VERONA – With a tremendous collective effort, the Chittenango girls cross country team earned the Section III Class B championship last Saturday at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School.
What quickly developed in this race was a three-team battle between the Bears and two Tri-Valley League sides, Whitesboro and New Hartford.
And while New Hartford was strong up front and Whitesboro more balanced, Chittenango still finished in front of them, the Bears earning 38 points to the 51 for Whitesboro and 56 for New Hartford.
Two Spartans runners led the way, including Alexandria French, who won in 20 minutes, 59.6 seconds, but Chittenango’s charge began when Laura Powers made her way to fifth place in 21:46.9.
Right behind Powers, Natalie DiGennaro gained sixth place in 21:48.7, while Ani McCarthy stepped up and got seventh place in 21:52.1, and the Bears just kept adding on.
Mariah Stewart, taking eighth place in 21:52.4, was Chittenango’s fourth consecutive finisher, and when Ava McLean crossed in 12th place in 22:27.1, the Bears were victorious. Sophia DiGennaro went 22:51.3 for 17th place and Emily Judd was 22nd in 23:33.3.
By winning, Chittenango gets to return to VVS this Saturday for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B meet, joined in boys Class C by Cazenovia standout Jake Woolbert.
In the sectional Class C race, Woolbert finished in 17:22.9, good for sixth place, but fifth among runners outside the winning sectional Class C side from Mexico.
Thus, by a margin of just 4.6 seconds over Westhill’s Edward Popp, Woolbert earned a spot in the state meet as part of the Section III All-Stars with Popp’s teammate, Drew O’Reilly, plus Hannibal’s Noah Melita, Oneida’s Tyson Fuller and CBA’s Joe McMahon.
As a team, Cazenovia was victorious in Class C-2, with 51 points to runner-up Clinton’s 70, though overall in Class C the Lakers settled for fourth place behind Mexico, Westhill and VVS.
Eddie Comeau led the Cazenovia charge behind Woolbert, getting fifth place in C-2 and 19th overall in 18:19.8. Garret Lounsbury had a time of 19:13.4 that was 11th in the C-2 side as Kooper Wilmot was 13th in C-2 in 19:16.1 and Gavin Wagner, in 19:53.1, was in the C-2 top 20 ahead of Evan Molloy (20:03.2) and Henri Mongeau (20:28.2).
In the boys sectional Class B race, Chittenango was sixth in an 11-team field, led by Ethan Lavier, who made his way to 14th place in 19:06.2 as Dan Mahle was 16th in 19:08.9. Bryce Edwards (19:55.4), Logan Rogers (20:01.5) and Manu Tipa (20:05.0) all finished in the top 30.