The start of post-season action for the area’s cross country teams meant that it was time to step up the performance level – especially for Fayetteville-Manlius, still in possession of the top state ranking on both Class A sides.
During Wednesday’s CNY Counties League American division championships at Baldwinsville, the girls Hornets recorded the second-best speed rating in the country this year, behind only Unionville (Pa.), who beat F-M with a quicker mark at the McQuaid Invitational on Sept. 28.
Eighteen of the top 20 finishers in the race wore F-M green, including the top seven, as Alana Pearl roared to victory in 17 minutes, 28.2 seconds, beating Jenna Farrell (17:35.7) by 7.5 seconds.
Annika Avery, in 17:42.3, earned third place, while Jessica Howe (17:45.9) got fourth place. Sophie Ryan finished fifth in 18:21.9, with Megan Menz in sixth place (18:23.6) as Reilly Madsen (18:52.4) and Olivia Ryan (18:52.4) followed.
Samantha Levy made her way to 10th place in 19:13.8, with Mackenzie Pierie (19:18.2) leading a top-20 group that includes McKenzie Tripp, Katie Krieger, Mikayla Ruthig, Bea Panozzo, Kathleen Neuberger, Annie Loh, Keita Peden and Meaghan Howe.
While the F-M boys didn’t quite have that sort of domination, it still swept the top six positions in its CNYCL America meet, led by Bryce Millar, who won over Andrew Berge even though the pair both covered the Durgee Junior High course in 15 minutes, 19.3 seconds.
Peter Ryan, in 15:20.9, made his way to third place, with Adam Hunt fourth in 15:29.4. Kyle Barber finished fifth in 15:32.3 as Riley Hughes (15:39.0) took sixth place.
Patrick Perry led the next F-M group, getting to 11th place in 16:16.8, followed by Bryan Geehrer (16:28.2) and David Benman (16:39.3) in the 12th and 13th positions. Nick Sischo was 15th, in 17:03.7, while Hamza El Habbal was 16th in 17:12.1.