Members of the Cazenovia boys cross country team enjoy the sights at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex during their trip to Florida on the first weekend in October. The Lakers finished ninth out of 24 teams in the Varsity 1A race before returning home to sweep league races against CBA and Solvay.
The Cazenovia boys cross country tearm traveled to Florida over the Columbus Day weekend and ran in the Disney Cross Country Classic.
For the Lakers, its race was held Oct. 6 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located in Kissimmee. The invitational featured teams from around the country, as far away as Anchorage, Alaska.
There were 17 races over the course of the two-day invitational and each race was named after a Disney Character. The boys’ varsity team ran in the Peter Pan race, aka Varsity 1A (small schools).
The race was scheduled for 4:20 p.m., but due to heavy thunder storm activity, the race was delayed more than hours. The course, very flat and normally fast, became extremely muddy in spots which slowed the pace of the runners.
A total of 24 teams and 204 runners ran in the race. Cazenovia finished ninth overall with 190 points, finishing directly behind Tully, who also made the trip and finished with 185 points.
Cazenovia placed all seven of its first-string runners in the top 75. Jimi McPherson was first for the Lakers, finishing eighth with a time of 18:13. Early in the race, McPherson was tripped by another runner and battled back for the great finish.
Jon Marecek was second for the team and 20th overall in 18:45. Zach Wendell finished in 19:54, with Noah DeRoche posting 20:09 as Tony Koppers had a time of 20:22, just ahead of Ian Marshall (20:25) and Jacob Wells (20:34).
What was learned during this invitational was the bright future of the Cazenovia program. The JV team, consisting of many freshman and sophomore runners, showed they will be ready to compete as a varsity team in coming years.
The JV Lakers ran in the Hercules race which was1A/2A JV. Unlike with the varsity,he race went off at the time scheduled – 3 p.m., which meant extremely hot and humid conditions, but all 28 runners gave it their full effort.
Cazenovia finished fifth overall. Leading the team was Jakob Buckley who finished 15th overall with a time of 20:36. Jacob Ives was right behind, getting 16th place in 20:37. Stanley Angus was 24th in 21:02.
They were followed by Carson Clonan (21:21), Sean Smithers (21:41), Cormac Race (22:13), Ryan Hughes (22:58), Torin Monahan (23:07), Alex Rodriguez (23:11), Chris Stevens (23:13), Tim Gibbons (23:14), Elliott Hale (23:18), Mitch Ponzer (23:53), Matt Knutsen (24:51), Justin Ossont (24:51), Aiden Coffey (25:19), Eli Hunt (25:28), Brice Hodges (26:30), Jake Tobin (26:33), Dalton Sevier (28:25), Aeden Benson (28:55), Isaac Walburger (29:30), Ted Williams (29:38), Sam Stehle (29:39), Andrew Peterson (29:41), Griffin Monahan (30:13), Tom McCay (30:23) and Adam Thompson (40:37).
After the races, the Lakers spent the next two days enjoying the Disney theme parks, creating everlasting memories among this close-knit team.
Upon returning from Disney, the Lakers competed in their final dual meet of the regular season Wednesday at Long Branch Park when they took on CBA and Solvay. The Lakers swept the Brothers 21-34 and the Bearcats 15-50.
McPherson was the overall winner with a time of 16:29 with Marecek at a close second in 16:33. Marshall was fifth in 17:38, edging out Wendell (16:40) as DeRoche was seventh in 17:44 and Wells eighth in 17:46. Barna, in 17:53, beat out Gabor (18:00), Smith (18:11), Koppers (18:57), Angus (19:03) and Buckley (19:23).
The highlight of the race was the Cazenovia’s “pack” which includes Marshall, Barna, Gabor, Wells, Wendell, DeRoche, and Smith. They finished within 26 seconds of each other and 1:35 from Cazenovia’s top runner, McPherson, which is indicative of a team poised to make a run in post season action.
The team finished the dual meet season at 6-1 and the next meet is the OHSL Liberty division meet this Wednesday, also held at Long Branch.