VERONA – Fresh off strong performances at the Section III championships on Nov. 4, Skaneateles sophomore Lucy Fleckenstein and Westhill senior Drew O’Reilly both made their way back to Vernon-Verona-Sherrill exactly one week later.
The occasion was Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C championships, where Fleckenstein and O’Reilly hoped familiarity with the course would help them vie for medals for themselves and with their Section III All-Star squads.
As it turned out, they were both right.
Going first in the girls state Class C race, Fleckenstein covered the VVS course in exactly 20 minutes, 15 seconds and finished 20th in a field of more than 130 runners, beating her time of 20:22.6 from the sectional meet.
And it helped Section III to a third-place team finish. The All-Star group had Oneida eighth-grader Molly Myatt finish eighth in 19:34.3, less than a minute from the winning 18:42.7 from East Aurora’s Emilia O’Leary.
Vernon-Verona-Sherrill’s Kasadee Leonardo was 14th in 19:59 flat, with Fleckenstein just behind Homer’s Ingrid Aagaard in 18th place (20:13.1) as South Jefferson’s Annabelle Renzi finished 28th in 20:34.1.
Then it was O’Reilly’s turn in the boys state Class C race, and he did even better.
Having run 16:41 flat at the sectional meet, O’Reilly would almost match it, off by just one-tenth of a second as he finished in 16:41.1, but still getting seventh place overall, not far from the winning 16:13.5 by Penn Yan’s James Tette.
O’Reilly was one of three Section III runners in the top 10, just behind Mexico’s Ethan Becker in fourth place (16:39.5) and ahead of Christian Brothers Academy’s Joe McMahon (16:41.9) in eighth place.
As a team, Section III was third, with Mexico fifth in the team portion and O’Reilly and McMahon backed up by strong efforts from Hannibal’s Noah Melita (29th, 17:24.3), Oneida’s Tyson Fuller (38th, 17:37.6) and Cazenovia’s Jake Woolbert (40th, 17:42.3).