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Willcox breaks out for Lakers at Rochester meet

Skaneateles eighth-grader highlights girls' fifth-place finish

Skaneateles girls cross country eighth-grader Julia Willcox sprints to the finish during last Friday's Penfield Irondequoit Invitational in Rochester. By taking 29th in the race, Willcox helped the team contend with four of the top big school  teams in the state before finishing in fifth place.

Skaneateles girls cross country eighth-grader Julia Willcox sprints to the finish during last Friday's Penfield Irondequoit Invitational in Rochester. By taking 29th in the race, Willcox helped the team contend with four of the top big school teams in the state before finishing in fifth place.

Returning to action, sophomore Jennifer DeRosa ran strong throughout the race to take 31st in 22:07.82. One place and one second behind was junior Morel Malcolm (22:08.93) and right behind her was sophomore Liz Dwyer in 33rd (22:11.08). Malcolm is well into her return to action after an injury and Dwyer returned to racing after adding mileage to her base last week.

And just one place behind was junior workhorse Maria Schillace who finished in 34th in 22:20.87. “She’s just a fierce competitor,” said Reed. She’s a fighter with a great smile.”

The Skaneateles boys placed 10th in the 20-team field after working through the horde of runners after getting caught unaware when the starter’s pistol was shot.

“We dug a hole right away,” said Reed. “But the boys have been racing better and better each week, and they came-back well today.”

Team leader Cooper Watt placed 31st in 18:21.74. The sophomore has been steady up front and continues to work toward his eventual destiny in the front of the pack.

“Cooper,” said coach Tuttle, “has wheels and he’s racing himself into top shape.”

In 50th was Chris Niebuhr with a clocking of 19:05.63.“I’d say it’s unusual for a young guy like Chris to be able to handle not only the racing, but the training,” said Reed. “This is a big boy sport. The older and more mature the boy, the better he’ll do. Chris is already breaking out of the belly of the snake and moving toward the front of the race.”

Senior Ethan Johanns finished fast to place 72nd in 19:58.33 and junior Patrick Biver was a second behind in 73rd. Senior Matt Delasin took 79th in 20:22.07 while frosh Dominic Grasso placed 80th in 20:23.26.

“Dom is tough and he’ll run until he’s totally drained, not just for the day, but for the next day, too. He’s probably giving more per pound than anyone on the team. He’s just a rag doll for a few days and then he’s ready to roll again. His day will come.”

Improving junior Nick Smolenski finished strong over the final 800 meters to take 81st in 20:25.70. The Lakers host Cazenovia Tuesday at 4:30.

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