Both of the cross country programs from East Syracuse-Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt would walk away from last Wednesday’s head-to-head showdown with some sense of accomplishment.
On the boys side, it was the Spartans prevailing over the Red Rams, 25-30 and, by doing so, clinching the OHSL Freedom division regular-season title. Both sides would beat Fulton in the three-way meet – ESM by a 22-35 margin, and J-D by a score of 23-33.
Jesse Perrone set the pace for everyone, as the ESM star tore through the Fulton course in 15 minutes, 46 seconds, the only sub-16-minute effort as J-D’s Patrick Dye finished second, in 16:02.
Dye’s teammate, Isaac Tupper, earned third place in 16:06, but ESM started to pull in front with Joe Coogan, running well despite battling illness, getting to fifth place in 16:43 and Kyle Willey, in 16:45, edging the Rams’ Matt Murad (16:46) for seventh place. Then freshman Jared Henry (16:56) and Jake Barker (16:57) crossed the line, and ESM had enough points to hold off J-D.
Meanwhile, the girls race saw J-D defeat ESM 21-34, with both sides sweeping Fulton 15-50. It was Rachel Fairbanks and Emilee Carpenter going 1-2 for the Red Rams, as Fairbanks won in 18:19 and Carpenter got second place in 18:24.
The Spartans saw Gabby Pallott finish third, in 18:51, with Juliette Miller fifth (19:44). J-D clinched the race by having Laura Wengert get to fourth place in 19:05, with Samantha Jaffe sixth (19:47) and Alexandra Street eighth in 20:19. ESM’s Cindy Brownson was seventh in 19:55, ahead of Brittany Kubecka (20:55) and Maria Miner (21:01) also in the top 10.
In stark contrast to that drama, Fayetteville-Manlius locked up the CNY Counties League American division thanks to a pair of 15-50 sweeps over West Genesee.
Since both teams were headed to the Manhattan Invitational on the weekend, and since the Hornets had a large advantage in terms of depth on both teams, the best runners on each side treated the meet as a long warm-up.