November 28, 2014

Elyria
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Cross country: Black River boys win first title in 20 years

LAGRANGE — Victory was especially sweet for the Black River boys team as it won its first conference cross country title in 20 years at Saturday’s third annual Patriot Athletic Conference meet at the Lorain County Equestrian Center.
Black River placed four runners in the top 10 as it defeated two-time defending champ Buckeye, 23-40.
The Bucks defeated the Pirates in a controversial meet last year. In 2006, Buckeye beat Black River via the sixth-runner tiebreaker after the two teams tied at 33.
The controversy involved the Pirates’ No. 7 man, Taehyung Kim. The exchange student from South Korea became slightly disoriented at the finish line and was allegedly passed by several more runners in the finish chute. As a result, Buckeye won the tiebreaker 15 to 16.
This time around, Black River left nothing to chance.
Seniors Robert Altenburger (17:45) and Brian Bush (17:52) finished 1-2 overall. Senior Dave Kindall (fourth, 18:20) and freshman Matt Ross (10th, 18:47) also finished in the top 10. Freshman Jay Lucas (19th, 19:58) was River’s No. 5 man.
“We had a score to settle,” said Altenburger. “It made us want to win it more. It gave us a little more motivation because we knew we could do it.”
Black River defeated Buckeye in seven other matchups this season. Last year, the Pirates rebounded after the PAC meet loss to beat Buckeye at the Elyria district and qualified to regionals.
“Today was special,” said Altenburger. “I guess this proves we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
Black River last won a league title at the 1987 Firelands Conference meet.
“It would have been nice for our two seniors from last year (Chris Hudak and Scott Krieder) if they could have been around for this,” said Black River coach Eric Yetter. “They were a big part in terms of planting the seed for the whole thing. It carried through into this year. We finished what that group started.”
The significance didn’t slip past Yetter.
“We talked about all week how we hadn’t done this as a school since 1987,” said Yetter. “I didn’t have to say much to get them motivated for this. The task primarily was to stay focused, don’t take anything for granted. They saw the writing on the wall.”
Behind junior Mandy Culley of Westlake, the Lutheran West girls finished second to defending champ Buckeye. The Bucks won their third straight title over the Longhorns, 25-65.
Culley was fourth overall in 21:30 as she finished behind Buckeye’s Deven Karr (20:24), Jessie Yagel (21:15) and Leighann Giriunas (21:17). Last year, Culley was only 15th at conference in 22:39.
“Mandy has really improved,” said Lutheran West coach Mark Fenske. “Last year, she might have finished under 22 minutes only once. This year she’s consistently been under 22 minutes. I think she decided she’s a big-time runner now. She goes out there and attacks the course. It’s exciting to have a runner like that.”
Freshman Amber Voytovich (eighth, 22:38) and senior Sarah Jackson (ninth, 22:39) also earned all-conference honors (top 14) for the Longhorns.
“Our team has really come on strong the second half of the season,” said Fenske. “We were worried it would be neck-and-neck for second place, but the girls really took it to everybody.”

BOYS
TEAM STANDINGS

1. Black River, 23; 2. Buckeye, 40; 3. Clearview, 71; 4. Wellington, 116; 5. Lutheran West, 143; 6. Keystone, 188; 7. Brookside, 196; 8. Columbia, 203
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
Top 5
1. Robert Altenburger (Black River), 17:45; 2. Brian Bush (Black River), 17:53; 3. Angel Senquiz (Clearview), 18:15; 4. Dave Kindall (Black River), 18:20; 5. Brad Ferguson (Buckeye), 18:32
Area teams
Black River: Altenburger; Bush; Kindall; Matt Ross (10, 18:47); Jay Lucas (19, 19:58)
Clearview: Senquiz; Mike Pearson (12, 19:04); Robbie Schmidt (15, 19:21); Gabe Cruz (16, 19:25); Serjio Gonzalez (25, 20:30)
Wellington: Stewart Wilson (17, 19:46); Joe Comfort (18, 19:50); Will Hall (26, 20:30); Lane Horneck (19, 20:36); Jarrod Brown (28, 20:48)
Lutheran West: Mike Giguere (21, 20:14); Mike Chambers (22, 20:20); Eric Bednash (31, 21:17); Matt Duran (32, 21:22); Jose Soto (37, 22:01)
Keystone: Tony Nelsen (13, 19:08); Alex Stechow (29, 20:48); Mike Sohyda (47, 24:58)
Brookside: Chris Welch (30, 20:50); Mike Pritt (39, 22:09); Paul Thorne (40, 22:14); Jon Mohrbach (41, 22:16); Jacob Metcalf (46, 24:57)
Columbia: Tim Brophy (23, 20:24); Jakub Lech (43, 24:03); Brian Coyne (44, 24:41); Forrest Wright (45, 24:53); Ricky Kugler (48, 26:54)

GIRLS
TEAM STANDINGS

1. Buckeye, 25; 2. Lutheran West, 65; 3. Keystone, 102; 4. Brookside, 117; 5. Columbia, 123; 6. Wellington, 139; 7. Black River, 159; 8. Clearview, 200
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
Top 5
1. Deven Karr (Buckeye), 20:24; 2. Jessie Yagel (Buckeye), 21:15); 3. Leighann Giriunas (Buckeye), 21:17; 4. Mandy Culley (Lutheran West), 21:30; 5. Liz Bailey (Columbia), 21:47
Area teams
Lutheran West: Culley; Amber Voytovich (8, 22:38); Sarah Jackson (9, 22:59); Mickey Rogers (20, 24:41); Anna Leininger (24, 24:59)
Keystone: Nikki Blair (7, 22:18); Mara Gordon (21, 24:46); Deana Ringler (22, 22:47); Aubrie Ridinger (23, 24:50); Katie King (29, 26:10)
Brookside: Courtney Neigh (12, 23:20); Tina Smith (19, 24:28); Madelina Rouhier (25, 25:04); Chelsea Welch (26, 25:14); Erica Jacob (35, 27:08)
Columbia: Bailey; Becky Lehane (11, 23:16); Rose Gorse (30, 26:14); Cara Brophy (38, 27:33); Maggie Norris (39, 27:46)
Wellington: Kelsey David (16, 23:35); Angela Gaetano (27, 26:01); Emily Dammeyer (31, 26:20); Julie Sarris (32, 26:21); Amber Brock (33, 26:23)
Black River: Julia Wade (10, 23:07); Alissa Brown (14, 23:35); Amanda Kleinhenz (42, 29:47)
Clearview: Brianna Shaw (18, 24:09); Julia Freeman (44, 32:13); Aileen Smith (45, 39:43) 

Amherst boys, girls second at SWC

ELYRIA — Even with all cylinders firing, Amherst knew it would still be inhaling the fumes of state-ranked Brecksville at Saturday’s 42nd annual boys and 31st annual girls Southwestern Conference Cross Country meet at Lorain County Community College.
The Brecksville boys team scored 27 points, the lowest total at the boys conference classic since 1977 when Bay had 18. The Brecksville girls tallied a meet-record 21 points, beating the old mark of 22 set in 1990 by Amherst. It was the second straight SWC title for the Brecksville boys and third in a row for the Brecksville girls.
Amherst finished second on both the boys and girls sides. The Amherst boys had 62 points, followed by Midpark (91) and North Olmsted (117) in the top four. The Amherst girls finished with 60 points, with North Olmsted (98) and Avon Lake (108) rounding out the leaders.
Midpark senior Kevin Stack won the boys title in 16:23. He’s the first conference athlete to win back-to-back titles since Westlake’s Frank Pattison (1987-88). Likewise, Brecksville senior Megan McAdams defended her crown on the girls side (19:34).
Amherst senior Gary Haglund challenged for the lead until the last half mile before Stack and Brecksville senior Kevin Hanigan (16:41) pulled away. Haglund was third in 16:48.
“The first half of the race felt very good,” said Haglund. “The second half was tougher. Stack took off in about the same place he did last year. I was almost waiting for him to go. Overall, I’m happy. Last year, I was only 12th (17:45).”
Freshman Miles Pittak (ninth, 17:10) and junior Kyle Lowry (12th, 17:20) also earned all-conference honors (top 14) for the Comets. Lowry, who finished third last year, was slowed by a foot injury that flared up after a workout on Oct. 6. He didn’t train all week and wore only racing flats on Saturday.
“We were hoping that Brecksville might look past this meet to district and regionals,” said Haglund. “We were trying to catch them by surprise.”
No such luck.
“Miles ran a great race,” said Amherst boys coach Scott Snyder. “Kyle held back in the beginning of the race as a precaution. Pete Hause and Ben Kildow, our No. 4 and 5 runners, had great races. We wanted every  one of our top five in the top 20. We accomplished that. Brecksville is just an awesome team.”
Senior Michele Molnar and her Amherst teammates found the going just as rugged on the girls’ side. Molnar, who was sixth in 20:39, was one of three Comets to earn All-SWC honors.
“It was fine, but we can do a lot better,” said Molnar. “We still need to do a better job of packing it together. We tried our best, it just wasn’t there today for some of us.”
Freshman Kasey Schuler (eighth, 20:44) and junior Jessica Bartholomew (10th, 20:45) were the other Comets to earn All-SWC.
“We had a lot of things that we had to work on that were far more important than the final total,” said Amherst girls coach Terry Kemp. “For a team that finished seventh at regionals last year, there were tactical things we had to work on. I’m pleased. There’s no shame losing to a spectacularly strong team like Brecksville.”
Westlake sophomore Sophia Kopasakis (fifth, 20:14) had the Demons’ first top-five finish since Mary Gyor’s win in 1998.
“The weather was perfect. For once, I didn’t have to worry about the heat,” said Kopasakis. “I just paced off the Brecksville girl (Rachel Paszko) the whole way. I couldn’t quite catch her at the end, but I’m fine with it.”

BOYS
TEAM STANDINGS
1. Brecksville, 27; 2. Amherst, 62; 3. Midpark, 91; 4. North Olmsted, 117; 5. Avon Lake, 120; 6. Olmsted Falls, 156; 7. Berea, 157; 8. Westlake, 197
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
Top 5
1. Kevin Stack (Midpark), 16:23; 2. Kevin Hanigan (Brecksville), 16:41; 3. Gary Haglund (Amherst), 16:48; 4. Sal Caroniti (Brecksville), 16:51; 5. Matt Link (Avon Lake), 16:57
Area teams
Amherst: Haglund; Miles Pittak (9, 17:10); Kyle Lowry (12, 17:20); Peter Hause (18, 17:46); Ben Kildow (20, 18:01)
North Olmsted: Alex Kearney (11, 17:19); Dan Bullard (19, 18:00); Josh Allen (23, 18:07); Jake Steiger (27, 18:10); Justin Wolfe (37, 18:42)
Avon Lake: Link; Mike Parsons (21, 18:03); Jim Adams (24, 18:07); Tony Bartolotta (34, 18:30); Adam Robertson (36, 18:38)
Olmsted Falls: Aaron Varga (25, 18:08); Tom Derr (29, 18:17); Kyle Knapp (31, 18:20); Joe Pedilini (38, 18:43); Ian Coyle (42, 18:55)
Berea: Chris Wade (16, 17:34); Scott Campbell (26, 18:09); Dan Herwerden (32, 18:20); Makenzie Sopko (39, 18:45); Joe Dziedziak (44, 18:56)
Westlake: Jack St. Marie (14, 17:25); Neal Kelly (28, 18:16); Steve Anderson (50, 20:02); Dwayne Myhre (52, 20:16); Max Blessing (53, 20:20)
GIRLS
TEAM STANDINGS

1. Brecksville, 21; 2. Amherst, 60; 3. North Olmsted, 98; 4. Avon Lake, 108; 5. Westlake, 135; 6. Berea, 164; 7. Olmsted Falls, 174; 8. Midpark, 210
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
Top 5

1. Megan McAdams (Brecksville), 19:34; 2. Aly Dosen (Brecksville), 19:42; 3. Molly Jacobson (Brecksville), 19:54; 4. Rachel Paszko (Brecksville), 20:08; 5. Sophia Kopasakis (Westlake), 20:14
Area teams
Amherst: Michele Molnar (6, 20:39); Kasey Schuler (8, 20:44); Jessica Bartholomew (10, 20:45); Erica Kelly (17, 21:07); Jane Lehman (19, 21:12)
North Olmsted: Jordan Sowecke (13, 20:53); Nicole Georgalis (15, 21:02); Andria Bazilevich (18, 21:11); Alex Goots (21, 21:38); Vanessa Gut (31, 22:25)
Avon Lake: Miranda Weed (14, 20:59); Alyssa Molnar (20, 21:25); Julie Hardgrove (23, 21:41); Katie Adams (25, 21:43); Becky Lightfoot (26, 21:56)
Westlake: Kopasakis; Lauren Ledek (9, 20:44); Alesha Beverly (28, 22:13); Lindsay Krejci (46, 24:37); Natalie Halczuk (47, 24:38)
Berea: Meghan Wade (7, 20:41); Erika Klemperer (29, 22:16); Jessica Holecko (33, 22:43); Kristie Haslett (43, 24:09); Kristina Nagy (52, 25:24)
Olmsted Falls: Melissa Clark (22, 21:39); Alaina Clark (35, 23:01); Taylor Basette (38, 23:19); Autumn Kalikin (41, 23:56); Savannah Oliver (42, 24:05) 

EC boys, girls second at NCL

HUNTING VALLEY — Elyria Catholic’s boys and girls finished as the runners-up in the White Division portion of the North Coast League cross country meet at Squire Valleevue Farm on Saturday.
The Panther boys totaled 67 points as Trinity won the White Division team championship with 25 points. Elyria Catholic’s girls totaled 135 points as Trinity also won that championship with
47 points.
Elyria Catholic sophomore Marty Coolidge finished second in the boys race (16:25), just three seconds behind Trinity senior John Sobonya. Sobonya was named MVP for his efforts, while Coolidge and the next six finishers joined him on the all-North Coast League first team.
Dan Kuhman (11, 18:18) and Bryce Steindl (12, 18:24) of the Panthers were named all-NCL second team, which is for runners in ninth through 15th place.
Matt Wiehe (19, 18:34) and William Sellers (23, 18:44) were the other scorers for the Panthers. Jimmy Russell (39, 19:27) and Andy Kuhman (49, 20:00) also finished the race for Elyria Catholic.
Evann Heidersbach (16, 22:14) was the top girls finisher for the Panthers. Laura Pierce (24, 23:17); Grace Dill (25, 23:17); Alexa Rick (32, 23:44) and Kristin Concheck (38, 24:26) were Elyria Catholic’s other scorers.
Amy Grisa (49, 25:14) and Morgan Gundlach (50, 25:35) also finished the race for Elyria Catholic’s girls.