ELLERY - The team favorites did as expected in the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association cross country championships Friday afternoon.
So the victories by both the Maple Grove boys and girls teams - they are ranked eighth and first respectively in the Class D state polls - didn't send shockwaves through the spectators who gathered at the 3.1-mile layout at Long Point State Park.
What did, though, was the performance of Red Dragon freshman Hope Pietrocarlo.
Maple Grove’s Corey Wefing and Hope Pietrocarlo were first in the boys and girls races at the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association cross country championships on Friday. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Scott Kindberg
The CCAA's second-ranked girl, Pietrocarlo turned in a blistering personal-best of 18:14.93 to breeze to the individual title. Top-ranked Lauren Reyda, a Fredonia sophomore, was a distant second in 18:49.14 and Maple Grove freshman Megan Marsh (18:57.96) was third. Sherman junior Holly Eliason (19:17.52) was fourth and Jamestown senior Olivia Zabrodsky (19:36.90) was fifth.
''Going into the race, I really didn't know what Lauren was going to do,'' said Pietrocarolo, who placed second last year, ''but I had this determination that it's my home course and I've got to win this.''
So after running with Reyda for the first two miles, Pietrocarlo pulled away to a nearly 34-second victory over the defending champ.
''I didn't think it was going to be that fast,'' Pietrocarlo said. ''I thought I was going to ''PR'' by 10 seconds, so I'm really happy with it.''
Junior Corey Wefing, the defending CCAA champion, continued his dominance by claiming the boys race. His time of 16:22 was 27 seconds faster than second-place John Panus, a senior from Olean. Southwestern freshman Ryan Hetrick (17:15) was third, Sherman junior Ryan Carpenter (17:25) fourth and Southwestern junior Jordan Powers (17:28) fifth.
''I wanted to take it out fast,'' said Wefing, who led from the start. ''I felt good. I definitely was a little concerned (because of the unseasonably warm temperatures the last few days). ... I kept asking my coach (Doc Rappole) if it was going to cool down at all and he said no. ... But it turned out to be nice running weather, really nice.''
''Nice'' was the theme of the day for the Maple Grove program.
The Red Dragons girls, who are now 26-0 on the season, finished with 33 points. In addition to Pietrocarlo and Marsh, junior Taylor Norris placed sixth (19:45.30), junior Caroline Benson (20:21.49) was 10th and junior Abby Sirwatka (20:38.99) finished 13th.
Fredonia (63), Sherman (111), Allegany-Limestone (123) and Silver Creek (137) rounded out the top five.
The Maple Grove boys, also 26-0, finished with 57 points to easily outdistance second-place Olean (100). Senior Josh Ahlstrom (sixth, 17:31), senior Peter Cala (14th, 17:49), senior Colin Green (17:53) and senior Matt Nelson (17:56) were the Red Dragons' other top finishers.
Southwestern (100), Jamestown (121) and Dunkirk (155) placed third through fifth in the team standings.
Other runners to place in the top 10 were Jamestown senior Michael Capestrani (17:32), Dunkirk sophomore Javier Soto (17:32), Allegany-Limestone freshman Owen Barber (17:38) and Dunkirk sophomore Ethan Francis (17:42).
Next on the schedule is the Section 6 Championships, which will be held next Friday at Elma Meadows.
''I have faith that Doc will definitely prepare us for sectionals,'' Wefing said.