Four of Baldwinsville’s best cross country runners - Alec Peinkofer, Josh Perez, Annie Peterson and Rachael Miller – made their way to Elma Meadows, near Buffalo, for last Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.
All of them would be part of Section III’s pair of All-Star squads, who both earned team championship honors to go with the near-sweep Fayetteville-Manlius pulled off as the Hornets won another girls state title and was second, one point behind Saratoga Springs, in the boys event.
Peinkofer, in particular, would stand out as he and Perez helped the Section III team win the Class A division, its 10 fastest runners picking up 277 points to outlast Section XI (Suffolk County, Long Island), who was second with 312 points.
In a record-setting boys Class A race, Peinkofer tore to the line in exactly 15 minutes, 50 seconds, which put him in eighth place in a field of 107 runners on a day much warmer and conducive to running than the cold, wet and muddy Section III meet at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill a week earlier.
F-M’s Nick Ryan won that race, shattering a course record set by Marcellus’ Ryan Manahan less than an hour earlier as Ryan prevailed in 15:07.9 and his teammate, Bryce Millar (15:40.8), was fourth.
Perez did his part, too, getting to 61st place in a clocking of 16:50.2. That accounted for the last Section III point total and clinched the team title as, between Peinkofer and Perez, Liverpool’s Ben Petrella finished 15th (16:04.1), Rome Free Academy’s Erik Winberg was 43rd (16:27.0) and another Liverpool runner, Dan Muldoon, was 51st in 16:38.4.
Meanwhile, the girls state Class A race saw another Section III triumph, the local side earning 197 points to fend off Section II’s total of 233 points.
Peterson made her way to 45th place in a time of 19:21.3, while Miller finished 61st in 19:41 flat. However, the F-M team featured six of the top 25 finishers, and in between West Genesee’s Laura Leff was 13th (18:20.2), with Liverpool teammates Morgan Mahoney (18:49.5) and Abby McNamara (18:58.5) finishing 28th and 35th, respectively.