the sophomore recording a time of 20:25.6 as Maire Kate McGlynn was 25th (21:36.4) and Gabrielle Schugg was 41st. J-D’s girls team was in Varsity Race 5, where Rachel Fairbanks was 20th in 20:28.2 and Emilee Carpenter (21:22.0) ran to 32nd place.
F-M’s season had begun last Wednesday with a CNY Counties League American division race against Oswego, won with a pair of 15-50 decisions.
Mary Barger got to run in front for the girls Hornets, winning in 19:12. Michele Duffy was second, in 19:22, while Annika Avery edged Hannah Smith for third place, both running in 19:25. Martin, Brislin, Rutledge, Pearl and Fanning followed, with Jenna Farrell (19:27) taking eighth place.
In the boys race, F-M ran in a line, and Fitzgibbons went to the front in 16:36, one second ahead of Ryan, while Thomas was third and Deyo (16:39) took fourth place. Connor Farrell (16:41) and Max Bryce (16:43) were fifth and sixth, respectively, as Wellner finished in front of Mike Malone (17:23), Konrad Nemiec (17:47) and Charlie Beeler (18:14).