At just the right moment, the Solvay boys track and field team found its way to the top.
The Bearcats claimed a furious nine-team battle for the Section III Class B-1 championship Friday at Canastota High School, earning 112 points to edge Skaneateles (105 points) for first place. Marcellus, with 67 points, slid into fifth place.
Nick Cometti prevailed three times for Solvay in sprints. He won the 200-meter dash, edging Skaneateles' Malik Merritt, 23.79 seconds to 23.82, and did the same in the 100-meter dash, 11.58 seconds to Merritt's 11.76. Cometti and also got a victory in the 400-meter dash, crossing the line in 51.22 seconds.
Also, Cometti joined Jake Callisto, Rich Nagen and Carmen Sarno to finish second in the 4x100 relay in 46.26 seconds. The quartet of Matt Battaglia, Eric Goodrich, Nate Carr and Mike Nicolini was second in the 4x400 (3:39.44), with Carr, Battaglia, Goodrich and Owen Ryan fourth in the 4x800.
Brian McLeod stepped up, too, as he won the high jump by clearing 5 feet 10 inches with fewer misses than Marcellus rival Brian O'Connell. McLeod also was second to Skaneateles' Khiary Gale in both the long jump (19 feet 4 3/4 inches) and triple jump (39'1 1/2"), giving him 26 individual points.
Matt Cregan worked his way to second place in the 3,200-meter run in 10:40.83, while John Salvagno needed just 16.39 seconds to grab second in the 110 high hurdles.
Mike Ferrara picked up 1,326 points for third place in the pentathlon. Nate Gillette managed a fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Battaglia took fifth in the 800-meter run. Josh Marotti was sixth in the shot put and 400 hurdles.
As for Marcellus, Ryan Manahan led a 1-2-3 sweep in the mile, winning in a time of 4:13.37 as Joe Fallon was second (4:29.79) and John Bell (4:33.36) was third. In the 800, Manahan prevailed again, in 1:59.21, where Fallon was fourth.