July 24, 2014

Elyria
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High school cross country: Three from area make state, but Avon boys team falls just short

TIFFIN — The faces of Austin Fasciana and Blake Pecoraro told the story.

Their looks of disappointment were understandable after the high hopes of the Avon High boys cross country team took a major hit Saturday afternoon.

The two Eagles runners earned state-qualifying berths as individuals with top-16 finishes, but they found it tough to celebrate because the Avon team came up four points shy of the fourth and final qualifying berth at the Tiffin Division I regional meet.

No. 19-ranked Avon scored 159 points, four behind Medina for the last qualifying spot.
Second-ranked St. Ignatius defended its title with 42 points, followed by No. 8 Toledo St. Francis (131) and Brunswick (135).

“I’m glad that Blake and I made it,” Fasciana said. “But, honestly, this stinks. It really stinks.”
A three-time state qualifier, Fasciana finished eighth in 16:20.43. Pecoraro, who went to the 2010 Division II state meet as a team member, was ninth in 16:21.10.

“It happens,” Pecoraro said. “There’s no one person that takes the blame for this. The course was a little muddy. No one ran a PR (personal record). It’s not whether this guy or that guy could have run a better race. It’s just tough competition. I guess this is motivation for next year.”

Sophomore Sean Kane (31st, 16:54.53) was the team’s No. 3 runner. The difference in the race was what happened to sophomore Ben Smith (64th, 17:16.51), the team’s No. 4 runner.

Smith lost 15-20 places when he was shoved down from behind by an unknown runner just past the opening mile. Smith was in the front part of a pack and as a result was trampled and suffered a spike wound to one of his hands. The incident happened as Smith was making a left turn on an uphill portion of the course.

“It was one guy,” Smith said. “I got stepped on my back and everything. He just pushed me straight down with both hands. I have no clue who did it. I had so many people pass me.”

To his credit, Smith rallied to reel in 20-30 runners over the final 2 miles. But without question, the knockdown proved costly.

“I hate fifth,” Avon coach Matt Nortz said. “Right now, I just need to take a step back and just be grateful how well these kids ran this year. What a trip.

“We’re not done yet. We still have two guys (going to state). Unfortunately, those two guys, as much as anyone on the team, wanted to see the team make it. We’ll have some fun and pick ourselves up. It was a good inspirational year for the kids to see how well they could do.”

It was the third time in four years that a Division I Lorain County boys team finished fifth at regionals and missed a state berth by four points or fewer. The Avon Lake boys missed by two points in 2011 and by three points in 2009.

Only three Lorain County Division I boys teams have qualified to state since Amherst was second in 1981. Amherst was fifth in 1995, while Elyria (2002) and Avon Lake (2010) were both 10th.

Sophomore Alexis Szivan of Amherst was the lone Lorain County girl to advance from Tiffin in either Division I or II. Szivan, who was 13th in Division I, ran a time of 19:18.38, a career record by nearly 20 seconds. Last year, she was only 54th in 20:27.60.

“The course was just full of mud,” Szivan said. “I was all over it (the mud) and just tried to avoid slipping in it. My legs felt so heavy the last 800 meters, but it’s worth it. It’s all worth it. Nineteen minutes of pain, it’s just all worth it.”

A 2010 Division II state qualifier, Black River senior Gus Kazek rallied late but came up just short of qualifying (top 16) as he finished 18th in 16:45.83. He missed the final berth by 3.78 seconds.

“I took the pace out a little quick,” Kazek said. “The first mile was fast (5:04). I was just trying to stay with the lead pack.”

Contact Paul Heyse at 440-329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Boys

Division I
Top 4 teams, top 16 individuals
qualify to state meet, Nov. 3
Team results: 1. St. Ignatius, 42; 2. Toledo St. Francis, 131; 3. Brunswick, 135; 4. Medina, 155; 5. Avon, 159; 6. Strongsville, 167; 7. Sylvania Northview, 169; 8. St. Edward, 207; 9. Avon Lake, 245; 10. Toledo Central Catholic, 251; 11. Perrysburg, 259; 12. Toledo St. John, 288; 13. Findlay, 304; 14. Lakewood, 347; 15. Fremont Ross, 352; 16. Ashland, 388
1. Dan Zupan (Berea), 16:00.62; 2. Joe Arquillo (St. Ignatius), 16:04.92; 3. Jack Miller (St. Ignatius), 16:06.99; 4. Luke Wagner (St. Ignatius), 16:09.98; 5. Lou Styles (Midpark), 16:10.41; 6. Kyle Brooks (Northview), 16:12.08; 7. Brandon Gibson (Tiffin Columbian), 16:19.94; 8. Austin Fasciana (Avon), 16:20.43; 9. Blake Pecoraro (Avon), 16:21.10; 10. Matt Waaland (Findlay), 16:21.33; 11. Louis Guardiola (Fremont Ross), 16:25.69; 12. Tim Doyle (Strongsville), 16:25.71; 13. George McCartney (Toledo CC), 16:25.73; 14. Tyler Menear (Brunswick), 16:25.82; 15. Vince Bartram (St. Ignatius), 16:28.94; 16. Charlie Gibbons (Toledo CC), 16:29.23
Other local runners: 18. Devin Arora (Avon Lake), 16:40.19; 21. Josh Park (Amherst), 16:41.99; 31. Sean Kane (Avon), 16:54.53; 37. Tommy Parsons (Avon Lake), 16:59.77; 63. Tim Villari (Avon Lake), 17:15.22; 64. Ben Smith (Avon), 17:16.51; 72. Trent Glasser (Avon Lake), 17:23.46; 80. Alex Shermak (Avon), 17:29.92; 97. Joey Colon (Amherst), 17:45.03; 98. James Darkow (Avon Lake), 17:46.33; 102. Matt Beltz (Avon), 17:48.83; 104. Nick Nix (Avon Lake), 17:54.60; 106 Joe Goetz (Avon), 17:55.34; 112. Mike Callesen (Avon Lake), 18:04.91; 121. James Hawks (Elyria), 18:23.93

Division II
Top 4 teams, top 16 individuals
qualify to state meet, Nov. 3
Team results: 1. Woodridge, 89; 2. CVCA, 96; 3. Defiance, 105; 4. Akron SVSM, 105; 5. Van Wert, 125; 6. Sandusky Perkins, 161; 7. Bay, 188; 8. Buckeye, 202; 9. Lexington, 241; 10. Bryan, 248; 11. Rocky River, 269; 12. Tallmadge, 283; 13. Lima Shawnee, 317; 14. Delta, 322; 15. Otsego, 368; 16. Elyria Catholic, 424
1. Jared Fleming (Van Wert), 15:57.31; 2. Abel Flores (Defiance), 16:01.08; 3. Mike Iacofano (SVSM), 16:10.39; 4. Ryan Gallagher (Buckeye), 16:12.06; 5. Matt Wojcik (Woodridge), 16:14.46; 6. Ben Bockoven (CVCA), 16:15.81; 7. Nick Molnar (Lexington), 16:17.08; 8. J.J. Grzincic (Buckeye), 16:22.49; 9. Jon Schalois (Van Wert), 16:29.09; 10. Justin Reynolds (Rocky River), 16:31.91; 11. Alex Frederick (Woodridge), 16:32.40; 12. Matt Oswald (SVSM), 16:32.70; 13. Bill Minshall (Perkins), 16:34.27; 14. Conner Holliday (Van Wert), 16:37.81; 15. Spencer Ziegler (Norton), 16:38.57; 16. Matias Trampe-Kind (Ottawa-Glandorf), 16:42.05.
Local runners: 18. Gus Kazek (Black River), 16:45.83; 37. Brady Jeffers (Firelands), 17:09.60; 50. Jake Amato (EC), 17:23.55; 83. Kevin McCaffery (EC), 18:17.47; 106. Greg Nagy (EC), 18:25.82; 129. Ben Amato (EC), 19:36.38; 131. Manny Danao (EC), 19:59.45; 132. Jacob Linkous (EC), 20:02.58; 134. Sam Provenzale (EC), 21:14.18

Girls

Division I
Top 4 teams, top 16 individuals qualify
to state meet, Nov. 3
Team results: 1. Sylvania Northview, 73; 2. Brunswick, 122; 3. Bay, 123; 4. North Royalton, 165; 5. Magnificat, 169; 6. Oregon Clay, 173; 7. Strongsville, 183; 8. Avon, 209; 9. Toledo Notre Dame, 211; 10. Brecksville, 224; 11. Anthony Wayne, 255; 12. Perrysburg, 282; 13. Amherst Steele, 309; 14. Bowling Green, 329; 15. Ashland, 342; 16. Toledo Whitmer, 388
1. Janelle Noe (Northview), 18:32.38; 2. Erin Gyurke (Clay), 18:42.38; 3. Maddie Britton (Bay), 18:46.10; 4. Madi Connelly (Rocky River), 18:51.46; 5. Taylor Monheim (Perrysburg), 18:58.57; 6. Natalie Camardo (Strongsville), 19:00.13; 7. Robin Foster (Northview), 19:12.82; 8. Stephanie Sherman (Notre Dame), 19:12.20; 9. Abigail Masters (Northview), 19:12.82; 10. Vanessa Pasadyn (Brunswick), 19:14.80; 11. Haley Hess (Oregon Clay), 19:21.88; 12. Brooklyn Duewel (Ashland), 19:17.45; 13. Alexis Szivan (Amherst), 19:18.36; 14. Hannah Hess (Clay), 19:21.88; 15. Lauren DiFrancisco (N. Royalton), 19:23.27; 16. Abby Christel (Bay), 19:26.24
Other local runners: 21. Cassie Vince (Amherst), 19:47.55; 26. Alli Clark (Avon), 19:56.40; 42. Erin Laird (Avon), 20:10.22; 44. Linda Morales (Avon), 20:13.05; 51. Kaitlyn Robertson (Avon), 20:19.39; 79. Annie Bowen (Avon), 21:00.00; 99. Emily Johnson (Amherst), 21:31.37; 101. Kellie O’Keefe (Avon), 21:31.86; 111. Julia Koehler (Avon), 22:03.30; 115. Megan Beal (Amherst), 22:09.52; 121. Megan Parker (Amherst), 22:36.02; 128. Lauren Sturgeon (Amherst), 24:01.38; 129. Emily Gendics (Amherst), 24:07.83

Division II
Top 4 teams, top 16 individuals
qualify to state meet, Nov. 3
Team results: 1. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 27; 2. Woodridge, 92; 3. CVCA, 103; 4. Crestwood, 107; 5. Napoleon, 171; 6. Wauseon, 173; 7. Bellevue, 174; 8. Van Wert, 237; 9. Defiance, 276; 10. Lima Shawnee, 289; 11. Padua, 292; 12. Port Clinton, 293; 13. Tiffin Columbian, 334; 14. Keystone, 420; 14. Holy Name, 421; 16. Buckeye, 437
1. Taylor Vernot (Wauseon), 18:55.89; 2. Rachel Iacofano (SVSM), 19:01.39; 3. Marissa Rossetti (SVSM), 19:13.45; 4. Sammy Bockoven (CVCA), 19:30.56; 5. Julia Mendiola (CVCA), 19:35.32; 6. Ericka Hosang (Bellevue), 19:40.97; 7. Madison Spreitzer (Woodridge), 19:42.10; 8. Mary Bozsik (SVSM), 19:48.39; 9. Amanda Sollenberger (SVSM), 19:49.69; 10. Mallory Myers (CVCA), 19:56.67; 11. Mia Yeager (CVCA), 19:59.51; 12. Abby Soltisz (Crestwood), 20:02.33; 13. Olivia Chinn (Ravenna), 20:03.41; 14. Cynthia Haas (SVSM), 20:08.26; 15. Andrew Foster (Van Wert), 20:14.54; 16. Molly Scott (Lima Shawnee), 20:22.00
Local runners: 47. Shannon Wargo (Keystone), 21:20.51; 85. Hannah Cebull (Vermilion), 22:35.54; 100. Jillian Peters (Keystone), 23:10.69; 103. Tina Ficociello (Keystone), 23:16.45; 106. Emilee Gil (Brookside), 23:43.78; 109. Savannah Pliszka (Brookside), 23:54.51; 111. Marissa Ficociello (Keystone), 24:07.76; 121. Morgan McNulty (Keystone), 24:34.41; 123. Leslie Peterson (Firelands), 25:16.21; 126. Meredith Pollock (Keystone), 26:34.48