Thousands of cross country runners from across the Northeast, including four local teams, gathered at Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park amid glorious, sunny early-fall weather for last Saturday’s 49th annual McQuaid Invitational.
West Genesee ran in the featured AAA divisions. The girls Wildcats finished 12th out of 18 teams as seven-time defending champion Fayetteville-Manlius had a rare defeat, taking second place behind Unionville (Pa.), who won with 45 points to the Hornets’ 78.
Individually, Laura Leff finished 11th out of 143 runners with a time of 17 minutes, 32.3 seconds. Lindsay Weaver was 51st, nearly two minutes behind Leff in 19:25.6. Sarah Ferranti (19:52.3) was just in front of Elise Dunshee (19:55.7) and Maria Matkowski (20:08.4), with Alicia Sakran (20:53.1) and Maggie Guinto (21:16.2) also in the race.
Though none of WG’s boys runners fared as well as Laura Leff, the team did finish seventh out of 18 sides with 233 points as F-M (62 points) edged Liverpool (66 points) for the top spot.
Freshman David Leff had a time of 15:39.2 that put him in 20th place, well clear of Nate Conroy in 41st place (16:10.1), while Jack Erhard (16:18.5) and Will Randall (16:19:2) finished close together in 54th and 56th, respectively. Mike Lannon (16:25.8) rounded out the scoring column as Sean Beney (16:48.6) and Matt Romano (16:56.3) also broke the 17-minute mark.
Westhill/Bishop Ludden rose to fifth out of 17 teams in the AA girls race with 172 points as Burnt Hills (76 points) went to the top.
Genny Corcoran finished 20th in 19:06.6, with Erin Morrell 21st in 19:06.9. Emily Washburn (19:47.1), Mary Washburn (19:50.3) and Annibel Coolican (19:59.6) also had top-50 efforts, with Caroline Coates (20:21.2) and Erin Christensen (20:39.1) close behind.
As for the Westhill/Ludden boys, it could only get to 11th place in its 19-team AA race. Liam Rodgers, like Corcoran, had a 20th-place effort with his time of 16:01 flat, with Dan DeMauro 47th (16:30.3) and Josh Owens (16:30.6) in 48th place. Further behind were Kyle Fitch (16:51.7), Garrett Remillard (16:56.7), Vincenzo Carr (17:15.8) and Brian Celeste (17:28.2).