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ESM girls rise to second at cross country meet

Spartans top Skaneateles in season-opening invitational

— East Syracuse-Minoa was a focal point for the start of the cross country season as more than a dozen teams gathered at Pine Grove Middle School for last Saturday’s ESM Invitational.

Not content with just hosting the affair, the Spartans meant to perform well, too, and did so, especially on the girls side where ESM, with 94 points, edged out Class C powerhouse Skaneateles (95 points) for second place behind Cicero-North Syracuse, who took the top spot with 60 points.

Individually, freshman Natalie Marra led the Spartans, claiming 11th place as she covered the Pine Grove course in 20 minutes, 41.3 seconds. Not far behind her, sophomore Juliette Miller was 15th, in 20:58.6, while junior Gabby Pallotta (21:17.0) worked her way to 17th place.

Another group of Spartans followed, led by Bridget Benz, who was 23rd in 21:39.3. Brittany Kubecka took 28th place (22:03.9), with Maria Miner 30th (22:24.6) and Cindy Brownson 31st (22:26.1).

All of this helped ESM finish ahead of Jamesville-DeWitt, as the Red Rams had to settle for fourth place in the 13-team field with 124 points, even though sophomore Rachel Fairbanks worked her way to fifth place in a clocking of 20:05.9.

Emilee Carpenter also ran for J-D, getting 12th place in 20:42.9. But a slew of ESM runners crossed the line before the next Rams’ competitor, Laura Wengert, took 24th place in 21:40.9. Samantha Clemons was 26th in 21:59 flat.

Moving to the boys portion of the ESM meet, the host side had a tougher time as the Spartans were seventh out of 13 entrants with 185 points. Brighton, from the Section V ranks, took team honors with 67 points.

However, junior Jesse Perrone emerged as a top individual contender, working his way to third place in a time of 17:15.9, not far from the winning time of 17:09.2 posted by Fulton’s Kyle Loftus.

Much further back, Jake Barker worked his way to 40th place in 19:40.3, with Kyle Willey (19:46.7) in 44th place. Nick Schug was 56th (20:24.2) and Mike Moon (20:33.33) claimed 60th place.

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