Amherst proved it can compete with some of the state’s best at Saturday’s Alliance Invitational in Dayton at the Montgomery Valley Technical School. The unranked Comets beat two teams ranked in the state’s top 10, while placing fourth out of 23 schools.
Junior Kyle Lowry equaled a career-best time as he placed fourth in 16:13. Junior Gary Haglund (10th, 16:32) and freshman Miles Pittak (19th, 16:45) had career-record times. Senior Ben Kildow (44th, 17:25) and junior Peter Hause (66th, 17:44) rounded out the top five.
“The guys ran phenomenal,” Amherst boys coach Scott Snyder said. “There were some tremendous time drops. Weather conditions were perfect. The temperature was 48 to 50 degrees, low humidity with little wind. The course was in great shape.”
No. 9-ranked Cincinnati Turpin won the meet with 78 points. Mason (114), No. 14 Vandalia Butler (126) and Amherst (142) rounded out the top four.
In addition to beating out Carroll (142) and Clayton Northmont (176), the Comets beat out some notable teams: No. 6 Cincinnati St. Xavier (182) and No. 10 Centerville (230).
Centerville was sixth at last year’s Division I state meet and St. Xavier was 12th. Both have veteran teams this year.
“We had a lot of personal records,” Haglund said. “Everyone keeps dropping their times.”
The performance was vindication for Haglund. The junior dropped out at the 2-mile mark because asthma problems on Sept. 8 at the Tiffin Distance Carnival.
“What happened at Tiffin made me think all week,” Haglund said. “I had some good workouts, so I felt ready to go. I’m just glad to be able to put it behind me.”
Haglund dropped 26 seconds off his previous best of 16:58, which was set at the 2006 Avon Lake Earlybird meet. Nearly every Amherst runner had a personal-best time. Pittak broke the school’s freshman record for the second straight weekend, this time by 18 seconds. Kildow sliced 20 seconds from his previous best effort.
Changes likely for Wilhelm meet
Due to an extremely low turnout, the 51st annual Jack Wilhelm Classic at LCCC on Sept. 8 was canceled. Meet director Jim Powers plans to bring the meet back next year with some changes.
For years, the Wilhelm meet was typically held the Saturday prior to districts. Declining numbers over the past few years forced Powers to try a different weekend.
“I tried the Sept 8 date in the hopes that there were some teams that don’t go to Tiffin. I was wrong,” Powers said. “We will continue the meet in some form. It may be as strictly a junior high meet on a weekend they don’t have a big race. Instead of Tiffin, many teams went to the Bruce Lerch Invitational at Brecksville instead. Teams look for those huge meets now that they can travel to.”
Clearview, Keystone and St. Edward were the only high school teams to register for this year’s Wilhelm meet. Last year, only five boys teams and three girls teams competed in the varsity races.
Avon Lake fifth at St. Joe meet
The Avon Lake boys and girls teams both finished fifth at Saturday’s McDonough Invitational red division race at Forest Hills Park in Cleveland Heights. The meet was hosted by Villa Angela/St. Joseph.
Sophomore Matt Link (10th, 16:53) led the boys team. Tony Bartolotta (29th, 17:42), Jim Adams (35th, 17:50), Mike Parsons (35th, 17:56) and Dan Uptmor (42nd, 18:03) rounded out the top five. Sophomore Miranda Weed (27th, 21:29) led the girls’ effort. Katie Adams (28th, 21:30), Alyssa Molnar (29th, 21:30), Julie Hardgrove (30th, 21:31) and Becky Lightfoot (42nd, 22:18) rounded out the top five.
The Avon Lake boys finished with 154 points. Lakewood (45), Walsh Jesuit (63), St. Edward (113) and North Royalton (137) grabbed the first four spots in the 15-team field. Shaker Heights (49), North Royalton (52), Walsh (71) and Hathaway Brown (99) beat Avon Lake (150) in the 11-team girls field.
The Clearview boys were fifth at McDonough’s blue division race. Juniors Angel Senquiz (third, 18:19) and Robbie Schmidt (35th, 20:14) led the Clippers. Benedictine (47), Lake Catholic (74), NDCL (82), Holy Name (85) and Clearview (165) made up the top five out of 12 teams.
Bazilevich leads North Olmsted
Senior Andria Bazilevich of North Olmsted chalked up a personal-record time of 20:52 in leading the Eagles at Saturday’s Spartan Invitational at Boardman.
Bazilevich finished 53rd out of 235 runners. Nicole Georgalis (84th, 21:20), Jordan Sowecke (114th, 21:49), Kara Gut (122nd, 22:02) and Sarah Martynowski (140th, 22:19) rounded out the top five. The North Olmsted girls (433) were 17th out of 33 Division I Schools.
Junior Dan Bullard of North Olmsted also had another solid effort, taking 13th in 16:29 at the Spartan invite.
Also in the top five for North Olmsted were Alex Kearney (61st, 17:25), Jake Stieger (133rd, 18:07), Jerod Miller (150th, 18:20) and Josh Allen (163rd, 18:28).
The North Olmsted boys were 22nd out of 37 Division I Schools.
In other action, Olmsted Falls and Elyria were at Saturday’s Galion Invitational. Mike Verga (141st, 17:53) led Falls (793), which placed 29th of 35 teams. Aaron Grimm (92nd, 17:18) led Elyria, which was 30th with 809. Falls’ Melissa Clark (46th, 20:52) and Elyria’s Jessica Sykes (49th, 20:35) led their respective teams, which placed 20th and 24th out of 27 schools.
Contact Paul Heyse at 866-236-2865 or firstname.lastname@example.org with news for this notebook and nominations for player of the week.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
GARY HAGLUND, AMHERST
LAST WEEK: Finished 10th at the Alliance Cross Country Invitational in Dayton on Saturday with a time of 16:32, a personal-record by 26 seconds. Helped the Comets finish fourth out of 23 teams.
Other sport: Track
BIO: Haglund was a 2006 Division I regional qualifier and was All-Southwestern Conference and All-Lorain County first team as a sophomore. His brother, Tim, who now runs for Ashland University, was a 2004 Division I state qualifier for the Comets. Has a 3.0-grade-point average.
PARENTS: Tom and Diane Haglund
STEPHANIE BLACK, BAY
LAST WEEK: Finished 13th at the Galion Invitational on Saturday in a personal-best time of 20:05, smashing her previous best by 30 seconds. Helped the Rockets finished second out of 26 teams.
OTHER SPORT: Track
BIO: A member of last year’s regional-qualifying team that finished fifth at Tiffin. Was also a track regional qualifier in the 800. Is a member of Key Club and the high school newspaper staff. Has a 3.97 GPA and ranks 11th out of 211 in her class.
GRANDPARENTS: William and Marie Black