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Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013: F-M boys, girls earn return trip to Portland

   Leading off today: The Fayetteville-Manlius boys and girls cross country teams scored decisive victories Saturday in the Nike Cross Nationals regional meet at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls.

   F-M was the defending champ in both races and qualified for a return to the national meet Dec. 7 in Portland, Ore., where the girls are seven-time defending champions. Junior Annika Avery, the reigning Section 3 Class A champion, paced the girls victory by earning top individual honors in 18:05.3. Teammate Alana Pearl (18:33.1) placed third.

   Bryce Millar (fourth) and Andrew Berger (fifth) led the boys to victory with just 48 points to 76 for Northport and 94 for Liverpool. Northport, whose Mike Brannigan was the individual winner in 15:29.9, locked down the region's second spot in the national meet.

   In the girls scoring, F-M (32) easily outdistanced Saratoga (88), which is also headed to the finals. East Aurora (142) finished third, bolstered by Sophia Tasselmyer, who transferred in from Starpoint after finishing second in Class B at the NYSPHSAA championships earlier in the month.

   Meanwhile, the Northeast Region qualifier for the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships was held at Van Cortlandt Park, where race winner Mickey Burke of Rush-Henrietta (15:19) was the only New Yorker to finish in the top 10 and qualify for the national race Dec. 14 in San Diego.

   Tessa Barrett of Waverly, Pa., won the girls race in 17:33 and will be joined in San Diego by a quartet of New Yorkers: runner-up Anoush Shehadeh (17:38) of Larchmont, a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., Warwick Valley's Megan Reilly (sixth, 17:50), Corning's Jessica Lawson (seventh, 18:03)and Penfield's Katie Lembo (ninth, 18:04).

   Hitting the century mark: Senior QB Joe Capobianco threw the 100th TD pass of his career in leading Lawrence to a second straight Long Island Class III title by beating Huntington 41-32.

  
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   Capobianco threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, including a 22-yard screen pass to Jordan Fredericks (23 carries, 124 yards) with 3:31 left in the second quarter to become the first Long Island QB to throw for 100 TDs.

   Elijah Jones had four catches for 189 yards, including an 82-yard score.

   In the Class I final, Sachem North rallied past Farmingdale 27-21 for its first championship. Malik Pierre blocked a punt for a safety and Trent Crossan scored on a 15-yard run for the Flaming Arrows as they rallied with 10 fourth-quarter points to hand Farmingdale its first loss.


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   Following up: I reported last month on the saga of Diona Johnson, the Gates Chili basketball player whose eligibility waiver appeal was denied, leading to a State Supreme Court hearing. That bid for a final season on the court was denied, and the Democrat and Chronicle's Jeff DiVeronica did a detailed story Saturday laying out how she was sent to the sidelines.


  
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