The Lockport cross country teams competed for the first time in 2019 Friday evening at Oakfield-Alabama-Elba's Dash in the Dark, putting a new spin on the concept of "Friday Night Lights."
Relays of three runners each completed a two-mile course over a one-mile loop under the lights of the football stadium and other portable lights. A little rain earlier in the afternoon ended just in time for the races to begin.
In the girls varsity gold race, Lockport junior Sydney Nowicki surged to an early lead and built upon it over the next mile and half. Nowicki registered a time of 11:46 and passed the baton to fellow junior Emma Cain. Katie Strobel anchored the Lady Lions' "A" team to an 11th-place finish.
Following the girls' race was the mascot race. Another unique feature to this meet. Mascots from several schools across Western New York ran a 50-yard dash to the finish line. Lockport's Lion showed courage in the dash.
The boys varsity gold race saw Lockport's "A" squad finish fifth overall. Senior Owen White was the fastest Lion with a time of 10:31. Jackson Doran led the team on the first leg and Lucas Powley ran an impressive anchor.
Coach Tim Willett was most impressed with how well the "B" and "C" teams (Kenny Currie, Jesse Nowicki, Josh Ferraro, Colin Connolly, Andrew Hildreth and Trax Caubang) ran in the gold race as well.
"Their performance really bodes well for the depth we have this year, I think these guys can do some special things this season."
To cap the evening, OAE hosted their guests with a giant bonfire on the north end of their stadium.
"It was a fantastic event, and a great way to start the season," Willett added.