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Chittenango Invitational l Results

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Are The Hornets Making A Case For The Best Team In New York?

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Perhaps the year 2017 has been a driving force for the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country program. 

That was the last time a Hornets squad won a national title.

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of this high school cross country program would be familiar with the Hornets, a team that has racked up 12 national titles over its history under head coach Bill Aris. 

But in recent years, other teams have risen into significance. Teams like Bend Summit (OR), the 2018 Team Nationals champions, and Saratoga Springs (NY), the 2019 winners, have developed similar talent pools. 

The latter, in fact, remains one of the top teams in the country, an undisputed heavy-hitter that few programs in U.S. can compete with. 

But maybe F-M wants to test that matchup at least some point in 2021. 

On Friday, the Hornets devoured the competition at the Chittenango Twilight Invitational, posting a crisp 18 points over the eight-team field. 

Better yet, though, the girls team was scintillating. Junior Hannah Kaercher (above, right) was the only runner under 18 minutes (17:57.8), while freshman Izzie Sullivan was the only other runner under 19 minutes. 

But if one were to go by speed ratings, the top 5 went like this: 153-148-124-123-115. The average is 133.5.

That performance is in line with any other program in the country. In fact, only one other team -- Niwot averaged 137.4 at Desert Twilight -- has been better overall on the season. 

Saratoga Springs' best effort averaged out to 133.4.