Nov 11, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Once more, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team has proud possession of the state Class A championship, and has much more in mind.
The Hornets fought off the challenge of Saratoga Springs in Saturday’s state meet at Elma Meadows, near Buffalo, while Nick Ryan sped his way to the boys state championship with the day’s best time.
Even with Ryan’s heroics, F-M fell just short of repeating its state boys championship. After edging Rush-Henrietta by a single point in 2011, the Hornets, with 58 points, had to settle for the runner-up spot by that same single point as Saratoga got first place with 57 points.
No one could catch Ryan, though. The F-M senior was dominant, tearing through the Elma Meadows course in 15 minutes, 7.9 seconds, well clear of Rush-Henrietta’s Mickey Burke, who was second in 15:29.7.
In going 1-2, Ryan and Burke both broke the Elma Meadows course record set earlier in the event when Marcellus’ Ryan Manahan won the state Class B championship in 15:30.6.
Ryan’s teammate, Bryce Millar, rolled to fourth place in 15:40.8. But all five of Saratoga’s top runners would cross the line before the Hornets’ third competitor, Colin Fitzgibbons, did so in 30th place in 16:16.1, one place behind Saratoga’s Gavin Gaynor.
Even though Connor Farrell quickly followed in 32nd place in 16:18 flat and Adam Hunt (16:19.1) finished 33rd, the Hornets still fell just short. Charlie Beeler finished 73rd, in 17:02.5, two spots ahead of Riley Hughes (17:08.1) at the line.
But it was different in the girls meet, where F-M picked up 32 points, comfortably ahead of Saratoga, who got closer to the Hornets than in 2011, but still settled for the second spot with 56 points.
Right away, the F-M girls settled on a strategy where its top three runners – Alana Pearl, Annika Avery and Mary Barger – would stick close to each other, even as Warwick Valley’s Megan Reilly sped to the individual championship in a time of 17 minutes, 34.3 seconds and Saratoga’s Taylor Driscoll finished fourth in 17:46.4.
Pearl would claim eighth place in a clocking of 18:06.9. Avery found her way to ninth place in 18:12.5, while Barger, stepping up her performance, got 10th place in 18:41.1.
Last year’s individual state champion, Jillian Fanning, is still making her way back from injury, but still turned in a solid effort as she finished 17th in 18:23.8, and it was Katie Brislin, who was 19th in 18:25.2, that clinched the state title, all of them finishing ahead of every Saratoga runner except Driscoll.
Jenna Farrell also ran well, getting to 24th place in 18:42.9, while Michelle Duffy needed 18:56.2 to end up in 34th place.
This all will lead up to the Hornets’ quest for a seventh consecutive championship at the Nike Cross Nationals, which take place Dec. 1 in Portland, Ore.
Elsewhere at the state meet, CBA girls runner Meghan Ann Pierce had a strong event, making her way to seventh place in 19:18.7. Pierce and her fellow Section III All-Stars finished second to Section I in the final standings.
As for Jamesville-DeWitt’s Rachel Fairbanks, she finished 34th in the girls Class B race in 19:12.1. East Syracuse-Minoa’s Natalie Marra was 42nd, in 19:21.9, while Marra’s teammate, Gabby Pallotta, got to 49th place in 19:34.3. J-D’s Nick Harron finished 58th in the boys Class B race in 16:59.8.