December 19, 2014

Elyria
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State cross country championship rough for local runners

Avon's Austin Fasciana, left, and Avon Lake's Tim Villari, far right, start their last high school race at the OHSAA State Cross Country Meet in Hebron. RAY RIEDEL/CHRONICLE

Avon’s Austin Fasciana, left, and Avon Lake’s Tim Villari, far right, start their last high school race at the OHSAA State Cross Country Meet in Hebron. RAY RIEDEL/CHRONICLE

HEBRON — There was a little bit of rain and sunshine early, but neither a rainbow nor much good fortune panned out for Lorain County runners at Saturday’s 85th annual boys and 36th annual girls state cross country championships.

Avon Lake senior Tim Villari, Avon senior Austin Fasciana and Amherst junior Alexis Szivan provided the area with the best chance of an All-Ohio (top 25) performance, but only Villari came close.

Villari finished in 36th place in 16 minutes, 14.32 seconds, missing the final Division I all-state spot by nine seconds. A two-time All-Ohio performer (17th last year), Fasciana never got untracked as he placed 55th in 16:31.00. In second place at the mile mark, Szivan faded and finished 49th (19:24.75).

A tremendous surge moved Villari an impressive 40 places up over the final two miles after an opening mile of 5:04.46. It just was too little, too late.

“I didn’t want to go out too hard,” Villari said. “I kind of expected to be further back my first mile. The game plan was to make up the difference the last two miles. I did that, but just not enough.

“I don’t think I would change my first mile, but my second mile could have been a lot better – definitely faster. I probably wasn’t going as fast as I should have been. I should have tried to pass more people.”

Villari moved to 59th place at two miles (10:29.54).

“My coach (Rob Juergens) yelled at me (at 1.5 miles), ‘You have to go. How bad do you want it?’” said Villari. “From that point on, I think that’s where I passed the majority of runners. Obviously, I didn’t finish where I wanted to but I consider that I gave it everything. There’s that, if nothing else.”

Fasciana is one of only three Lorain County boys to qualify to state four times as an individual. Last year he ran 15:46.12 at state — the third-fastest all-time 5K mark for a Lorain County boy at the meet.

He simply didn’t have it Saturday. Fasciana was 45th at the mile (5:00.7), then fell back to 56th at two miles (10:27.97).

“I knew from the moment I took off that I just didn’t feel right,” Fasciana said. “My back was hurting. I felt immobile. Everyone has a bad race. Obviously, this was the worse time for this to happen. It’s not an ideal way to end my high school cross country career, but you know what, I’ve been blessed to have been to state four times. After being sick with mono in the spring, I honestly wasn’t sure I’d make it back here.”

A two-time state qualifier, Szivan finished the exact same place a year ago when she clocked 19:00.41. Expectations were much higher this time around after finishing second at the Tiffin regional in a career-record 18:38.

“It felt good the first mile, but then the leaders all changed the pace and I just wasn’t ready for it,” she said Szivan.

Szivan went through the mile in second place in 5:50:52. Only two seconds separated the top 25 at that point. By the time she reached two miles, she was back to 24th (12:11.68).

“I try to learn from every race,” Szivan said. “It was just tough the way they went by me. My legs weren’t ready to go. Before the race I felt very nauseous. I tried my best. I can’t have a good race every weekend.

Comet teammate Megan Parker, a sophomore, finished 103rd (out of 154) is 20:08.69. It was the second fastest time of her career.

Black River sophomore Tanner Hawley barely qualified to state by a second seven days earlier to grab the 16th and final spot at the Boardman regional. Hawley finished 39th out of 146 runners in the Division III boys race in 16:59.42.

Keystone sophomore Shannon Wargo finished 93rd out of 139 runners for the Division II girls race in 20:37.10. Wargo struggled to keep her pace. She opened the first mile in 53rd place (6:04.20), then fell to 73rd by two miles (12:55.70).

“If you don’t consistently push yourself then you keep falling back,” said Wargo. “I knew I wasn’t going to finish near the top, but I still didn’t finish like I had hoped. I may have been a bit overwhelmed, but it’s a big learning experience. I’m hoping to take out of this what I can so I make it back here the next two years.”

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

Boys

DIVISION I

1. St. Xavier, 46; 2. Dublin Jerome, 105; 3. Hilliard Davidson, 154; 4. Boardman, 160; 5. Mason, 176; 6. Twinsburg, 176; 7. St. Ignatius, 194; 8. Centerville, 198; 9. Beavercreek, 205; 10. Louisville, 233; 11. New Albany, 238; 12. Olentangy Liberty, 265; 13. Toledo St. Francis, 270; 14. Chardon, 289; 15. Strongsville, 317; 16. Ashland, 367

TOP 5

1. Mark Hadley (Boardman), 15:10.63; 2. Toby Hardwick (Newark), 15:21.37; 3. Kyle Mau (Hudson), 15:21.93; 4. Mike Hall (St. Xavier), 15:28.70; 5. Evan Stifel (St. Xavier), 15:29.82

Local runners: 36. Tim Villari (Avon Lake), 16:14.32; 55. Austin Fasciana (Avon), 16:31.00

DIVISION II

1. Defiance, 107; 2. Tippecanoe, 140; 3. Chagrin Falls, 177; 4. Wyoming, 184; 5. Springfield Shawnee, 191; 6. Bryan, 197; 7. CVCA, 201; 8. Woodridge, 202; 9. Sheridan, 202; 10. Van Wert, 205; 11. Lexington, 220; 12. Carroll, 226; 13. West Holmes, 236; 14. Field, 260; 15. Unioto, 328; 16. Indian Valley, 383

TOP 5

1. Matt Bromley (Sheridan), 16:04.58; 2. Joe Bistritz (Chagrin Falls), 16:10.67; 3. Will Holmes (Springfield Shawnee), 16:15.86; 4. Zane Sturts (Lexington), 16:18.94; 5. Nick Stricklen (Lexington), 16:21.72

No local runners.

DIVISION III

1. McDonald, 94; 2. Maplewood, 103; 3. Garaway, 141; 4. Summit Country Day, 171; 5. Gilmour Academy, 174; 6. Liberty-Center, 177; 7. Seneca East, 178; 8. Fort Frye, 182; 9. Columbus Grove, 195; 10. Russia, 251; 11. Anna, 252; 12. Lincolnview, 276; 13. St. Henry, 278; 14. Caldwell, 309; 15. Lee. Fairfield, 358; 16. West Liberty Salem, 373

TOP 5

1. Bobby Johnson (McDonald), 15:45.48; 2. Tristan Dahmen (Maplewood), 16:07.49; 3. Jon Anderson (Fort Frye), 16:10.38; 4. Mike Mangus (Lee. Fairfield), 16:13.21; 5. Jared Stockmaster (Seneca East), 16:15.99

Local runner: 39. Tanner Hawley (Black River), 16:59.42

Girls

DIVISION I

1. Mason, 76; 2. Beavercreek, 107; 3. Ursuline Academy, 123; 4. Centerville, 126; 5. Perrysburg, 152; 6. Brunswick, 191; 7. Gahanna Lincoln, 235; 8. Oregon Clay, 236; 9. Nordonia, 238; 10. Hilliard Davidson, 240; 11. GlenOak, 244; 12. Rocky River, 257; 13. Thomas Worthington, 292; 14. Walsh Jesuit, 309; 15. Upper Arlington, 334; 16. Mentor, 367

TOP 5

1. Annie Heffernan (Cincinnati St. Ursula), 18:13.90; 2. Jacquelyn Crow (Lebanon), 18:26.77; 3. Lainey Studebaker (Centerville), 18:30.53; 4. Christine Frederick (Ursuline Academy), 18:32.77; 5. Emma Hatch (Mother of Mercy), 18:38.99

Local finishers: 49. Alexis Szivan (Amherst), 19:24.75; 103. Megan Parker (Amherst), 20:08.39

DIVISION II

1. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 101; 2. Bay, 119; 3. Woodridge, 141; 4. Lexington, 143; 5. Tippecanoe, 174; 6. Wauseon, 179; 7. Athens, 181; 8. Oakwood, 194; 9. Dover, 220; 10. Granville, 223; 11. Claymont, 249; 12. Carrollton, 281; 13. Crestwood, 282; 14. Alter, 286; 15. CVCA, 297; 16. Van Wert, 376

TOP 5

1. Taylor Vernot (Wauseon), 18:04.40; 2. Mary Kate Vaughn (Oakwood), 18:09.70; 3. Allison Sinning (Tippecanoe), 18:21.30; 4. Hannah Campbell (Caledonia River Valley), 18:25.70; 5. Sarra Taylor (London), 18:42.60

Local finisher: 93. Shannon Wargo (Keystone), 20:37.10

DIVISION III

1. Liberty Center, 98; 2. Gilmour Academy, 110; 3. Coldwater, 113; 4. St. Thomas Aquinas, 133; 5. Minster, 157; 6. Garaway, 182; 7. Russia, 187; 8. Independence, 212; 9. Columbus School for Girls, 216; 10. Summit Country Day, 249; 11. Fort Loramie, 276; 12. Berkshire, 278; 13. Columbus Academy, 278; 14. Mount Gilead, 309; 15. Versailles, 321; 16. St. Henry, 334

TOP 5

1. Brittany Atkinson (Liberty Center), 18:31.45; 2. Christina Seas (Coldwater), 18:43.15; 3. Julia Rizk (Columbus Academy), 18:46.61; 4. Sarah Kanney (Coldwater), 18:51.13; 5. Rachel Wentworth (Garaway), 18:53.31

No local runners.