Nov 11, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A margin of less than two seconds separated the area from boasting two state cross country champions in 2012.
Marcellus senior Ryan Manahan fulfilled his destiny, briefly setting a course Record in last Saturday’s state meet at Elma Meadows, near Buffalo, while Jordan-Elbridge’s Abby Gugel nearly grabbed a state title as a ninth-grader.
In stark contrast to the cold, wet conditions that prevailed during the Section III meet at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill a week earlier, state cross country competitors at Elma Meadows were greeted to mild temperatures, at least by November standards.
That created an ideal formula for fast races, and Manahan was up to it. The Mustangs star turned the state boys Class B race into a personal showcase, as he inched away from Lake Shore’s T.J. Hornberger and finished in 15 minutes, 30.6 seconds.
Not only did he beat Hornberger (15:35.1) by 4.5 seconds, Manahan also set the Elma Meadows course record – which didn’t even last the rest of the state meet, as Fayetteville-Manlius star Nick Ryan (15:07.9) and Rush-Henrietta’s Mickey Burke (15:29.7) both did better in the Class A race later that day.
All of this atoned for the third-place finish Manahan had in 2010 and the second-place effort in the 2011 state meet at VVS, where he lost to Peru’s Dan Lennon by just 6.6 seconds.
Meanwhile, in the Class C girls race Gugel was part of a strong Section III All-Star contingent that included Megan Ann Pierce (CBA) and Kaitlyn Neal (Skaneateles), who would both finish in the top 10 – Pierce in seventh, Neal in eighth.
But Gugel topped them, and nearly everyone else. Chasing down Rye Neck’s Natalie Tanner, Gugel hit the line in 18 minutes, 49.6 seconds, which only meant second place because Tanner, in 18:47.8, beat Gugel by just 1.8 seconds.
Still, it was a marvelous race for Gugel, one of three local girls individuals in the state meet. West Genesee junior Laura Leff, though not at 100 percent, still got 13th place in the girls Class A race in a clocking of 18:20.2, while Marcellus junior Rachel Garn was solid in the Class B girls state meet, finishing 15th in 18:50.5.
Jack Gugel could not approach the big effort of his little sister, but the J-E junior still did quite well in the boys Class C race, where he took 18th place in 16:49.4. Even better was Solvay’s Matt Cregan, who roared to sixth place in 16:23.3.
Westhill/Bishop Ludden, who swept both Section III Class B team titles a week earlier, had a ninth-place finish on the girls side and 10th-place effort on the boys side in their respective team events. Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (boys) and Holy Names (girls) won those state titles.
Annibel Coolican led Westhill/Ludden’s girls, finishing 27th among the team competitors in a time of 19:24 flat, just ahead of Emily Washburn in 31st (19:53 flat) and Genny Corcoran (19:54.6) in 33rd place. Erin Morrell was 45th, in 20:41.3, followed by Caroline Coates (21:04.1), Mary Kate Washburn (21:07.0) and Erin Christensen (21:40.7).
Casey Bunce gave the Westhill/Ludden boys a 29th-place finish in 17:05.1. Peter Lynch (35th, 17:17.1) and Liam Rodgers (17:18.0) hit the line less than a second apart, with Kyle Fitch (17:35.4) following. Dan DeMauro, in 17:54 flat, rounded out the scoring column in 54th place, one spot ahead of Vincenzo Carr (17:56.2) as Garnet Remillard (18:11.1) followed.