Cross country season hits full stride at McQuaid Invitational. Here are the runners to watch

The cross country season has been up and running in Section V for just about a month, and now the runners are passing into a different stage while arriving Saturday at the McQuaid Invitational.

Times and placements in races are becoming larger prizes at invitationals and during some matchups, league meets.

The McQuaid Invitational is the largest meet in Section V, and at one time, was in the northeast region of the United States.

Runners, including younger modified and junior varsity team members, get a chance to race not only most of the top individuals in this state, but also competitors from other states and Canada on courses inside Genesee Valley Park in the city of Rochester.

There are about 7,000 runners on 252 teams at the 58th edition of this meet.

“We were averaging 255 to 260 (teams) before COVID. We were closer to 8,000-plus runners," McQuaid Invitational meet director and coach Todd Stewart said. "To see that is just exciting.

"The gates are open back up."

McQuaid Invitational

"We are fully loaded with the best teams in the state," Stewart said. "The best thing is that many of them are in Section V.”

  • 75 teams in Section V expect to run at Genesee Valley Park, including the Churchville-Chili boys, who are No. 6 in the state rankings, and the No. 7 state-ranked Fairport girls.

  • There are 29 teams from Pennsylvania, plus some from the states of Ohio, Maryland and from the District of Columbia coming. Six from Canada also signed up.

  • The highlight races are the Bob Bradley Premier events, the Molly Huddle race for girls at 2:20 p.m. followed by the boys at 2:44.

  • There are award ceremonies at 11:42 a.m. for teams and athletes at small schools, 2:44 p.m. (medium-sized schools) and 4:40 (large).

  • Races begin at 9:00 a.m.

Section V girls runners to watch

Fairport’s Ari Reback was the 2022 AGR girls cross country runner of the year.
Fairport’s Ari Reback was the 2022 AGR girls cross country runner of the year.

A list of runners and some of their accomplishments they are taking with them into the McQuaid Invitational and then the remainder of the season:

Ari Reback, Fairport: Top runner on a Red Raiders team that is 9-0 at Monroe County league meets. Winner of meets at Center Park, Webster Park and Finger Lakes Community College. Two-time Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Team member is the reigning runner of the year.

Addison Bree, Waterloo: 2022 AGR Team member. Sophomore was a runaway winner of a Wayne-Finger Lakes meet at Clyde-Savannah. Runner-up as a freshman at the Section V Class C Championships and finished in the top 25 at the state meet.

Kate Brennan, Honeoye Falls-Lima: Put first-place finishes at league meets in Mendon Ponds Park West that included Class A Brighton and Mendon Ponds Park East that included a competitive runner at Canandaigua on her resume.

Hannah Casler, Fairport: Dependable, No. 2 runner on the state-ranked Red Raiders. Finished 12 seconds behind the winner during the team's win at Center Park and just four seconds during a third-place finish at Webster Park, where the race included Rush-Henrietta, Brighton and Webster Thomas with senior Natalia Seremetis.

Hannah Devine, Brighton: Raced for the win during a competitive race at Webster Park with Fairport, Rush-Henrietta and Webster Thomas, finishing second, just two seconds behind the winner. Winner of Brighton's league meet at Basil A. Marella Park. 2022 AGR Team member with Churchville-Chili senior Alexa Briggs.

Hannah Governor, Williamson: Sophomore is making a case that she is the fastest and best runner in the Wayne-Finger Lakes league. Winner of league races at Williamson Town Park, Marion, where the race included Wayne's Illianna Suroweic, and Ontario County Park. Entered with her team in McQuaid's varsity smallest schools race.

Brianna Ostheller, Penfield: Very good third-place finish at a Monroe County league with Fairport and Rush-Henrietta at Center Park. She was a comfortable winner during a league meet inside Northampton Park.

Taylor Pennise, Canandaigua: Runner-up to the reigning AGR runner of the year at Finger Lakes Community College during a Monroe County league meet that included a strong Fairport team.

Erica Reigelsperger, Bloomfield: Junior finished comfortably ahead of up-and-coming Penn Yan freshman Ameina Samaltalski during a Wayne-Finger Lakes meet at Bloomfield Elementary School. Runner-up to Williamson's Governor at another league meet at Williamson Town Park.

Haylie Smith, Rush-Henrietta: One of the Section V's best since 2020. Three-time Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester team member is a junior. She won the large schools or Division I race at Letchworth State Park last weekend.

Catherine Staley, Geneseo: Booster her candidacy as the top runner in the Genesee Region-Livingston County league with a victory outside of the group of small schools: a first-place finish last week in the Division II 5k race at Letchworth State Park.

Section V boys runners to watch

Fairport's Jake Passalugo won the Section V Class A boys race by nearly 30 seconds in 15:47.1 at Letchworth State Park on Nov. 5, 2022.
Fairport's Jake Passalugo won the Section V Class A boys race by nearly 30 seconds in 15:47.1 at Letchworth State Park on Nov. 5, 2022.

Simon Aguilar, Geneseo: A contender for the status as the best in the Genesee Region-Livingston County league along with an all-star at Oakfield-Alabama. Impressive sixth-place finish last weekend in the Division II or small schools race during the John Izzo Classic at Letchworth State Park.

Connor Domoy, Oakfield-Alabama: 2022 Democrat and Chronicle All Greater Rochester Team member. Senior won McQuaid's small schools varsity race in 2022, and could have a rematch Saturday with the second- and third-place finishers. "One race I'm excited to see is the boys race No. 5," Stewart said.

Nate Fisher, Brockport: Senior went to Letchworth State Park last weekend and won the large schools or Division I race that included state-ranked Churchville-Chili. Raced on to the 2022 AGR Team after a top 20 finish at the Class B state championships.

Mikey Flannery, Rush-Henrietta: Looked for senior to ramp up his results and lower times along with teammates Zachary Terrano and 2022 AGR team member Christian Wescott for the No. 13 Class A state ranked Rush-Henrietta Royal Comets. Placed third in the 2022 Section V Class A Championships. Wescott was the runner-up at Red Jacket's Bob Goodell Memorial Cross Country Invitational with Churchville-Chili and Pittsford Mendon on the course.

Ryan Giglia, Churchville-Chili: Part of a strong one-two kick for the Saints with senior classmate Nathan Sikorski, who placed third at the John Izzo Classic inside Letchworth State Park last week. Giglia was runner-up, and also led a one-two-three finish of teammates of a league race at Parma Park that included sophomore Rahlin Finch. Cody Khuns gave the Saints a one-two-three-four finish at another league meet at Black Creek Park.

Dan Granville, Greece Arcadia: Only a mini-pack of three Churchville-Chili Saints beat this junior to the finish line during a league meet at Parma Park. Placed seventh during an invitational last week at Letchworth State Park, a meet that included Churchville-Chili, Webster Thomas, Rush-Henrietta, Pittsford Mendon, Spencerport and McQuaid.

Jerry Lewis, Webster Thomas: Ran McQuaid's three-mile loop course last year in 15:36. Strong winner of separate Monroe County league races at Webster Park that included state-ranked Churchville-Chili and Fairport. Ran another league race at Northampton Park in the same time as senior classmate and teammate Michael Lilly. 2022 AGR Team member.

Jake Passalugo, Fairport: The lead runner on a No. 9 state-ranked Class A team that seems to have five to seven of that caliber, including senior Owen Willard, another 2022 AGR Team member. A candidate for the 2022 AGR runner of the year, he finished eighth at the Nike regionals.

Jude Rischpater, Naples/Bloomfield: 2022 AGR Team member as a junior. Ran McQuaid's course in 16:12.4. Went on to a runner-up finish at the Section V Class D1 Championships. Runaway winner of a Wayne-Finger Lakes race at Williamson Town Park. Finished behind only a three-time sectional class champion at another league meet in Bloomfield.

Ethan Shea, Pittsford Mendon: Won a tight league race at Barker Middle School, beating R-H's Wescott and Terrano to the finish line by two and five seconds, respectively. Edged Canandaigua's Ryan Bremer, another junior, for first-place at a league meet in Webster Park.

Will Tempest, Pittsford Sutherland: Winner of his first league race this season last week at Shadow Pines. 2022 AGR team member. The Knights have entered one of the Bob Bradley Premier races.

James Tette, Penn Yan: Another runner who has been among the best in Section V for years. Three-time Section V Class C champion and three-time AGR team member. Won his three-mile 2022 McQuaid Invitational race in 15:39.9 coming out of the Wayne-Finger Lakes league.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: McQuaid Invitational: Section V runners to watch in cross country meet