Russ wins big event
Many of the best cross country runners in upstate New York converged on Genesee Valley Park in Rochester on Saturday for the McQuaid Invitational, one of the highlights of the sport’s season. From a Western New York perspective, Ian Russ of East Aurora stole the show.
Russ won the Varsity AA race for middle schools in a time of 14:46.7 over the 3-mile course. That was four seconds ahead of Nathan Lawler of Pittsford Mendon-V. Ray Sambrotto of West Seneca East was the next WNY finisher, placing sixth. East Aurora was the top team from this area (fifth). In the unseeded AA race, Williamsville South placed second.
Russ shared the spotlight with a pair of local teams. The East Aurora girls dominated the field in the Varsity AA race. Four Blue Devils were in the top 15, led by Maisy Webster (17:55.9). Hamburg was third in the unseeded AA race.
The Maple Grove girls also were big winners. The Red Dragons took home the team title in the Varsity A race for small schools. Maple Grove had all seven finishers in the top 24, with led by Carling Lockwood (18:51.1) and Christiana Peppy (18:53.9). Newfane finished second. City Honors won the unseeded A-2 race.
In the boys Varsity AAA race (large schools), Orchard Park finished sixth. Cal Puskar led the Quakers with a time of 15:15.4. Canisius finished 14th. St. Joe’s placed third in the unseeded AAA race.
In the girls’ event in the same class, Lockport was the top area team with a 15th place finish, with Clarence a spot behind. Carissa DiTullio of Lockport was the top local finisher with a time of 18:51.7.
Maple Grove did well in the boys Varsity A race as well, finishing fifth. Michael Peppy led the Red Dragons (15:27.4). Seneca was seventh.
Locals do well
A couple of local cross country teams went even further from home for a meet. West Seneca West’s boys finished second to Queensbury in Division I in the 78th annual Everett T. Group Memorial in Schenectady.
Tyler Bishop of the Indians finished sixth in a time of 14:39.91 in the 2.75-mile course, with teammate Spencer Roberts close behind at 14:46.15.
Springville finished fifth in Division C. Kurt Uschold was the fastest Griffin, hitting the finish line in 15:57 to place 23, while Zack Peterman was 30th in 16:08.
On the girls side, Springville was third in Division C. Sonya Krezmien of the Griffins won her race in 16:36, and teammate Elle Russell finished third in 16:55. West Seneca West also was second in Division I, this time to North Rockland. Anna Rybczynski of the Indians came in fourth at 16:02.01.
Portville takes title
In girls volleyball, Portville knocked off host Clarence in three sets to take the title of the Clarence Invitational. The Panthers, who have won two straight state titles in Class D, had beaten Williamsville South in the semifinals. Clarence beat Lockport. Beth Miller of Portville was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Elsewhere, St. Mary’s of Lancaster is participating in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz., this weekend. The Lancers lost their first two matches Saturday morning.
Cicero North (III) made the trip from Central New York for the 25th annual Williamsville South Invitational, and the boys’ volleyball team carried the championship trophy back on the return trip. Cicero North defeated Lockport in two straight sets in the final. The Northstars downed Maryvale in the semifinals, while Lockport needed three games to eliminate St. Francis.
The All-Tournament Team consisted of Jordan Nosal (Maryvale), Nate Zawadski (Maryvale), CJ Luksch (St. Francis), Matt Suffoletto (St. Francis), Rhees Perry (Lockport), Marc Bixby (Lockport), Connor Millias (Cicero), and MVP Tristen Cummings (Cicero).
Crusaders fall short
In boys soccer, Canisius dropped the championship game of the Finger Lakes Tournament to Skaneateles-III, 3-1. The Crusaders had the lead, 1-0, 10 minutes into the game but couldn’t hold it. JP Bobak was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Vincent Cancilla, Mike Mazzaro and John Uba made the all-tournament team.
Tigers blank Nichols
Akron’s field hockey team continued its winning ways on Saturday, defeating Nichols, 4-0. Abby Stone, Kaitlyn Gaik, Lily Berghorn and Heather Cummings scored.