Coach Chris Ickes put his group through one of their final training sessions on Wednesday afternoon at the Polo Fields in Chagrin Falls. During a break in the action, he shared with MileSplit his thoughts on the team's effort at the Youngstown Region meet, as well as what his expectations are for this weekend at the National Trail Raceway.
"The race didn't go according to plan, but we stayed calm and reacted well to the conditions," said Ickes. He went on to point out that, "we did a really nice job of moving up as the race went on, running as a pack and trying to put our best effort forth."
Coach Ickes, always one to deflect credit, notes that many teams should find themselves in the mix during Saturday's Division 1 contest, which is scheduled to be the last race of the day with a 3:00 pm start time.
"I expect a ton of competition," he says. "Hudson, St. Xavier, Mason, Solon, St. Ignatius, Beavercreek and others all have a strong track record, but I expect our team to run for each other, to have an even tighter pack than last weekend and to have their best race of the season."
Kenston, ranked No. 6 according to the OATCCC Poll heading into the regional meet, edged the two-time defending state champions from Hudson to secure the win at Youngstown with 126 points. Individually, Dennis Princic and David Rosinski led the way with 13th and 16th place finishes. Their times were 16:32.18 and 16:34.10, respectively.
The men's team won't be the only Kenston representatives toeing the line on Saturday. Junior class athlete, Elyse Pleune will race as an individual for the Lady Bombers. Pleune pocketed a 15th place finish at Division 1 Region 1 with a 19:25.18 clocking and owns a personal best 5k time of 19:10.75. This will mark her third consecutive appearance at the State Championship meet.
Kenston's trip to the National Trail Raceway is an accomplishment for the entire program, not just the top 7. The varsity group enjoyed the assistance of many other Bombers during their work-out at the Polo Fields.