All through the spring, the Liverpool track and field teams watched Cicero-North Syracuse finish ahead of them most of the times they got together for large-scale weekend meets.
But when they went head-to-head Wednesday afternoon, it ended quite differently, the Warriors winning both meets and sweeping the CNY Counties League regular-season championships in the process.
It was a close, tense boys meet at Bragman Stadium, where Liverpool turned back C-NS 72-69 by getting timely and exciting victories in both relays and distance events to offset the Northstars' depth.
Ben Petrella, just a freshman, came from behind to catch and pass C-NS's Anthony Lupia to win the mile in 4:35.6 to Lupia's 4:37.6. Then, in the 3,200-meter run, Petrella let Lupia's teammate, Neil Gill, have the early lead, only to catch Gill on the final lap and somehow lean to the finish line ahead of Gill, though both finished with a time of 9:46.4.
Ryheim Lawes also stood out for the Warriors, winning both the 100-meter dash in 10.9 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 22 seconds flat, with C-NS's Mark Broughton second in both events. Also, Lawes was second in the long jump (20 feet 5 inches) and teamed with Brockton Barton, Colin Gwit and Alex Christensen to win the 4x400 relay in 3:34.5, giving the Warriors the clinching points.
Christensen needed 2:02.5 to beat C-NS's Bryan Sibble (2:04.1) in the 800-meter run, this after teaming with Nick LeClair, Landon Veney and Connor Buck to prevail in the 4x800 relay in 8:57.8.
Liverpool also found success in field events, where Travis Chewning-Kulick cleared 12 feet in the pole vault to beat the Northstars' Connor Osborne (11 feet), while Chris Granell (132'2") and Zach Harris (128'2") went 1-2 in the discus and Mark VanMarter went 20'9 1/2" to prevail in the long jump.