Silver Creek girls win East Aurora Invitational, Fredonia girls fifth

Submitted Photo Fredonia’s Emily Brown (392) finished second overall in the girls cross country meet at East Aurora on Saturday, with a time of 18:52.

OBSERVER Staff Report

EAST AURORA — The Silver Creek girls cross country team took first place among 28 schools competing at the East Aurora Invitational cross country meet on Saturday in East Aurora.

Ellie Decker led Silver Creek with a third place finish of the three mile course in 18:53. In the final moments of the race, Decker was passed by Fredonia’s Emily Brown, who finished in second place in one second quicker, 18:52.

“The final dash for first was very interesting,” said Silver Creek coach Mike Janisch. “The top three finishers were running together coming up the final hill. (Brown) passed Decker at the very end.”

Silver Creek came away with the win thanks in part to many other contributors, in addition to Decker. Juliana Flick finished in 13th place with a time of 20:05. Daisy League was next for Silver Creek in 24th place in 20:31, while Melanie Wilson finished in 21:20. Julia Kennedy (21:57), Lily League (22:05) and Emma Romanik (22:08) all finished in the top 60 in the meet.

“It was enjoyable for the kids to run today,” said Janisch. “They could finally breathe. … Decreasing 30 degrees over the course of one day, that’s Western New York.”

Fredonia had three other notable times in addition to Brown. Savannah Lashbrook (20:26), Ashlyn Ambrose (20:38) and Anna Buchanan (20:46) all finished in the top 30 overall for the Lady ‘Billies.

“Savannah Lashbrook ran her best race by far this year,” said Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle. “I was very pleased with how the kids ran today. A lot of kids ran personal bests, in the boys and girls races. The majority of kids raced today, rather than just run the course.”

Fredonia’s boys team finished 10th at the meet. Diego Rey led Fredonia with a seventh place finish in 16:23. Kevin Redfield was next for the Hillbillies in 18:18, with Owen Ludwig next at 18:35. Nick Frazier (19:06) and Avery Willebrandt (19:07) also finished in the top 75 overall.

“Avery (Willebrandt) had by far the best race of his career,” said Zirkle. “I also thought Owen Ludwig raced very well today. … Emily (Brown) and Diego (Rey) are consistent. They do what we expect them to do every time. A lot of others stepped up today.”

Silver Creek’s boys team was incomplete, but had three notable finishers. Gabe Rhodes (18:07) and Riley Wilson (18:13) each finished in the top 50, while Josh Bunnell finished in 20:19.

“What you see from the results today is the teams around here run very competitively compared to the other schools our size in New York,” said Janisch.

Both teams are in action again on Tuesday.