In a pair of close, exciting races, the Marcellus cross country teams both won narrow decisions over Hannibal on Wednesday to claim their respective OHSL Liberty division openers.
The boys Mustangs beat the Warriors by a single point, 28-29, while in the girls race Marcellus did just enough to get past Hannibal 27-32.
It helped the Marcellus boys that Patrick McGuane won the race in 15 minutes, 23 seconds, beating Hannibal’s Ben Slate (15:43) by a comfortable margin. But the Warriors also took the second and third spots, putting the Mustangs behind.
Even with Alex Stopen finishing fifth in 16:18, Alex Zamajski getting sixth place (16:35) and Steve Larison taking seventh place in 16:57, Marcellus did not get the clinching point until Kevin Pierce crossed the line in ninth place at 16:59 and Mike Brown, in 10th (17:10), finished four seconds ahead of Hannibal’s fifth competitor, Ben Raymond.
Over in the girls race, Rachel Garn won in 18:17, winning by the same 20-second margin over Hannibal’s McKenzie Mattison (18:37) as McGuane did in the boys race. And once more, Hannibal had the third and fourth-place finishers.
The difference was that Marcellus owned the next five finishing spots, which proved enough for victory. Eliza Bell was fifth, in 19:32, while Emily Townsend (19:47) edged teammate Dominique Weeks (19:48) for sixth place. Schuyler Stuart was eighth (20:13) and Tori Stopen (20:25) clinched her team’s victory.
West Genesee’s cross country teams each earned league wins last Wednesday, sweeping Auburn to improve to 2-0 on the season.
As the girls Wildcats swept the Maroons 15-50, Laura Leff pulled away from everyone, her time of 18 minutes, 42.9 seconds topping all but nine of the boys runners in the same meet. Elise Dunshee, in 21:45.9, won the battle for second over Maria Matkowski (21:48.6) and Lindsay Weaver (21:49.8).