Catch the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams whenever there’s a chance to see them – which won’t be as often as in seasons past.
As the girls Hornets chase a remarkable seventh consecutive Nike Nationals title and the F-M boys defend its state Class A championship and also seek national honors, there are plenty of things to distract them, including college visits for the top runners.
Consequently, head coach Bill Aris made a decision to not have F-M run in any large weekend meets until the Manhattan Invitational and Tully Invitational, both on Oct. 13.
That plan doesn’t affect CNY Counties League meets in mid-week, though, and so the Hornets stepped out for the first time in the regular season on Wednesday, easily putting together a pair of 15-50 wins over Oswego.
F-M’s girls lost just one senior, Katie Sischo, from last year’s top-seven that conquered the Nike Nationals in Portland. For the most part, the top runners hung back against Oswego as Annika Avery, Katie Brislin and Alana Pearl each finished in 20 minutes, 40 seconds, with Mary Barger and Mackenzie Pierie (20:41) following them.
At the top, Jessica Howe claimed the victory in 19:55, well clear of Maggie Malone, who took second place in 20:22. Megan Menz was third in 20:23 as Mia Blatt (20:31) and Hannah Fishman (20:39) rounded out the top five.
The boys Hornets feature, of course, Nick Ryan, one of the nation’s top senior prospects and the state individual champion in 2011, along with a two-time state outdoor champion last June in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs.
Against Oswego, Ryan ran in 17:35, trailing Adam Hunt, who won the race in 17:27. Charlie Beeler took third place in 17:41.
As part of a three-man pack, Andrew Berger was fourth in 18:26, edging out Nick Sischo (18:28) and John Schurman (18:30). Troy Middleton and Kyle Barber each finished in 18:40, while Jason Buck (18:53) and Ken Kaisar (19:08) rounded out the top 10.
The F-M sides have their first home meet of the season next Wednesday, against Auburn.