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Sunday Oct. 13, 2019: Fayetteville-Manlius girls win 10th Eastern States title

   Leading off today: The Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team earned its 10th Eastern States championship on Saturday, winning the featured division in the 47th Manhattan Invitational.

   Fayetteville-Manlius placed four runners in the top 11 of the traditionally deep field, led by runner-up Claire Walters. The senior finished 12.7 seconds behind winner Katelyn Tuohy (13:33.2) of North Rockland. Seven of the top 11 finishers hailed from Section 3, including Tully's Brooke Rauber in third in 13:52.1.

   Tuohy's clocking was second all-time for the course behind her 13:21.8 two years ago, and the race marked the first time that three girls broke 14 minutes in the same race.

   "We figure we can't run with her but we try to stay close," Rauber said of Tuohy. "She's just amazing and in her own little race. She's so determined, so mentally strong. Nothing gets in her way."

   F-M powered past Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles School 64-122 for team honors, with Liverpool third at 165.

   "The girls ran pretty well," Hornets coach Bill Aris told "Our strength has been our top four. We've struggled to manufacture a fifth runner. Today our fifth runner did a credible job."

   Cornwall freshman Karrie Bologa finished with the fastest girls time outside the Eastern States race, winning the Varsity A contest in 14:22.

   The boys Eastern States title went to LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island, with Allentown (Pa.) senior Liam Murphy capturing individual honors in 12:15.2 on the 2.5-mile course at Van Cortlandt Park. Junior Peyton Geehrer was fourth to help F-M to sixth place in the team standings.

   Home cooking: Host Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake continued its strong start to the season by capturing team honors in the large-school boys division of their 38th annual invitational.

   The Spartans, building on previous triumphs at Baldwinsville and McQuaid, edged Guilderland 85-87. Burnt Hills is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class B and Guilderland is No. 2 in Class A. Sophomore Ryan Allison led the way with a time of 15:17.31 for 3.04 miles to finish fourth.

   The top girls race saw Saratoga fend off Shenendehowa 25-43. The Blue Streaks placed six runners among the top nine finishers including champion Ella Kurto in 17:19.07 and third-place finisher Sheridan Wheeler in 18:04.49.

   "We're pleased with the way they ran at this point of the season," Saratoga coach Linda Kranick said. "We still have a long way to go and a lot more work to do, but we're happy with the way we ran."

   More cross country: There was a small meet in Newark that had the kind of photo finish to the girls race that fans of the sport live for. Penn Yan (39) edged Our Lady of Mercy (40) and Newark (41) in the team race.

   Interesting reading: At any given time there are governing bodies for high school sports in several states wrestling with improving their rules regarding transfer students. As noted by the Detroit Free Press, Michigan is one of them at the

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   The Michigan High School Athletic Association adopted its latest revision earlier this year. The rule now states that students switching schools without making a complete and full change of residence with their family are ineligible in the sports they played at their previous school for a full year.

   Previously, an athlete needed to sit out only one semester. It resulted in what the paper termed a "mass exodus" over the holiday break in late December.

   "We're seeing a reduction from anywhere of 14 to 18%,” said Mark Uyl, executive director of the MHSAA. "In those initial steps we're seeing the movement of kids slowing from both the January piece to this."

   That being said, coaches and school administrators worry the new rule hasn't done enough because of suspicions that some "moves" by families are bogus. New addresses may be fabricated or the purchases are legitimate but the families remain in their previous residence.

   You can read more here.

   Sigh: Untimely coaching departures happen as do other circumstances beyond the control of school administrators, but what's happened in Upstate New York women's junior college basketball the past two weeks boggles the mind.

   SUNY Schenectady posted an announcement last week revealing the school will not field a team this season because of a lack of players. The Royals were supposed to begin their season Nov. 5.

   Official practice began Oct. 1 but the number of players attending workouts had dropped below the eight that had been showing up last month. AD Dave Gonzalez said the school ran tryouts for four days but it didn't help.

   New head coach Jahmel Samuels was only hired in early September, making it impossible for him to attract players in time for the upcoming season.

   It was in late September that Monroe Community College in Rochester announced that it was also short of players and would have to cancel the season.

   Call me cynical, but I kind of get the feeling that schools would move heaven and earth to make sure that such a drastic measure had to be taken with their men's team.

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