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Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017: Burnt Hills boys move up, win at McQuaid

   Leading off today: Given the unseasonably warm weather throughout the latter half of September, Saturday's McQuaid Invitational on a fast and flat three-mile layout in Rochester had the potential to be a sausage grinder of a cross country meet.

   Fortunately, temperatures dropped in the days leading up to the meet and race-day conditions gave runners a chance to run at full speed with fewer consequences. The results were some blazing times.

   Shenendehowa, the state's second-ranked large school, fought off No. 3 Liverpool by a 44-58 margin in the girls seeded Varsity AAA competition, East Aurora captured the Varsity AA title and Maple Grove coasted to Varsity A honors.

   Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake was the top team story of the day in boys races. The Spartans, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class B, won the seeded Varsity AAA championship over a field that included Class A No. 5 Corning, No. 6 Ithaca and No. 8 Fairport. Xavier made its journey from New York City worthwhile by winning the Varsity AA trophy, and Elk County Catholic from Pennsylvania won the Varsity A race.

   To put the depth of some of the fields in perspective, Ian Russ (East Aurora) and reigning NYSPHSAA Class B champ Nathan Lawler (Pittsford Mendon) ran in 14:46.7 and 14:52.1, respectively, to virtually match their times from a year ago but still slipped a notch on the podium as Thomas Witkowicz of Ontario (Can.) All Saints Catholic won in 14:33.9. Lawler, the recent Syracuse University commit fighting off a late-week illness, became the first competitor to post the meet's fastest Section 5 time of the day three times.

   "Not the best race today, but it is what it is,"┬áhe told the Democrat and Chronicle.

   Michael Peppy of Maple Grove cut eight seconds off his fifth-place time of a year ago and took individual honors in the Varsity A race in 15:19.4 against a field with five of the top 15 finishers from a year ago competing.

   Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, which was making the leap after winning Varsity AA in 2016 and coming off a dual win vs. Shenendehowa is searing heat Wednesday, placed juniors Tyler Berg (fourth, 14:57.2) and Evan Brennan (10th, 15:09.1) in the top 10 in its impressive victory.

   "It was a great field with a lot of bigger schools, and we really ran well," coach Chip Button told The Daily Gazette.


   Jenna Schulz (17.08.4) shaved more than 38 seconds off her fourth-place time of a year ago to lead Madison Neuner (17:21.2) a one-two Liverpool finish, but the Shen girls showed superior depth as Hannah Reale (17:32.6), Charlotte Hartman (17:4.8) and Olivia Lomascolo (17:50.3) took three of the next four positions in the big-school race.

   Sophomore Faith Demars of Ballston Spa won the Varsity AA race in 17:38.7 over a pair of eighth-graders, Megan McLaughlin of East Aurora and Elizabeth Lucason of Camden. Tully freshman Brooke Rauber (16:52.4, fastest girls time of the day) won Varsity A over defending champ Hayleigh Palotti (17:39.0) of Livonia.

   Palotti's win in 18:02.6 last year propelled her toward a NYSPHSAA Class C championship in November on the same day Rauber won Class D. football site

   More cross country: Clinton junior Eva Borton became the first girl to break 19 minutes in the 12 years of the new layout during the 75th E.J. Herrmann Invitational Proctor Park in Utica.

   Borton finished the small-schools race in 18:58.6 to edge Olivia Morganti (19:05.8) of team champion CBA.

   New Hartford junior Josh Farmer put up the top boys time of the day with a finish in 16:42.6.

   Boys soccer: Jack Bean scored 14 minutes into overtime as East Aurora, ranked second in the state in Class A, beat St. Joe's 1-0.

Bean converted a through ball from senior Bryce Schlitz.

    • Senior Zakaria Shiabi scored seven goals and added an assist in Buffalo McKinley's 11-2 win at West Seneca East.

   Girls soccer: In more Western New York action, Christian Central's Lauren Zwolenkiewicz tied a school record for goals in a game by doing all her team's scoring in a 6-1 win against Park School.

    • Katie Annable scored the goal as Hilton registered a 1-0 upset of Webster Schroeder, ranked 10th in the state in Class AA.

   TMLA star to South Bend: Notre Dame has landed the top girls basketball player at The Mary Louis Academy for the second year in a row with Saturday's decision by guard Jordan Nixon to commit.

   Nixon was second-team all-state in Class AA as a junior. Teammate Danielle Patterson, the 2017 state co-player of the year, is a freshman at Notre Dame this fall.

   Nixon was also considering Georgia, Ohio State and Virginia. She visited South Bend on Labor Day weekend.

   Concussion study: Nearly one in five teenagers playing a sport has been diagnosed at least once with a concussion, and nearly 6 percent of them reported head trauma multiple times, a study revealed last week said.

   The University of Michigan research involved 13,088 boys and girls in grades 8, 10 and 12 who responded to a questionnaire as part of the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey, an annual in-school assessment of U.S. students.

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