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Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015: Course records, tiebreaker highlight McQuaid Invitational

   Leading off today: I heard a sports-related phase Saturday that I'd never heard before -- and it wasn't "Moriello, you know a lot about sports," though that obviously would have also been a first. No, the words I heard were "Jesuit tiebreaker."

   I didn't make it out to Genesee Valley Park in Rochester for the 51st McQuaid Invitational, but I did hear about how the "Jesuit tiebreaker" came into play in the boys seeded AAA race, one of the big events of the afternoon.

   Here's the scoop:

   Liverpool and East Aurora tied for first with 65 points apiece. Liverpool's first five runners had the slightly better cumulative time, but East Aurora held the card that usually breaks ties: Its No. 6 runner, Will Link, finished 28th, putting him ahead of Liverpool's No. 6, Ryan Comstock in 36th.

   Under the rules at McQuaid, however, the actual tiebreaker is the one a good number of civilians likely assume is the standard everywhere: re-scoring the meet as though it was dual between the top two teams. Under that criteria, Liverpool took home the big hardware by a score of 26-29 with a huge boost from winner Ben Petrella and a third-place showing by Ty Brownlow.

   Ultimately, the meet will likely be remembered more for its outstanding performances, beginning with Noah Affolder. The Cartage junior won at V-V-S, Monroe-Woodbury (on the 2015 state meet course) and the E.J. Hermann the previous three weekends. All he did at McQuaid was blow away the boys seeded AA race field in 14:14 for three miles, knocking 10 seconds off the course record.

   Pittsford Mendon won the team competition in a deep field with 84 points to hold off Xavier (99) from the CHSAA.

   Also noteworthy:

    • In the boys seeded A division, East Rochester senior Dawson Bathgate earned top individual honors and Watkins Glen edged Maple Grove 97-107 in the team race.

    • In the girls seeded A contest, Sage Hurta of Hamilton and the Villa Maria Academy team took home championships.

    • In the girls seeded AA race, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake dominated a field deep in New York, out-of-state and Canadian talent.

   East Aurora (96) and Monroe-Woodbury (107) also ran close.

    • And in the girls seeded AAA race, Elmira star Abbey Wheeler became the fastest American ever on the course in 16:36.1 but finished a stride behind Canadian Shona McCulloch (16:35.7).

   That race also featured the best team competition of the day. Despite running shorthanded, Shenendehowa tallied football site

75 points to beat Ohio visitor Centerville (81), a nationally ranked squad that called an audible and entered the meet late after fears of a hurricane strike in North Carolina canceled them out of the prestigious Great American Cross Country Festival.

   More cross country: At the Grout Run in Schenectady, Shaker senior Maryanna Lansing fell short of becoming a five-time champion at the meet. North Rockland junior Alexandra Harris (15:10.20 for 2.75 miles) won as her team placed first in its race with 20 points.

   Soccer notes: Emily Slawson scored twice Friday as Unatego scored to a 5-1 girls soccer victory over Walton that allowed coach Sue Herodes to reach the 300-win milestone.

   Marion school district officials had to move two homecoming weekend soccer games Friday night after discovering that the school's primary field had been damaged by vandals, The Daily Messenger reported.

   Alec Cutler scored three goals for Elmira Notre Dame during a 9-0 boys victory vs. Watkins Glen on Saturday. Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 115-3 this season during a 12-0 start.

   The price of success: The numbers were so mind-boggling that I had to stop reading about two-thirds of the way through the story last week about soccer parents Steve and Siobhan Jones of Folsom, Calif., who spent $17,400 for soccer-related expenses last year as their four sons play for one of the 42 competitive soccer clubs in the Sacramento area.

   All told, U.S. families spend about $5 billion a year on sports organizations according to the Columbus Dispatch shows, and another $7 billion is expended on related travel according to the National Association of Sports Commissions.    "We're living in the moment, going month to month to make this work," Steve Jones admitted. "We have no money or time to spend on anything else."

   Keep in mind, that's from a man whose combined household income is $146,000 a year.

   "If (son) Rhys plays national tournaments," he says, "maybe he'll catch the eye of recruiters."

   I think my idea -- betting my life savings on one spin of the roulette wheel -- is a lot less risky. Last time I looked, the estimate was that 1.9 percent of high school boys and 2.3 percent of high school girls will play collegiate sports.

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