WAYNE, N.Y.— It was Matt Fusco leading the way at the Big Red Cross-Country Invitational a few weeks back with twin brother Greg placing second.
The duo switched spots at a much bigger meet, the Wayne Invitational, which is considered a pre-state meet with some of the best harriers New York has to offer.
Greg secured the first-place spot in Division 2 with a clocking of 16:14 on Sept. 16.
“This meet gave Greg a lot of confidence,” said Somers boys coach Mike Lacko, whose team traveled to Wayne, which is west of Ithaca, the night before the meet. “It was his first major win in cross-country and it was pretty much in a race where you will see all of the same guys at states in Class B. Going forward this is going to be big for him.”
Matt was exactly five seconds behind to finish second. The two had led the race from start to finish.
“Once we found out the best runner in the state was not in the race our game plan was from the start to take the lead and don’t look back and that’s what he did,” Lacko said. “Him and Greg ran a perfect race. This course was fairly flat and Matt loves when there is a big hill because he gets up it so quick—he recovers better than most.”
The Tusker boys took fifth as a team at the prestigious meet with Chris Hannon (64th, 18:35, personal best), Michael Altieri (65th, 18:35), Matt Reimann (74th, 18:47) and Josh Tetro (92nd, 19:02) finishing in the top 100.
“When you have New York State No. 2 Pearl River and No. 4 Queensbury and a very good Pittsford-Mendon team in your race, the goal is always to be right with them and that’s what he did. Fifth out of 29 teams is awesome this early on in the season.”
The meet featured a tough Pearl River team, whom the Tuskers normally compete with for the Class B section title. The Pirates were missing their top runner and Lacko knows that his team needs to get its runners outside of the Fuscos to place higher to match a balanced Pearl River team.
“We are trying to get our back guys up with them and I think by November we will.”
Anjali Kapur sparked the girls team with a fourth-place Division 2 finish (20:13). The Tusker girls were without Elisabeth Van Tassell, who won the Big Red the previous weekend.
Ali Marr was 68th (23:04) and Riley Comparetto took 113th with Emma Jones (123rd), Mercedesz Stumpf (126th) and Maeve Janecka (128th) all finishing close together.