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Skaneateles boys cross country off to strong start

Lakers continue quick improvement in September meets

— In the Baldwinsville Invitational on Sept. 21, the Lakers went into the competition to learn where it might stack up against other Class C schools.

There were 33 teams in the Small School division at B’ville. The competition was much stiffer than years past and went out fast, but the Lakers put itself in a great position at the start, which led to yet another strong race full of personal bests.

The Lakers finished 20th out of 33 teams, led by Watt (17:21.8), who finished 21st out of 198 runners. He was followed by Niebuhr (18:13.6), Grasso (19:54.5), Capozza (19:58.4), Ciaccio (19:58.9), Stone (20:37.4), and VanRiper who rounded out the top seven in the varsity race.

Skaneateles was not able to run a full team in the JV race at B’ville. However, three of the four that did run were able to set personal-best times. Jimmy O’Connell led this group in 20:31.6 and he was followed by Benedict (21:44.9), Dick (22:15.8), and Wolfanger (24:04.5) who all set personal bests.

“This meet was a turning point for the team, who just keeps getting stronger and running faster at each meet,” said co-head coach Marie Grosso. “We now know what we need to do for the second half of the season to get ourselves prepared for the OHSL and sectional meets at the end of the season.

We are excited about this team’s potential and the future of the boys cross country program at Skaneateles,” said Coach Grasso, “This team has really bonded due to the leadership of our Senior Captains, Patrick Biver and Nick Smolenski.

“Our team is a cohesive unit that encourages each of their teammates to do the best they can. When one individual has a bad day, whether at practice or in a race, they have a teammate right there, encouraging them to go on.

“Our top seven has been different every race but everyone understands that the purpose of being on this team isn’t to beat each other but to try and defeat the competition. This is what has made us who we are at this point and time in the season. Their will to strive to do their best is what will continue to help us move forward as a team.”

The Lakers’ next home meet is Oct. 2, against Hannibal at the Polo Grounds. It starts at 4 p.m.

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