James Johnson

Steve Mangan understands that you need to be in the running in order to win a race.

In years past, Mangan, a senior at Honeoye Falls-Lima, would get off to decent starts in seeded races at the McQuaid Invitational.

McQuaid Invitational cross country October 4, 2009 SCOTT ELLMAN Kaylin Mahoney of Saugus High School

It happened last year too, Mangan said. I would start off in the lead pack, then I would fall back.

I wanted to be with the leaders and not fall back this time.

Mangan was third in a breakaway of four contenders in the boys seeded AA division race on Saturday before he completed a late move to earn his first varsity win at the McQuaid Invitational in Genesee Valley Park.

Mangan's time of 14 minutes, 58.71 seconds on the 3-mile course was the fastest among boys from Section V schools, which earned him the Charlie McMullen Memorial Award.

Winning wasn't a goal, Mangan said after the surprise finish. It's one of our biggest meets of the year, besides the postseason races.

I just wanted to see what would happen.

What happened was Honeoye Falls-Lima's Alex Deir outkicked Jeff Stone for the lead just yards from the finish line only to have Mangan sprint by his teammate and the runner from Turner Fenton in Toronto.

Probably not two or three steps from the finish line I put my hands up and I slowed down a little bit, Deir, a senior, said. It's an unlucky thing.

It doesn't feel good, but at least it was Steve. I'll just learn from this.

There was no surprise when it came to the winner of the AAA seeded team title. Saugus (Calif.), ranked No. 2 nationally by DyeStat Elite/ESPN Rise, dominated without two of its top runners.

Kaylin Mahoney produced the fastest time by a girl at the meet (17:02.19), as she and Saugas teammate Stephanie Bulder finished in the top five. Honeoye Falls-Lima senior Amanda Moreland was fifth as the Cougars were runners-up.

Pittsford Mendon senior Shaylyn Tuite continued her strong season. Tuite's victory (17:21.36) in the AA seeded girls race was the fastest among Section V girls.

Tuite was among the area's best last fall, but the season was a rough go because of injuries. New training methods and a stronger mindset has put a smile on her face.

Last year I had a knee injury Tuite said. I started out pretty good, then I pretty much died the last two miles.

This year is definitely different.

The Canandaigua girls made a statement of their own in the same division as they finished first, ahead of Pittsford Mendon and state power Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

The McQuaid boys team had the rare experience, winning a seeded division (AA). These Knights are only the third McQuaid team to do so in the meet's 45 editions.