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East Aurora runners loom large at Invite

East Aurora has the No. 1 ranked boys and girls small school cross country teams in Western New York. But when you run your own East Aurora Invitational, the option is there to test the large school waters.

EA put itself among the large school division and in impressive fashion swept both team titles and won both the boys and girls individual races. And there was plenty of water as a steady rain fell during the entire event.

The EA boys scored 41 points in a field of 11 teams to beat runnerup Frontier with 76 and third place Canisius with 80. Sophomore Kenny Vasbinder, one week removed from winning the small school race at the West Seneca Invitational, won over his home course in 15:57.29. Matt McCann of Frontier was second at 16:05.18. Hutch-Tech’s Stefano Agostino was third in 16:06.77.

East Aurora’s girls had 23 points to outdistance Hamburg with 56 and Frontier with 81. The Blue Devils didn’t just win the race thanks to senior Marta McLaughlin’s 18:23.20, they also finished second and third with sophomore Fiona Danieu (18:28.16) and freshman Maisy Webster (18:41.06). Webster beat her time from a year ago by over 2 minutes.

McLaughlin has won this title every year since she was a sophomore.

“It was like a tsunami out there, it just came down on us the whole race,” she said. “It’s true cross country and that’s what we want it to be like.”

Alden won the small school boys title with 35 points as Dylan Servos won the race in 16:04.30. Runnerup Southwestern also came in second in the race at Ryan Hetrick crossed in 16:23.09.

The small school girls race was easily the closest of the day as Immaculata scored 64 points to edge Alden’s 65. Kelly Bochewetch of Newfane won the race in 19:10.57.

Immaculata’s Claire Attea and Katie Simon enjoyed top 10 finishes.

Bulldogs volleyball wins

Patrick Stroh earned MVP honors leading Hamburg to the title of the Sweet Home Volleyball Tournament. The Bulldogs came back to beat Clarence in the final, 23-25, 25-21, 15-10.

Earning all-tournament were: Tyler English (St. Mary’s), Mike Spengler (Lancaster), Dale Payne (Clarence), Matt Dempsey (Clarence) and Zach Yerington (Hamburg).

“We could not shut him down,” said Clarence coach Kevin Starr. “We knew they were going to go to him, we tried to adjust to at least minimize the damage, he was that good.”

• Joe Piotrowski was named MVP for North Tonawanda as the Jacks beat Grand Island, 26-24, 15-25 and 25-21 to win the Ken-Ton Tournament. Making all-tourney were: Niko Mancuso (Ken West), Justin Hake (Ken East), Brock Titral (GI), Michael Podgorney (GI), Ryan Fritz (NT) and Sam Weglorski (NT).