Cazenovia’s boys cross country teams seniors were honored by head coach Jason Hyatt prior to last Tuesday’s meet against Skaneateles, where Cazenovia would prevail 23-32, led by seniors Jimi McPherson and Jon Marecek, who posted the fastest two boys times ever recorded by Lakers runners on the Fenner Field course.
On the first Tuesday in October the Cazenovia boys cross country team hosted the Skaneateles Lakers at the Fenner Field Course. Skaneateles entered the race state ranked at no. 16 in Class C while Cazenovia had fallen out of the state rankings. Skaneateles’ top runner, senior Luke Rathgeb, entered the race ranked fourth in Section III Class C by tullyrunners.com.
But this was Senior Day for the Cazenovia Lakers. The nine seniors on the Cazenovia roster – James (Nick) Barna, Carson Clonan, Jack Gabor, Tony Koppers, Jon Marecek, Ian Marshall, Jimi McPherson, Griffin Monahan, and Jake Wells – would run their last race on the Fenner course, and they had a huge desire to win their final dual meet while obtaining a personal record.
The race day was nearly perfect with clear skies, a comfortable temperature, low humidity, and a dry course. It also appeared to have been the largest group of spectators to watch a meet this season.
Prior to the race Lakers Coach Jason Hyatt honored the seniors and was complimentary about the close-knit group. Hyatt stressed their leadership as the primary factor of the success of the program as well as the influx in the number of runners (46) on this team.
During the first two miles of the race, there were essentially two groups of runners who would score for their respective team. The first group consisted of McPherson and Marecek, along with Rathgeb. The trio ran together for the first leg of the race and during the second mile, the Cazenovia duo began to pull away
Then McPherson decided it was time to re-establish his place as one of the top runners in Section 3 Class C. The second group of runners ran the entire the race in a pack which, for many spectators, made it difficult to determine who would win this race.
In the end, Cazenovia pulled away, defeating Skaneateles 23-32. McPherson won the race with a time of 16:28, his dominant performance setting a course record for a Cazenovia runener. Marecek was second overall in 16:40, a personal-best time, while Rathgeb was third in 16:40.
Marshall gained fifth place in exactly 18 minutes, just ahead of Zach Wendell (18:01) in seventh place and Gabor (18:02) in eighth place, which closed out the scoring. Jared Smith was 11th in 18:45, ahead of Koppers (18:48), Wells (18:58), Jakob Buckley (19:08), Barna (19:21) and Noah DeRoche (19:23).
While many Cazenovia runners PR’d on this date, the best finish of the race and perhaps of the year belonged Marshall. On the final turn of the race which leads to the finish, Marshall found himself in ninth place. With about 100 yards to go, he exploded into an all-out sprint, which he maintained to the end, pushing himself all the way up to fifth place and also set a personal-best mark.
Cazenovia’s finishers included Jacob Ives (19:38), Clonan (19:49), Sean Smithers (19:50), Cormac Race (20:22), Dylan McCrink (20:23), Ryan Hughes (20:51), Torin Monahan (21:08), Elliott Hale (21:10), Hunter McCullough (21:14), Alex Rodriguez (21;15), Tim Gibbons (21:16), Chris Stevens (21:17), Mitchell Ponzer (22:27), Justin Ossont (22:45), Dalton Sevier (22:45), Eric Groff (22:48), Brice Hodges (23:31), Andrew Ryan (23:34), Eli Hunt (23:43), Jake Tobin (23:59), Sam Stehle (25:00), Griffin Monahan (25:17), Aeden Berson (25:29), Tom McCay (26:24) and Adam Thompson (36:15).
Now with a 4-1 league record, Cazenovia would visit the Orlando, Florida area to run in the Disney Classic over the weekend.