SYRACUSE Nick Ryan fell again at the start of the mile at Wednesday night's Section III state qualifier at SRC Arena, just as he had at the Nike Cross Nationals in Oregon two months ago.
Only this time, Ryan got a reprieve, and the Fayetteville-Manlius senior took full advantage, winning that race and anchoring a successful 4x800 relay on a productive night for local indoor track and field stars.
Pushed to the ground just after the opening gun of the 1,600, Ryan was saved by a rule that says a fall in the first 100 meters requires a complete restart.
Everyone got away cleanly on the second try. Ryan went to the front and stayed there, roaring to a time of four minutes, 19.61 seconds to hold off Mexico's James Gowans (4:21.84) for that top spot among Division I (large school) runners.
Of course, Ryan's work was not done. He joined F-M's 4x800 side, who had lost to Baldwinsville in the Class AA meet a week earlier, and helped turn things around.
Joined by Connor Farrell, Colin Fitzgibbons and Bryce Millar, Ryan and the Hornets pulled away early and breezed to victory in 8:19.63, improving by more than two seconds from the week before. B'ville (8:37.35) settled for third place behind F-M and Liverpool (8:34.11).
Earlier in the meet, Millar, leading from start to finish, claimed victory in the 3,200-meter run in 9:29.24, more than five seconds ahead of Auburn's Justin Middleton, with Adam Hunt third (9:46.39) and Andrew Berger fourth (9:51.08).
The 600-meter dash was closer, but F-M's Charlie Beeler held on for yet another victory in 1:26.58, with Division II champion Bill DiRenzo (Jordan-Elbridge) second in 1:27.46.
Beeler, Ed Cheatham, Kyle Barber and Jake Pulver were second (3:34.34) to B'ville (3:27.85) in the 4x400 relay, where CBA's quartet of Jack Brower, Zach Zajdel, Matt Stedman and Liam Price won Division II honors in 3:35.39 and Jamesville-DeWitt (3:35.74) ran well, too.