For the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams, all that is left is a venture to Oregon with the goal of a national championship foremost in their minds.
In order to secure those berths in Saturday’s Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, the Hornets first had to make it through Saturday’s Nike Cross Regional Championships, covering the New York and Northeast territories, at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls.
In the girls portion, F-M, running as Manlius XC, easily turned away all 16 challengers, its total of 32 points putting them well clear of Saratoga Springs, who as the Kinetic XC finished second with 88 points. East Aurora (142 points) edged Elmira (143 points) for third place.
Annika Avery was the day’s biggest start for the Hornets. Avery sped away from the pack of 135 other runners and covered the Bowdoin Park course in 18 minutes, 5.3 seconds, giving her the individual victory by more than 20 seconds over Elmira’s Abbey Wheeler, who was second in 18:25.6.
Not far behind Wheeler, Alana Pearl gave F-M a third-place finish in 18:33.1, setting up an insurmountable lead on Saratoga in the process.
Jenna Farrell was eighth among team runners and 11th overall in 18:53.5, edging out Jessica Howe, whose time of 18:57 flat put her in ninth in the team event and 12th overall.
Megan Menz stepped up with her clocking of 19:13.4 that got her 16th among team runners and 11th in the overall race, clinching F-M’s victory. Samantha Levy ran to 19:33.1 and 26th place (33rd overall), with Olivia Ryan finishing in 20:37 flat.
F-M won the boys portion of the regional meet with 48 points, holding off Northport, who was second with 76 points, and Liverpool, who had won the state Federation meet on this same Bowdoin Park course two weeks earlier, but settled for third place this time with 94 points.