Skaneateles boys cross country off to strong start

Lakers continue quick improvement in September meets

— The Skaneateles boys cross country team is off to a great start this fall. The worked hard over the summer to lay a base that would set them up to improve their performances over the course of the 2013 season - and so far they haven’t disappointed the coaches.

In itsopening meet, the East Syracuse-Minoa Invitational on Sept. 7, the Lakers improved their times from the previous year as much as up to two minutes.

Cooper Watt lead the Lakers finishing 17th out of 78 runners in a time of 17:45.6. He was followed by teammates Nick Smolenski , Alex VanRiper (a freshman), Dominic Grasso, Patrick Biver, Stephen Ciaccio, and Joe Benedict to help the team finish as the top Class C school in this race.

In the JV race at ESM, freshmen Joe Capozza and Bradley Wolfanger ran a strong race, giving them their first 5K experience.

The Lakers’ second meet of the season came a week later, at the Vernon-Verona–Sherrill Invitational, where the Lakers finished fifth. At VVS, the footing on the course was more challenging than normal. Again, though, the boys ran strong, running the same time at the beginning of this season as they ran at the end of last season.

Then, in the OHSL Liberty division opener against Altmar-Parish-Williamstown on Sept. 18, the Lakers decided to try a team strategy of pack running, to see if it could run faster together. The team was to start off at a 6 minute, 30-seconds per mile pace and then cut down each mile time after that start.

Skaneateles was successful in running as a pack and brought down the team split to a 2:12 from the #1 runner to the #5 runner. It had six runners in the top 10 places.

This pack was lead by Watt (second), Chris Niebuhr (fourth), Ciaccio (fifth), Grasso (seventh), Smolenski (eighth) and Capozza (ninth). They were followed closely by Biver (12th), Calvin Stone (13th), Benedict (17th), Joe Wolfanger (19th) and Justin Dick (20th), all producing a five-point victory over APW.

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