Saturday’s much-anticipated showdown between the No. 1 ranked large school Clarence and No. 1 small school East Aurora in girls cross country did not disappoint.
The teams could not have been more evenly matched as they finished in a tie for first place at the third annual Knox Invitational at Knox Farms.
Each team finished with 42 points, forcing officials to go to the sixth runner. EA’s sixth runner Liz O’Brien finished in 21:27.06 while Clarence’s went 21:48.17.
Senior Marissa Saenger of Clarence won the race covering 3.1 miles in 18:33.71. East Aurora took 2-3 with Marta McLaughlin in 18:58.78 and Maisy Webster in 19:26.60. EA had two other girls finish in the top 10, Danieu Fiona in ninth and Sidney Spaschak in 10th.
The Clarence and EA boys also finished 1-2, but they were separated by 36 points in favor of Clarence. The Red Devils took the top two places thanks to senior Dan Huben in 15:56.28 and Anthony Casullo in 16:32.67. EA’s Kenny Vasbinder was fifth in 16:40.71.
• Alden won the large school team title while Owen Barber of Allegany-Limestone took top individual honors at the Southern Tier Classic. The 21st annual race was hosted by Allegany-Limestone as 21 teams participated.
Barber was locked in a tight race with Dylan Servos of Alden. The lead changed hands several times after the first mile before Barber won in 17:07.3. Servos crossed in 17:10.0. Alden finished with 50 points to edge runner-up Southwestern (53).
In the large school girls race, Hope Pietrocarlo of Maple Grove won in 20:10.6. Both Barber and Pietrocarlo earned the Joe Paterniti award for the fastest time of the day for boys and girls. Paterniti was a longtime Southern Tier official.
Sherman won both small school races as Josh O’Dell took the boys and Holly Eliason won the girls.
Eden girls volleyball rallies
The Eden girls volleyball team rallied for their absent coach and overcame Orchard Park to win the Frontier Invitational.
The Raiders were without coach Stephen Pierce, who was attending his father-in-law’s funeral out of state. Pierce’s brother and Eden boys coach, Robert, coached the girls to a semifinal win against Lancaster and the final win against the Quakers. Earlier in the day he had been coaching his own team in the Lockport Tournament.
Orchard Park came into the final as the No. 1-ranked large school in last week’s Coaches poll. The Quakers sure looked the part in the first game, winning, 25-15. Eden regrouped and put together an impressive rally to win the next two. The third and deciding game was tied at least 10 times before Eden won, 16-14.
“The girls kind of coached themselves all day long,” said Robert. “When they were down they ran off a few, served aggressively and passed well. The girls really responded throughout and their thoughts and prayers are with their coach and his family.”
Heather Hoelscher, Lainey Pierce and Meghan Ballou were named all-tournament from Eden. Kristen Stanek and Rebecca Higgins got the nod for OP.
• The St. Mary’s girls volleyball team won all five of its matches in pool play and advanced to today’s rounds at the Garden City Invitational at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
• In boys volleyball, Lockport beat Eden, 25-9 and 25-20, to win the 17th Lockport Tournament. Jason Donorovich was named MVP for the Lions.