Maple Grove, racing on their invite course, won both the boys and girls section 6 titles and appear poised to challenge for both state titles in class D. On the girls side Clymer-Sherman-Panama's Kylee Odell won the individual section title, by 3 seconds over Maple Grove's Christina Peppy. Kylee finished strong to rebound from last week's 2nd place finish in her conference championship, which was won by Maple Grove's Ava Crist, who was 3rd in the section race this weekend. Maple Grove showed their depth with Peppy (2nd), Crist (3rd), freshman Abby Brunanavas 4th, senior Bryn Mozzi 6th, and sophomore Tori Pavlock 9th to round out the scoring five. For those keeping track Maple Grove would have won the section title 24-31 if it was scored against the entire section in class D! As it was Maple Grove outdistanced Clymer-Sherman-Panama by 16 points! The girls from Maple Grove look to be in a battle with section 3's Tully in this week's state championship. The individuals who advanced to the state meet for section 6 were: Kylee Odell (Clymer-Sherman-Panama), Acacia Barber (Frewsburg), Hannah Schauman (Clymer-Sherman-Panama), Sydney Smith (Randolph), and MacKenzie Gratto (Clymer-Sherman-Panama).
On the boys' side in class D Maple Grove put up a similar dominating performance like their girls defeating the entire rest of the section 24-31. In the boys race however Maple Grove earned both the individual and team title with junior Pete Auer winning his first section title with a time of 16:54. He was followed by sophomore Drew Kelemen (3rd), junior Riley Auer (5th), senior Frank Colburn (7th), and junior Darius Jones (8th) to round out Maple Grove's scoring five. Advancing individually in class D were: Ronan McDonald (Randolph), Dylan Davis (Frewsburg), Peter Dilorenzo (Barker), Hunter Wassink (Clymer-Sherman-Panama), and Christian Riethmiller (Randolph).
Newfane matched Maple Grove's feat sweeping both the boys and girls in class C, while they also swept both individual races. In the girls' race senior Kimberly Goerss from Newfane won the individual title by 14 seconds over Emily Brown of Fredonia. Newfane then had junior Vanessa Burkard take 13th, junior Lydia Chunco place 16th, freshman Leah Siegmann place 20th and 8th grader Catalina Ersing take 21st to round out the scoring. Newfane's 71 points was good enough for a 32 point win over runner up Silver Creek. Newfane Coach Mike Heitzenreiter likes his team depth as "all seven girls are big contributors to our teams success. Our athletes find solace that if they are off in a race another team member will be there to pick up the slack." Newfane will look to battle for a top 3 finish at states as beyond Greenwich, Saranac, Bronxville, and Waterloo all look strong. Advancing individually for section 6 in class C were: Emily Brown (Fredonia), Alanna Holman (Albion), Sonya Krezmien (Springville), Angelina Napolean (Allegany-Limestone), and Ellie Decker (Silver Creek).
On the boys side Newfane's stellar freshman Austin Burkard won on a lean over 8th grader Kyle Urban from Alden, setting the stage for what could be some interesting races for years to come. Austin was supported by his Newfane teammates with sophomore Nick Baes taking 12th, senior Robert Stevenson placed 14th, junior Alan Lingle took 19th, and he was followed by junior Nathan Moran finishing 20th to round out Newfane's scoring five. That group was enough to hold onto their class C title by defeating Alden by 23 points. Individual qualifiers in class C for section 6 were: Kyle Urban (Alden), Bobby Adams (Alden), Diego Rey (Fredonia), Dean Godios (Depew), and by 6 tenths of a second senior William Schwarzmueller from Wilson finished just ahead of Brett Russell from Springville.
Possibly the most anticipated team race of the day occurred in the class B boys race as Pioneer, East Aurora, and Lewiston Porter all squared off. Senior Andrew Perreault led wire to wire to win his first section title for Lew Port. However, the packs from Pioneer and East Aurora were able to push Lew Port back to third as a team. Alex Hillyard was the first across the line between EA and Holland in 3rd place but he was immediately followed by Jerad Hediger from Pioneer. Pioneer then began to take control with junior Trent Wesley placing 6th, just ahead of EA's 2nd man, Gavin McPherson who was 7th. Then Pioneer's freshman Brody Jones was 8th, senior Max Hughes was 12th and junior Grady Regan was 13th to close Pioneer's scoring. The 5 in the top 13 was enough to win by 8 points over defending champion East Aurora. East Aurora's Hillyard and McPherson both qualified individually along with Perreault. Sweet Home senior Ray Sambrotto ran his best race of the season to place 2nd overall and qualify for his 4th straight state meet. Those four will be joined by junior Vincent Pagliaccio from West Seneca East who had a very strong end of season to qualify for the state meet.
On the girls' side of class B the team race went as almost everyone expected as East Aurora beat the entire rest of section 26-29. The had almost a 100 point difference from the 2nd place team, Lake Shore. The East Aurora girls used a 1-2 finish, as they did the week before at ECICs from freshman Megan McLaughlin and junior Karis Ertel. Senior Ava Danieu finished 6th for the Blue Devils and sophomore Geneva Green ran one of her best races of the season for 7th. East Aurora finished their scoring five with 8th grader Samantha Hulme placing tenth. To further strengthen their dominance junior Maggie McLaughlin took 11th, giving EA 6 of the top 11 places in a deep class. The individual qualifiers for class B were: Kayla Schmidt (Williamsville South), Heather Bugenhagen (Starpoint), Marisa Swiatek (Williamsville East), Nicole Kuener (Iroquois), and Jericha Petrella (Dunkirk).
The class A girls race followed expectations as well as Nike National Qualifier Sydney Nowicki from Lockport looked strong winning the individual title by over 50 seconds, and large school favorite West Seneca West held on to win by 10 points over Orchard Park. West Seneca West's pack of 1-5, which had just over 90 seconds difference, was just too much for Orchard Park to overcome. For West Seneca West senior Anna Rybczynski was 3rd, with fellow senior Emma Larkman taking 11th, immediately followed by their 3rd senior Allison Stainsby taking 12th. They were followed by juniors Sarah Mruk (18th) and Madison Mariani (29th) to close out West Seneca West's scoring. The other state qualifiers in class A were: Nowicki (Lockport), Marin Bogulski (Orchard Park), Maya Lasker (Lancaster), Caitlin O'Rourke (Orchard Park), and Raechel Zielinski (Hamburg).
In the boys class A race senior Armani Merlino (Lancaster) got some revenge on sophomore Joshua Peron (Frontier) from last week's ECIC race, as he took the lead from the gun, and finished with almost a 30 second advantage for the win. However Josh got to celebrate with his Frontier teammates as they held off Clarence by 12 points to win the section title. After Peron for Frontier senior Joe Groth was 5th, junior Brian Gleason was 11th, junior Connor O'Brien was 9th, and junior Alex Monaco was 19th. Individual qualifiers for section 6 in class A were: Merlino, Noah Sayoc (Orchard Park), John Insinna (Clarence), Jack Heraty (Orchard Park), and Christopher Bertola (Orchard Park).