For the Chittenango cross country teams, the start of OHSL Freedom division competition had a mixed result.
The Bears split last Wednesday’s opener with Phoenix at Jamesville Beach Park, prevailing 22-37 on the girls side, but taking a 25-31 defeat to the Firebirds on the boys side.
In the girls race, Kendall McGee led Chittenango as she finished second in 23 minutes, 16 seconds behind Phoenix’s Haylie Virginia, who won in 22:59.
However, the Bears had more depth, as shown by Shannon Bunce taking third place in 23:42 and Anna Galbraith claiming fourth place in 25:07. Kaitlyn Alongi earned sixth place in 27:09.
Moving to the boys side, Kenny Galbraith led Chittenango’s effort, his time of 20:19 second only to Phoenix’s Jeff Wells, who pulled away to win in 18:59.
Lucas Rogers was fourth, in 21:06, with Isaac Czarnecki fifth in 21:15. But Phoenix claimed the next three spots to move ahead in points before Ben Seale (22:07) crossed the line in ninth place.
Following that, the Bears, along with Cazenovia, ventured to Saturday’s Baldwinsville Invitational. Warming up for its OHSL Liberty division title defense, the girls Lakers rose to third place in the 22-team Small School division with 93 points. Only Tully (63 points) and Marcellus (79 points) fared better.
Jeannette Cudney led the Lakers, recording a sixth-place time of 19:22.84. Michelle Karker claimed 15th place in 20:04.21. Megan Stanford was 22nd in 20:34.87, just ahead of Margaret Wolsey in 24th (20:40.30) and Rae Tobey, who was 26th in 20:46.37.
In the boys Small School Race, Cazenovia was 18th out of 26 teams, with 580 points. Freshman Sean Satchwell had the Lakers’ top time of 18:33.40, with Ben Langey (19:17.18) and Connor Carroll (19:26.58) close behind.
Chittenango was 21st in the boys Small School race as Given finished in 18:29.27, five spots ahead of Satchwell. The girls Bears were in the Large School division, taking 11th out of 22 entries as Bunce claimed 51st place in 21:47.84, ahead of Galbraith (22:31.27) and Kaleigh Johnson (22:36.78).