December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Cross Country: No wins, but local teams pile on second-place finishes

Tim Villari finishes at the Lorain County Community College race on Saturday. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Tim Villari finishes at the Lorain County Community College race on Saturday. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Blame it on the rain?

Lorain County schools were held winless in all four races at Saturday’s Elyria Northeast Ohio district cross country meet. Rainy weather conditions certainly didn’t help, though everyone ran in the same slop, obviously.

But area runners still had plenty to feel good about. The Avon Lake boys, Amherst girls and Keystone girls chalked up seconds, while, individually, Amherst junior Alexis Szivan in Division I and Brookside junior Creighton Jensen in Division II also notched second-place finishes.

Without a ranked team in the field, the Avon Lake boys were in prime position for their second Division I title in three years, but St. Edward dominated, 48-67. The Eagles put three runners in the top eight and five in the top 18 to earn their seventh straight trip to regionals.

Rocky River (78) and Avon (94) were the other two Division I boys regional team qualifiers.

Senior Tim Villari led the Shoremen as he finished second overall in 17:08.41 to Lakewood senior Nick Boatman (16:49.04). It was something of a shocker because Villari won the Southwestern Conference a week earlier and Boatman was just 10th at the West Shore meet.

To his credit, Villari kept his cool after temporarily knocking his left kneecap out of place when he accidentally kicked himself making a left turn in the opening mile.

“I felt it pop and start to hurt,” said Villari, who had an icebag taped to his injured knee afterward. “It slid right back into place. I didn’t feel anything after the first 200 meters (after the injury). That was just adrenaline. Right now, it hurts to flex it.”

Avon Lake defeated St. Edward in its only other head-to-head meeting on Aug. 31 at the Avon Lake Earlybird. The Shoremen were fourth (111) and the Eagles seventh (173) that day.

“Our goal today was to win, so not reaching that is a little disappointing but at the same time we’re looking a little farther ahead,” Villari said. “We’re going to taper and hopefully peak then. Boatman ran awesome. He definitely deserved it.”

St. Edward averaged 17:31.91 for the 5K Saturday, 40 seconds faster than what it did at the Earlybird. Avon Lake averaged five seconds faster (17:43.71). The Eagles are coached by two-time Canadian Olympian Nate Brannen, a North Ridgeville resident.

“We ran OK, good enough, but we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves,” Avon Lake coach Rob Juergens said. “Early in the week we did a couple harder workouts than we would have done thinking our season is going to extend a couple weeks. We’re a little tired maybe, but we should haven’t been that far behind. We would have liked to have won. It’s always good to win. Moving on is just as important. St. Ed came to race.”

Seniors James Darkow (14th, 17:40.49), Ian Korney (15th, 17:43.63) and Devin Arora (16th, 17:48.73), along with junior Trent Glasser (20th, 18:17.27), rounded out Avon Lake’s top five.

The effort earned Avon Lake its sixth straight trip to regionals and 16th since 1986.

Szivan hoped to become Amherst’s first girls district champ since Brittnee Barris in 1999. The Amherst junior led Rocky River freshman Anna Brandt by four seconds through two miles before the Pirates runner took over and dominated the last mile.

Brandt won in 19:41.22 with Szivan second in 19:56.25.

“I wish I didn’t let that girl get away from me,” Szivan said. “Maybe I should have waited and not gone out so fast (2:20 for the first half mile). She was just waiting and made her move. But I’m happy that our team made it out.”

Sophomore Megan Parker (fifth, 20:23.76), freshman Cara Giannuzzi (20th, 21:30.78), along with juniors Ashley Hauck 33rd, 22:15.59) and Lauren Sturgeon (35th, 22:17.60), rounded out the Comets’ top five.

Rocky River won convincingly with 28 points. With 95 points, Amherst earned its 24th regional ticket in 25 years. Lakewood (106) and Magnificat (109) also advanced.

The Keystone girls earned their third straight trip to regionals, finishing second behind No. 2 ranked Bay in the Division II race, 16-82. Elyria Catholic (93) and Padua (96) grabbed the other two spots.

Sophomore Shannon Wargo’s eighth-place finish in 21:04.05 led the Wildcats. Jena Copley (10th, 21:26.33), Beth Plas (18th, 23:08.40), Erin Hostal (24th, 23:40.65) and Morgan McNulty (29th, 24:09.38) rounded out the top five.

Brookside’s Jensen took over second place toward the end of the opening mile of the Division II boys race and held the spot the rest of the way. The Cardinals’ first boys regional qualifier since Tom Solomon in 1984, Jensen came in second (17:44.01) to Bay sophomore Jack Hautz (17:27.58).

“I probably wasn’t quite ready endurance-wise last year,” said Jensen. “Last year, I ran 17:25 during the season, but only ended up 24th (18:27) at districts. I worked much harder this summer in the offseason to build up my mileage. I’ve run over 500 training miles since the start of June. Knowing that I put in that type of effort into my training made a huge difference.”

No. 2-ranked Bay won its fourth straight Division II boys race with 19 points. Elyria Catholic was the top local team. It missed qualifying by only seven points, taking fifth with 114.

Defending champ Avon qualified to the Division I boys regionals despite missing No. 3 runner Ben Smith, a junior, who was sidelined with a sore back. Senior Austin Fasciana (fifth, 17:18.14) and junior Sean Kane (11th, 17:36.82) led the Eagles.

Elyria junior James Hawks qualified seventh in 17:24.65 to earn his second straight regional appearance. Hawks moved well over the last two miles after passing the opening mile in 16th place.

“That was a good race today. I was very happy,” Hawks said. “I killed the first mile for Earlybird and I paid for it. Today I was pleased how I held back a little for the beginning, then attacked it from there.”

Led by Victoria Oeftering (14th, 22:04.84) and Anna Zemanek (15th, 22:19.75), the EC girls qualified to regionals for the fourth time in five years.

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

Boys

(Top 4 teams, top 16 individuals advance to Tiffin regional)

Division I

1. St. Edward, 48; 2. Avon Lake, 67; 3. Rocky River, 78; 4. Avon, 94; 5. Lakewood, 114; 6. Amherst, 128; 7. Elyria, 188; 8. Westlake, 200; 9. North Olmsted, 225; 10. Olmsted Falls, 306; 11. North Ridgeville, 322

1. Nick Boatman (L), 16:49.04; 2. Tim Villari (AL), 17:08.41; 3. Justin Reynolds (RR), 17:09.68; 4. Nick Marquard (SE), 17:10.14; 5. Austin Fasciana (AV), 17:18.14; 6. Steven Fioritto (SE), 17:22.16; 7. James Hawks (EL), 17:24.65; 8. Nick Eifel (SE), 17:25.43; 9. Charlie Swartz (RR), 17:33.69; 10. Joey Colon (AM), 17:34.68; 11. Sean Kane (AV), 17:36.82; 12. Oscar Rodriguez (SE), 17:38.08; 13. Brandon Williams (RR), 17:38.75; 14. James Darkow (AL), 17:40.49; 15. Ian Korney (AL), 17:43.63; 16. Devin Arora (AL), 17:48.73

Other top local runners: 17. Noah Haramia (AM), 18:01.56; 19. Evan Sergent (AM), 18:14.48; 20. Trent Glasser (AL), 18:17.27; 21. Mike Young (AV), 18:19.11; 22. Alec Battistoni (SE/Avon resident), 18:20.47; 25. Joey Yanoska (AV), 18:30.32; 28. Nick Irwin (W), 18:35.03; 30. Jake Chizmar (EL), 18:38.27; 31. Charles Connolly (AL), 18:38.59; 32. Joe Goetz (AV), 18:39.24; 33. Nick Ferancy (EL), 18:40.77; 34. Jacob Kraft (W), 18:42.75; 35. Alex Jarufe (NO), 18:43.03; 36. Mike Sekerak (AM), 18:44.27; 38. Ian Hulse (W), 18:50.09; 39. Brad Tomcho (NO), 18:50.36; 40. Ryan Cummings (NO), 18:52.41

Division II

1. Bay, 19; 2. Holy Name, 91; 3. Padua, 94; 4. Fairview, 107; 5. Elyria Catholic, 114; 6. Firelands, 146; 7. Brookside, 216; 8. Vermilion, 229; 9. Clearview, 240; 10. Keystone, 278; 11. Wellington, 299

1. Jack Hautz (BA), 17:27.58; 2. Creighton Jensen (BR), 17:44.01; 3. Austin Buchwald (BA), 17:50.88; 4. Matt Orr (BA), 17:58.91; 5. Isaac Mertic (BA), 18:03.91; 6. Jeremy Gillespie (BA), 18:06.07; 7. Henri Adams (BA), 18:06.75; 8. Kevin McCaffrey (EC), 18:14.20; 9. Ben Amato (EC), 18:21.96; 10. Brian DePauw (HN), 18:30.00; 11. Dave Terschak (HN), 18:36.12; 12. Evan Britton (BA), 18:37.99; 13. Luke Borsody (FA), 18:49.61; 14. Peter Krafcik (P), 18:54.02; 15. Stephen Cartier (FA), 18:55.40; 16. Scott Kanta (P), 18:58.22

Other top local runners: 17. Derek Reynolds (FI), 19:03.99; 22. Brennen Crawford (FI), 19:20.11; 23. Ben Davis (EC), 19:22.66; 25. Ben Safer (V), 19:30.68; 31. Mike Adkins (FI), 19:45.62; 32. Alex Overy (EC), 19:48.31; 34. Andrew Fox (K), 20:10.75; 35. Jacob Corcino (CL), 20:12.16; 36. Matt Brightbill (FI), 20:16.69; 38. Justin Raynak (BR), 20:17.83

Girls

Top 4 teams, top 16 individuals advance to Tiffin regional

Division I

1. Rocky River, 28; 2. Amherst, 95; 3. Lakewood, 106; 4. Magnificat, 109; 5. Westlake, 134; 6. Avon, 136; 7. Avon Lake, 178; 8. North Olmsted, 204; 9. Olmsted Falls, 212; 10. Elyria, 274; 11. North Ridgeville, 312; 12. Midview, 330

1. Anna Brandt (RR), 19:41.22; 2. Alexis Szivan (AM), 19:56.25; 3. Chloe Bierut (RR), 20:17.31; 4. Nora McKeown (RR), 20:19.86; 5. Megan Parker (AM), 20:23.76; 6. Erin Laird (AV), 20:27.67; 7. Maeve Christie (L), 20:37.74; 8. Laura DeVito (RR), 20:43.61; 9. Bina Frost (MA), 20:44.85; 10. Alyssa Hasman (L), 20:46.01; 11. Emily Johr (NO), 20:46.90; 12. Ellen Corcoran (RR), 20:49.73; 13. Sarah Makari (OF), 20:56.58; 14. Grace Latham (L), 21:04.18; 15. Haley Parker (AV), 21:06.35; 16. Grace Jenkins (W), 21:09.42

Other top local runners: 17. Marisa Gerrone (AL), 21:12.88; 20. Cara Giannuzzi (AM), 21:30.78; 21. Audrey Spensley (AL), 21:37.14; 22. Victoria Meyer (MA/Columbia Station resident), 21:47.20; 23. Jasmine Welch (W), 21:47.82; 25. Robyn Hageman (W), 21:51.83; 26. Madeline Lee (W), 21:55.03; 27. Kellie O’Keefe (AV), 22:00.54; 29. Shannon Adams (MI), 22:04.19; 30. Elise Covell (NO), 22:05.54; 32. Allie Spensley (AL), 22:14.55; 33. Ashley Hauck (AM), 22:15.59; 34. Leah Lindak (NR), 22:16.51; 35. Lauren Sturgeon (AM), 22:17.60; 38. Ashley Hill (AM), 22:23.69; 40. Kayla Graham (AV), 22:24.91

Division II

1. Bay, 16; 2. Keystone, 82; 3. Elyria Catholic, 93; 4. Padua, 96; 5. Holy Name, 108; 6. Fairview, 164; 7. Brookside, 186; 8. Vermilion, 230; 9. Clearview, 270. Firelands and Wellington (incomplete teams)

1. Maddie Britton (BA), 19:28.52; 2. Amanda Cusimano (BA), 20:02.26; 3. Abby Christel (BA), 20:20.00; 4. Olivia Bechtel (BA), 20:22.90; 5. Jaime Adams (P), 20:41.98; 6. Alyse Arko (BA), 20:50.76; 7. Hallie Bechtel (BA), 20:54.45; 8. Shannon Wargo (K), 21:04.05; 9. Sarah Christel (BA), 21:24.84; 10. Jena Copley (K), 21:26.33; 11. Margaret Lysobey (HN), 21:46.18; 12. Anna Biolosky (P), 21:52.50; 13. Laura Kolenz (HN), 22:01.86; 14. Victoria Oeftering (EC), 22:04.84; 15. Anna Zemanek (EC), 22:19.75; 16. Kathleen Kinnen (HN), 22:30.07

Other top local runners: 17. Tori Hritsko (FI), 22:34.20; 18. Beth Plas (K), 23:08.40; 20. Sarah Lehman (EC), 23:12.38; 22. Ashley Martin (W), 23:15.87; 23. Amber Fetter (V), 23:29.97; 24. Erin Hostal (K), 23:40.65; 25. Sarah Ziegelmeyer (EC), 23:41.09; 26. Erin Thiele (EC), 24:05.10; 29. Morgan McNulty (K), 24:09.38; 30. Madison Copley (K), 24:10.62; 34. Leslie Peterson (FI), 24:33.14; 35. Cassie Cunningham (EC), 24:44.39; 36. Savannah Pliszka (BR), 24:45.74; 37. Emilee Gil (BR), 24:46.61; 38. Jillian Peters (K), 24:47.18; 39. Alli Schill (BR), 24:51.24; 40. Sara Koubek (EC), 24:55.65