May 29, 2016

Partly sunny

Cross country notes: Shoremen showing their stuff

Avon Lake’s Division I state standing is no surprise. The ninth-ranked Shoremen ruled again with a win Friday at the Paul Primeau Invitational hosted by Gilmour Academy.

Avon Lake placed four runners in the top five and put five among the top 12 in the Gray Division race (Division
I-size schools) with 23 points. No. 21 St. Edward (81) and Aurora (103) rounded out the top three. Avon (141) was sixth in the 13-team field.

Seniors Trevor Norris (19:13.4) and Francesco Maiorca (18:24.1), along with junior Tommy Parsons (18:41.4), swept the top three spots overall. It was a career day for Parsons, who never before finished in the top 10 at a varsity event.

“I knew that I needed a breakout performance,” Parsons said. “I was feeling very good at practice the last couple of weeks. I knew it was time to do what needed to be done.”

Senior Connor Musial (18:51.3) was fifth and junior Mike Callesen (19:30.6) was 12th in a field of 108 runners.

Avon Lake moved up to No. 9 in last week’s state poll — the fourth poll of the season. The Shoremen were ranked No. 17 in the preseason poll and subsequently were rated 12, 15 and 16 before cracking the top 10 after a second-place finish at the Strongsville Invitational.

“It’s all about positioning,” Parsons said. “Our coach (Rob Juergens) stresses positioning over time.”

For the second week in a row, running conditions were tough. The majority of the course at Gilmour was under water and muddy. Runners ran in knee-deep water at a couple of spots. Wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour also were a factor.

Sophomore Austin Fasciana (fourth, 18:46.4) led the Avon boys. Freshman Sean Kane (15th, 19:43.2), junior Blake Pecoraro (28th, 20:00.2), sophomore Alex Shermak (43rd, 20:30.4) and senior Jacob Betts (51st, 20:43.9) rounded out the top five.

Minus No. 1 runner Katy Link, the Shoregals (125) finished third in the big-school division, losing to Bay (73) and Solon (74). They beat powerhouses Rocky River (128) and Mentor (138) in a 14-team field. The Avon girls (226) were 10th.

Junior Annie Wennerberg (13th, 24:33.0) led the Shoregals. Sophomore Marisa Gerrone (16th, 24:35.6), sophomore Jessica Lambert (24th, 24:59.5), freshman Katey Faber (26th, 25:07.2) and senior Jane Dusky (46th, 25:36.1) rounded out the top five.

Freshman Amanda Ramsey (33rd, 25:13.7) paced Avon. Annie Bowen (42nd, 25:27.5), Maggie Fragapane (53rd, 25:55.5), Monica Bickley (65th, 26:32.6) and Katie Schlather (73rd), 26:49.5) rounded out the top five.

Pirate power

Black River junior Gus Kazek led the Pirates with a fourth-place finish in a time of 17:48 Saturday at the John Speer “Rider” Invitational hosted by Collins Western Reserve High School.

Black River (218) finished eighth in the event. Smithville (51) and New London (59) grabbed the top two spots.
Jarek Beltkowski (37th, 19:39), Triston Hornbeck (48th, 20:05), Alex Vonderau (60th, 20:35) and Justin Beltkowski (69th, 20:51) rounded out the top five for Black River.

Jenna Periandri (20th, 24:00) led the Black River girls (291) to a 12th-place finish. Bellevue (53) and Norwalk (80) finished 1-2. Angie Kazek (57th, 27:20), Elaine Hess (65th, 28:01), Alexis Homoki (76th, 30:06) and Danielle Sexton (87th, 34:41) rounded out the top five for the Pirates.

Up and coming

The Keystone Middle School girls team won its fourth invite of the season at the Speer Rider invite. The Wildcats also won titles at the PAC Preview, Open Door invite and J.B. Firestone invite.

Seventh-grader Jena Copley, sister of freshman Madison Copley, dominated the field at Western Reserve by running 13:43 in the last race of the day under horrible conditions.

Eighth-grader Shannon Wargo was second (14:17).

Out of seven meets this season, Jena Copley has three first-place finishes and one second-place finish. Wargo has one first-place finish and three second-place finishes.

Cooley celebration

The 90th birthday celebration for former Amherst track and cross country coach Dick Cooley is Oct. 15. Alumni and the general public are welcome to walk/jog around the track at Steele High School with Cooley at 4 p.m. A social and dinner event in downtown Amherst that follows (5 p.m.) is a reservation-only event.

Cooley led the Comets to state cross country titles in 1962 and ’77 and was inducted into the Lorain County Track and Cross Country Hall of Fame in April.

Classic on tap

The annual Jack Wilhelm Classic is Saturday at Lorain County Community College.

County schools in the field are Brookside, Clearview, Columbia, Midview and North Ridgeville. Cuyahoga Heights, John Hay, Valley Forge and Westlake round out the field.

The girls varsity race is at 11 a.m., followed by the boys varsity at 11:45. The open race (boys and girls combined) is at 12:30 p.m.

Players of the week


Josh Park, Amherst

  • YEAR: Freshman
  • LAST WEEK: Finished fourth at the Jim Obenour Memorial Invitational in Vermilion with a time of 18:15.31. He helped the Comets to a second-place finish.
  • OTHER SPORT: Track
  • BIO: Park was the 2010 Southwestern Conference middle school cross country champ and took second at the same event as a seventh-grader. He first started endurance sports as a tri-athlete at age 11. Park is a member of Snakebite Racing team, a local multisport club. He volunteers at Powers Elementary School daily. He has volunteered at St. Paul Lutheran Preschool for the past eight years and works at the food bank yearly. Park also won the Kohls Kids who care award (2007) for raising $1,000 for Relay for Life. His dad, Chris, as well as an uncle, Kevin Park, are also tri-athletes and runners. He has a 4.0 grade-point average.
  • PARENTS: Chris and Kelly


Sarah Hoff, Open Door

  • YEAR: Junior
  • LAST WEEK: Took sixth at the Obenour Invitational with a time of 22:41.09. She led the Patriots to a sixth-place finish out of 14 teams.
  • OTHER SPORTS: Track, cheerleading
  • BIO: Was a member of the 2010 Division III regional qualifying cross country team for the Patriots. She was also a 2011 regional track qualifier as a member of the 3,200 relay. A big difference for Hoff this season has been improved hill work and speed work. She enjoys hanging with teammates and friends. “It’s a must for all runners to laugh about things that have happened,” she said. Also enjoys listening to music, working out and curling up with a good book. She has a 4.1 GPA.
  • PARENTS: Dwayne and Jennifer

Contact Paul Heyse at 440-329-7135 or