The All Ohio Catholic Championship provided for some great feats in the Championship Races. Magnificat posted a perfect 15 team score, while Kevin Yarnell (pictured left, from St. Johns Jesuit) and Marty Coolidge (pictured next to Yarnell, from Elyria Catholic) provided excitement in the boys race as both boys ran 15:17, with Yarnell just edging out Coolidge at the line.
Magnificat was simply magnificant at the All Ohio Catholic Championship (AOCC). Madeline Chambers led the way to a perfect score for the Blue Streaks by running an impressive 18:23. Teamates Katherine Stultz (18:40), Clare Fischer (19:02), Abby Fischer (19:09) and Abbie Marquard (19:14) finished second through fifth to secure the perfect score. Alter finished 37 points behind Magnificat, 15-52.
While some have argued this was not a full 5k race on various forums, there has not been any conformation that these claims are true. This was a fast, flat course (with the exception of the steep hill that runners had to navigate at the start and at the end of the race) with very long straightaways (pictured to the right). While at the meet I saw many coaches and teams wheeling the course, and when asked, all said that the course was a legit 5000 meters.
Times were fast on the boys side, too. In a great match up, Kevin Yarnell of Toledo St. John's Jesuit and Marty Coolidge of Elyria Catholic made for a fantastic finish. Coming up to the second pass of the hill both runners were stride for stride with only about a half mile to go. Coming down the home stretch with about 100 meters to go Coolidge was able to get about a half step ahead of Yarnell. But Yarnell wasn't ready to concede the race yet, and kicked into his top gear with a mere 30-40 meters left in the race. Yarnell (pictured below, number 121) was able to edge Coolidge (number 803) just before the line for a fantastic finish where both runners ran a state leading time of 15:17.
Team wise, St. John's Jesuit was not able to fully capitalize on Yarnell's victory (and a third place finish by sophomore Greg Turissini, 15:50) and ultimately fell to St. Ignatius, 45-49. St. Ignatius was helped by their pack, which put four guys accross the line in a span of five runners and a mere 11 seconds.
Of note is that Bellaire St. John Central, a Division III team was able to hold its own with the big boys of Division I and finished fourth in the team race with 165 points. Senior Sam Foster led the way for the Fighting Irish with a fourth place finish in a time of 15:52.
Is this going to be the year that a Central Region team steps up and makes some noise at the State Meet? If Reynoldsburg can continue to run they have run so far this season, it may just be. Reynoldsburg, lead by freshman phenom Tsehaye Hiluf (4th place, 15:44.61) showed some teams from the Northeast Region that they are the real deal by winning the meet with 88 points to Solon's 109. Mentor took home the team bronze with 119 points.
Individually, Twinsburg's Stuart Edmonds continued to show that he will challenge for the Indivdual Title at Scioto Downs by running an impressive 15:26.90 to finish first at Strongsville. The hometown here of Colby Alexander was the runner up with a time of 15:31.31. And rounding out the top three Sean Naderer of North-Eastlake in a time of 15:37.15.
Perry sophomore Abbie Clifford continued her streak of finishing either first or second at every meet this year by winning the Strongsville SECONDSole Invitational with a personal record time of 18:11.59 and besting the field by nearly 25 seconds. Angela Williams of Hudson finished second in 18:36.00. Taking the bronze was freshman Anna Boyert of Medina in a personal record time of 18:46.38.
Teamwise for the girls, Medina was just too strong for the field by having three girls break the twenty minute mark. Medina won going away, beating Sylvania Northview with a score of 84-153.
The mighty Mason Comets cruised to an easy team victory over Cuyahoga Falls, 36-75. Mason was able to put their five scores all in the top fifteen finishers. Their two discplacers were both also top 25 finishers. On the girls side, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy beat Mason with a score of 40-73. CVCA was also able to place all of their five scores in the top fifteen finishers.
Individually North Royalton's Hannah Neczypor was able to distance herself from the chase pack and won the girl's race in a time of 18:12.65, twenty seconds faster than runner up Katie Gillespie of CVCA. The Louisville duo of Mattie Ranking and Samantha Norman were third and fourth respectively with times of 19:12.29 and 19:18.07. For the guys, Zach Wills, who must be accustomed to running by himself by now, won the boys race going away, in a time of 15:40.68. Two athletes from Cuyahoga Falls were the next to finish, Bryce Pulley (16:12.37) and Mike Baxter (16:18.57)
In the girls team race, Minerva was able to upend 11th ranked Crestwood and take home the team trophy, 78-108. On the boys side, Field showed that they deserved the high ranking over CVCA (the teams are ranked fifth and sixth respectively by the OATCCC Coaches Poll) by winning the team race with a score of 96 to CVCA's 111.
Individually this race belonged to Mallory Kreider of Edgewood-Ashtabula, who outdistanced herself from the field by nearly a minute. Kreider ran a 19:07 to runner up Megan Gonzalez of Marlington's 20:03. Kirsten Stevenson of Cuyahoga Falls took home the bronze in a time of 20:06. For the boys, this was an anticipated match up between Jarrod Eick of Marlington and Kyle Sullinger of CVCA. Eick's 15:39.98 was seven seconds better than Sullinger's 15:46.07.
The team from St. Thomas Aquinas showed why they deserved to be considered on of the best Divsision III teams on the boys side. STA was able to put up an impressive score of only 29. Ridgewood was second on the guys side in team scoring with 82 points. In the tightest team race of the day, Sandy Valley was able to hold off the girls of Western Reserve Academy to take home the team title, 90-93. While WRA had their five scorers across the line first, they could not overcome the difference between Sandy Valley's and their third and fourth runners.
Individually this race was all STA, from taking the top two spots with Nate Addessi (16:42) and Jordan McKelley (16:43), to placing four in the top ten and even six in the top thirteen. For the girls, Cearra O'Sullivan of WRA was able to go sub 20 and win the individual race by twenty second over New London's Colby Asmus.
Carmel (IN) entered Friday's Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational in Kentucky as the heavy favorite to take home both the boys and girls team titles. That "favorite" status came true, as both Greyhound squads look dominant yet again this season.
Running in their typical pack fashion, the Carmel boys ran through their competition to score a strong 39-80 win over Centerville (OH). The squad followed the lead of Dan Kinn, who placed second behind Ryan Eaton (Jr., Greenwood, KY) 15:32-15:41. Carmel split 22 seconds 1-5, while placing five in the top 13. Shawn Roberts placed third in 15:41 to lead Centerville.
On the girls side, Carmel bested the field by an even greater margin than their male counterparts, beating Kentucky power Assumption 26-101 for the team title. Freshman Renee Wellman led the team with a first place finish in 18:11, while the team placed five in the top 12. A strong 56 second split and 18:35 5k average also meant positive signs of improvement for Carmel.