An impressive opening-day league dual meet victory last week at Bond Lake once gain showcased the talent that has made Lockport High School cross country the elite program in northern Western New York.
Ranked in the top five in Class A already this year, according to the latest coach's polls, head coach Bob Eberhardt's boys and girls teams will try to make it three straight Niagara Frontier League wins when they take on Kenmore West at 4:30 p.m. today at Beaver Island.
Despite some key losses to graduation that gives Eberhardt a relatively young squad in 2012, the Lions are poised to make yet another run for the NFL and sectional title and hopes to send as many runners as possible to states. Both the Lions and Lady Lions were 14-0 NFL champs last season.
Key losses to graduation include Mike Feeney (Clarkson University), Zach Chenez and Chelsea Turton, but they're offset by the return of some quality runners and students that include seniors Matt Kaczmarek and Jessica Monzyk, juniors Mitch Loiacano and Dan Jones and super sophomores Abbey Lang and Hannah Kurbs.
In last week's dual meet win over Kenmore East and Lewiston-Porter, Jones won the boys race in 17:59, with Loiacano second and Kaczmarek third overall. Lang won the girls' race in 20:28, while Kurbs and Monzyk finished second and third.
Those six and several other of their teammates also shined on Saturday at the prestigious McQuaid Invitational in Rochester, where Lang won the girls' sophomore race and Kurbs was fifth.
Monzyk (33rd) and seniors Claire Whalen (59th) and Grace Ross (65th) led the LHS girls varsity squad as they finished 15th out of 34 teams (246 runners).
Loiacano (5th), Kaczmarek (19th) and Jones (31st) were top finishers for the Lockport boys varsity team (11th out of 22 teams (152 runners). Eighth graders Connor Doran (11th) and Adam Perilli (29th) and ninth grader Jacob Maurer (78th) helped the boys sophomore team finish 12th of 29 (310 runners) at the McQuaid.