East Syracuse Perhaps the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams heard the quiet, but persistent talk going around that it had a bit more vulnerability going into the 2013 season than it did in years past.
Of course, every other cross country program in the state, and perhaps in America, would trade place with the Hornets, regardless of “vulnerability”, and F-M showed it could still dominate matters when it made the short trip to Pine Grove Junior High School for Saturday’s season-opening East Syracuse-Minoa Invitational.
In both the girls and boys divisions, F-M was impossible to catch. The girls picked up 25 points, way ahead of the field as Skaneateles claimed a tie-breaker over Fairport for second place. Host ESM was fifth, ahead of J-D, thanks to another tie-breaker, though both finished with 113 points.
Annika Avery led the field, as she covered the Pine Grove course in exactly 18 minutes, 18 seconds, well clear of Jenna Farrell, who was second in 19:03.2. Alana Pearl, in 19:07.3, completed a 1-2-3 Hornet sweep.
Just behind them, Megan Menz was ninth, in 19:57.6, while Jessica Howe was 10th in 19:58 flat. Samantha Levy took 12th place (20:17.4) and Reilly Madsen (20:30.6) was 14th.
As for ESM, Juliette Miller had a 13th-place clocking of 20:26.6, with Natalie Marra 15th in 20:38.1. J-D saw Rachel Fairbanks make her way to fourth place in a time of 19:14.3, while Emilee Carpenter was sixth in 19:49.6.
The Rams’ Laura Wengert was 18th (21:07.7), with ESM’s Gabby Pallotta 22nd in 21:22.2 and the Spartans’ Cindy Brownson 27th in 21:43.5. J-D’s Samantha Jaffe gained 34th place in 22:19.4, three spots better than another ESM runner, Bridget Benz, who finished in 22:31.9.
As for the boys race, F-M got a perfect total of 15 points, sweeping the top six positions as ESM had a solid showing, too, taking third place with 85 points. J-D (212 points) was eighth in the 11-team field.