Indoor track Hornets sweep to sectional AA titles

F-M girls use total sweeps in distance events to pile up points

— In their own unique manners, indoor track and field teams from Fayetteville-Manlius both emerged with titles from Friday night's Section III Class AA championship meet at SRC Arena.

For the girls Hornets, outlasting Cicero-North Syracuse, 141 points to the Northstars' 128, involved going to its specialty, distance events, and accumulating as many points as possible to counteract C-NS's dominance of field events and advantage in sprints.

That meant, for example, a 3,000-meter run where Christie Rutledge, who won in a time of 9:25.79, led a sweep of the top six spots that included Alana Pearl, Annika Avery, Jenna Farrell, Maggie Malone and Emily McGurrin, adding up to 30 points.

F-M had a top-five sweep (and 29 more points) in the 1,500-meter run, won by Jillian Fanning in 4:51.85 ahead of Katie Sischo (4:53.24), Pearl, Rutledge and Avery. Sischo would take the 1,000-meter run in 2:58.92 ahead of Fanning and Hannah Smith, with Mary Barger fifth and Michelle Duffy sixth.

Heather Martin went to the top in the 600-meter run in 1:38 flat, with Olivia Ryan third in 1:40.84, plus Smith in fifth and Brislin in sixth, and Martin added a third in the 300-meter dash and a fifth in the long jump.

It was McGurrin, Ryan, Fanning and Hannah Smith blazing to a top time of 9:46.07 in the 4x800 relay, while Ryan and Brislin joined Natalie Zazzara and Marri Ryu to win the 4x400 relay in 4:06.25. Jessica Puro was fifth in the 55-meter hurdles, while the Hornets took fourth (1:51.55) in the 4x200 relay.

F-M's boys, meanwhile, only had 97 points, but it was enough to beat a crowded pack of Class AA rivals as, again, C-NS was second with 75 points.

Nick Ryan earned a victory in the mile in 4:29.11, where Bryce Millar was fourth and Ben Thomas fifth. Millar earned first place in the 3,200-meter run in 9:40.99, where Colin Fitzgibbons was fourth. In the 4x800, Ryan, Millar, Thomas and Fitzgibbons beat the field in 8:22.52.

Austin Perez, Langston Lightcap, Charlie Beeler and Tanner Carter held off Baldwinsville, 3:31.10 to 3:31.74, in the 4x400, and that same quartet was third in the 4x200 after Perez beat Liverpool star Zavon Watkins in the 300 sprint, 35.97 seconds to Watkins' 36.41.

Lightcap took second in the 600 (1:28.63), with Beeler fifth. Zhengyue Zhu earned fourth in both the long jump (19 feet 8 inches) and triple jump (41 feet 3 1/2 inches). Both F-M sides head back to SRC Arena this Wednesday for the sectional state qualifying meet.

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