April 18, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
61°F
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High school cross country: Avon flying high as boys take third and girls fourth at Earlybird Invitational

ELYRIA — There’s still a measure of unfinished business, but the Avon boys cross country team is feeling pretty good after taking third in the Maroon Division at Saturday’s 35th annual Avon Lake Earlybird Invitational.

Avon scored 109 points, finishing behind No. 5-ranked St. Ignatius (35) and No. 18 Brunswick (100) in a 14-team field at Lorain County Community College.

Junior Austin Fasciana led the Avon boys, finishing fourth in 16:38.5. It was a 30-second improvement over his 15th-place time from a year ago when the Eagles finished eighth of 21 teams in their debut in the Maroon race.

“I’m kind of surprised,” Fasciana said. “I felt very good. Actually, I felt a little bit too good because I thought I was going too slow against three of the best runners in Ohio (Berea’s Dan Zupan, Ryan Gallagher of Buckeye and St. Ignatius’ Jack Miller).

“I made sure I went to bed early last night and felt very good when I woke up. Our team looked very good today. I think we’re off to a good start.”

Sophomores Sean Kane (17th, 17:26.1) and Ben Smith (19th, 17:29.5), junior Corey Hermann (34th, 18:35.1) and senior Matt Beltz (35th, 18:35.2) rounded out the Avon top five.

The Avon girls also improved on last year’s 12th-place finish, taking fourth (147) behind state champ Brunswick (59), Bay (91) and Magnificat (120).

Sophomore Alli Clark led the Avon girls with an eighth-place finish in a time of 20:46.1. A first-year cross country runner, Clark played soccer last year.

“I ran 20:34 at the WSC Preview last week with a face plant (a fall in the first quarter mile),” Clark said. “This year’s a totally new experience and I’m enjoying it. I’ve played soccer since I was age 3, so it was a very tough decision. I’ve always had a talent for running. With my size (5-foot-8) and being 100 pounds, I really wasn’t suited for soccer.”

Freshman Erin Laird (23rd, 21:30.0), senior Linda Morales (25th, 21:32.4), freshman Annie Bowen (35th, 22:09.7) and junior Kellie O’Keefe (56th, 22:54.5) rounded out the Eagles’ top five.

“Toledo St. Francis (No. 4) and Medina (No. 27) weren’t here this year. They probably would have knocked us out of the top four (for the boys),” Avon coach Matt Nortz said. “The one thing we’re looking for and I’m expecting is our No. 4 and 5 runners to move up. That’ll happen. Our No. 1, 2 and 3 guys have that summer base. It’s giving results right now. I think in a few weeks we’re going to see better results.

“As far as the girls, I’m ecstatic. Regardless who was here it’s phenomenal.”

Open Door junior Gabrielle Neubauer won the Gold Division girls race in 20:55.7 as she outdistanced Independence sophomore Jennifer Wisniewski (21:21.5). Patriots senior Sarah Hoff was third (21:38.2).

Neubauer is the first Lorain County girl to win an Earlybird title since Columbia’s Karin Coyne won the Gold Division race in 2005.

“This course is one of the slowest for me so I really wanted to come out here and perform well,” said Neubauer as her mother, Betsy, poured some water over her to cool her off after the race. “My attitude wasn’t the best last year. I felt exhausted by the end of track season. I took a long break from running over the summer and cross-trained instead. I’m really ready to run this season. Having a better attitude has really helped to push myself at practice.”

Last year, Neubauer was third (22:02.0) at the Earlybird.

Senior Gus Kazek of Black River (17:23.8) and Firelands senior Brady Jeffers (17:32.8) finished second and third in the Gold Division race behind Independence senior Kyle Polman (16:27.4).

Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

BOYS
Maroon Division (Division I schools)

1. St. Ignatius, 35; 2. Brunswick, 100; 3. Avon (AV), 109; 4. Buckeye, 133; 5. Amherst (AM), 144; 6. Berea, 148; 7. Avon Lake (AL), 157; 8. St. Edward, 162; 10. Elyria, 274 (E); 13. North Ridgeville, 373 (NR); 14. Midview (M), 442. Out of 14 teams.

Top 3

1. Dan Zupan (Berea), 16:23.8; 2. Ryan Gallagher (Buckeye), 16:25.6; 3. Jack Miller (St. Ignatius), 16:37.2

Top local runners

4. Austin Fasciana (AV), 16:38.5; 11. Josh Park (AM), 17:11.9; 13. Devin Arora (AL), 17:16.9; 16. Tom Parsons (AL), 17:22.3; 17. Sean Kane (AV), 17:26.1; 19. Ben Smith (AV), 17:29.5; 28. James Hawks (E), 17:56.5; 31. Joey Colon (AM), 18:20.1; 32. Andre DelValle (AM), 18:28.3; 33. Jordan Reynolds (AM), 18:40.4; 34. Corey Hermann (AV), 18:35.1; 35. Matt Beltz (AV), 18:35.2; 41. Trent Glasser (AL), 18:51.3; 42. Mike Callesen (AL), 18:52.0; 43. Jake Chizmar (E), 18:52.3; 45. Riley Jantz (AL), 18:58.7; 47. Nick Nix (AL), 18:57.3; 49. Mike Young (AV), 19:09.5; 52. Stephen Sekoulopolous (AM), 19:17.0; 54. Charles Connolly (AL), 19:25.8; 57. Shawn Jackson-Evans (E), 19:38.0; 58. Tay Gillam (AM), 19:38.5; ; 61. Blake Pecoraro (AV), 19:50.2; 65. Riley Gannon (NR), 20:00.6; 70. Dan March (E), 21:06.1; 72. Don Henderson (NR), 21:14.3; 76. Jacob Ward (E), 21:34.7; 77. Nate Dorton (NR), 21:35.6; 78. Garrett Duktig (NR), 21:37.0; 81. Derrick Vilk (NR), 21:44.4; 82. Nick Ferancy (E), 21:47.4; 84. Kevin Tallarino (E), 22:22.9; 85. Jeff Reffert (NR), 22:34.6; 86. Tom Wynee (M), 22:44.7; 87. Nathan Seres (M), 22:48.1; 88. Ben Pavel (M), 23:03.4; 90. Steve Grabo (M), 23:04.7; 91. Tyler Glascoe (M), 23:09.6; 93. Eric Decaire (M), 23:20.1. Out of 99 runners.

Gold Division (Division II and III schools)

1. Rocky River, 61; 2. Independence, 92; 3. Padua, 108; 4. Unversity School, 110; 5. Hudson Western Reserve, 119; 6. Fairview, 175; 7. Black River (BR), 224; 8. Firelands (FI), 226; 9. Clearview (CL), 240; 12. Open Door (OD), 313; 13. Brookside (BSD), 320; 14. Wellington (W), 390; 15. Oberlin (O), 396. Out of 16 teams

Top 3

1. Kyle Polman (Independence), 16:27.4; 2. Gus Kazek (Black River), 17:23.8; 3. Brady Jeffers (Firelands), 17:32.8

Other top local runners

11. Mike Hollingsworth (CL), 18:16.7; 12. Matt Hollingsworth (CL), 18:17.7; 24. Cameron Rusnak (OD), 19:01.3; 26. Triston Hornbeck (BR), 19:01.6; 32. Creighton Jensen (BSD), 19:09.3; 34. Simon Perales (O), 19:13.7; 38. Mike Adkins (FI), 19:21.1; 48. Brennan Crawford (FI), 20:03.5; 52. Nick Brenneman (BSD), 20:09.0; 53. Cullen Grude (FI), 20:09.4; 54. Dan Carmany (OD), 20:12.0; 55. Marshal Farnsworth (W), 20:13.9; 56. Tanner Hawley (BR), 20:15.6; 64. Jacob Corcino (CL), 20:43.2; 66. Anton Hsia (BR), 20:49.9; 67. Shane Horstmann (CL), 20:50.4; 70. Dean Wasil (OD), 21:05.4; 74. Casey Skala (BR), 32:39.1; 75. Lenny Eiermann (BSD), 21:33.0; 77. Alex Vonderau (BR), 21:49.9; 80. Steve Truong (BSD), 22:01.8; 81. Justin Raynak (BSD), 22:01.9; 82. Noah Zaleski (OD), 21:10.9. Out of 107 runners.

GIRLS

Maroon Division

1. Brunswick, 59; 2. Bay, 91; 3. Magnificat, 120; 4. Avon, 147; 5. Rocky River, 169; 6. Cincinnati Seton, 171; 7. North Olmsted, 174; 8. Avon Lake, 179; 13. Midview, 411; 14. Elyria, 411; 15. North Ridgeville, 417. Out of 19 teams.

Top 3

1. Maddie Britton (Bay), 19:34.5; 2. Madison Connelly (Rocky River), 19:49.2; 3. Miranda DiBasio (Berea), 20:14.0

Top local runners

8. Alli Clark (AV), 20:46.1; 21. Jessica Lambert (AL), 21:26.0; 23. Erin Laird (AV), 21:30.0; 25. Linda Morales (AV), 21:32.4; 33. Allie Spensley (AL), 22:02.0; 34. Marisa Gerrone (AL), 22:02.9; 35. Annie Bowen (AV), 22:09.7; 40. Annie Wennerberg (AL), 22:15.3; 51. Julia Jantz (AL), 22:42.5; 53. Shannon Adams (M), 22:43.4; 56. Kellie O’Keefe (AV), 22:54.5; 57. Kaitlyn Robertson (AV), 22:59.7; 59. Julia Koehler (AV), 23:01.8; 65. Leah Lindak (NR), 23:47.8; 68. Tasha Miller (E), 23:51.8; 71. Kayla Zingale (NR), 24:10.3; 74. Taylor Lowery (NR), 24:11.5; 80. Ashley Olszewski (E), 25:50.6; 82. Sydney King (E), 26:49.7; 85. Erin Adams (M), 27:36.2; 86. Hailey Kunath (M), 27:42.2; 87. Melissa Matwig (M), 28:04.4. Out of 105 runners.

Gold Division

1. Beaumont, 88; 2. Padua, 90; 3. Independence, 96; 4. Buckeye, 126; 5. Hudson Western Reserve, 159; 6. Open Door, 159; 7. Firelands, 160; 8. Lutheran West, 169; 9. Keystone, 175; 11. Vermilion, 254; 12. Brookside, 290. Out of 12 teams.

Top 3

1. Gabrielle Neubauer (Open Door), 20:55.7; 2. Jennifer Wisniewski (I), 21:21.5; 3. Sarah Hoff (Open Door), 21:38.2

Top local runners

7. Shannon Wargo (K), 22:18.9; 10. Leslie Peterson (FI), 22:25.2; 14. Hannah Cebull (V), 23:13.7; 22. Tori Hritsko (FI), 23:52.6; 31. Katy Ackerman (BSD), 24:25.4; 32. Jillian Peters (K), 24:29.6; 35. Michaela Jeffers (FI), 24:46.2; 36. Jessie Beran (FI), 24:47.6; 41. Tina Ficociello (K), 25:20.4; 42. Marissa Ficociello (K), 25:29.5; 45. Amber Fetter (V), 25:41.8; 47. Sydney Schmidt (OD), 25:45.5; 49. Jenna Roberts (OD), 25:41.1; 53. Morgan McNulty (K), 26:51.4; 57. Emma Northeim (FI), 27:05.6; 58. Emily Ackerman (BSD), 27:07.7; 59. Skyler Tavis (OD), 27:08.0; 60. Heidi Decker (V), 27:13.1. Out of 73 runners.