The Sweet Home boys were the talk of Friday’s Section VI Cross Country Championships, beating East Aurora in a sixth-runner tiebreaker to win the Class B race at Long Point State Park.
A strong wind and a wet course from this week’s rains made footing a challenge for the participants in the day’s eight races.
The Blue Devils had won six Section VI Class B titles in a row. Sweet Home’s sixth runner, Mitchell Rabold, placed 21st to beat EA’s sixth-place runner, who was 24th.
“We preached depth all year long and that we were kind of going to beat teams on the back end,” said coach Brian Lombardo, who said his team trailed early in the race. “We have a really nice pack and our pack won it. I was kind of counting and I had East Aurora winning by two points, but I had two of my kids say they passed somebody at the finish.”
Mitchell Daddario was the Panthers’ top finisher, placing fifth.
The winning team members, along with the top five runners not members of the winning team, qualified for the New York State Championship in Queensbury.
Senior TJ Hornberger of Lake Shore won the overall Class B title with the fastest time of the day, 15:50.9. Senior Corey Wefing of Maple Grove won the Class D race. The pair became the first boys in the history of the event, which began in 1947, to win four consecutive titles.
Sophia Tasselmeyer of Sweet Home had the fastest time among girls in 18:36.
The Clarence boys and girls both won Class A meets. Marissa Seanger of the Red Devils won her race in 18:45.3. Dan Huben was the fastest for the boys in 16:21.0. The Maple Grove girls won the Class D race with Hope Pietrocarlo setting the pace in 19:19.4.