Verona Team honors continued to elude Baldwinsville, but it still earned plenty of recognition during Saturday’s Section III Class A cross country championships at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.
Braving wind, chilly temperatures and mixed precipitation, the Bees saw four of its runners – two boys, two girls – earn spots on the sectional All-Star squads that will go to Elma Meadows, near Buffalo, for this Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet.
That includes two members of the boys team, senior Alec Peinkofer and junior Josh Perez, who led B’ville to a second-place finish in the team Class A meet. With 68 points, the Bees held off Liverpool (77 points), but could not catch defending state champion Fayetteville-Manlius, who won with 36 points.
It was much the same in the individual race, where Alec Peinkofer could not chase down F-M’s 1-2 punch of Nick Ryan (who won in 15:47.5) and Bryce Millar, but still beat everyone else, finishing in a time of 16 minutes, 59.5 seconds.
With Peinkofer safely in the state meet, joined by Liverpool teammates Ben Petrella and Dan Muldoon plus Rome Free Academy’s Erik Winberg, a fierce battle for the last berth developed between Perez and senior Andy Fleming.
Perez won it, his time of 17:12.9, good for eighth place, relegating Fleming, in ninth place (17:15.6) to alternate status by a mere 2.7 seconds. Close behind them, Jack Martin finished 12th, in 17:26 flat, while Antonio Martinez was 38th in 18:15.7, leading a pack that included Steve Petrelli (18:34.8), Nate Wicks (18:39.0) and Harrison Warner (18:39.6).
In the girls Class A sectional race at VVS, senior Annie Peterson and sophomore Rachael Miller earned state meet berths as B’ville took third place with 86 points, just behind runner-up Liverpool (76 points) as F-M, gunning for a seventh straight national title, swept seven of the top eight individual spots.