CROSS COUNTRY Boardman site for Saturday's event
Canton GlenOak's boys and Cleveland Heights Beaumont's girls both defend their titles.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
BOARDMAN -- One of the largest regular-season meets in Ohio returns to the campus of Boardman High School Saturday.
The Spartan Invitational will hold boys and girls races in three divisions each and middle school races, starting at 9 a.m.
Boardman, which won the East Palestine Rotary meet last weekend, finished 19th in this event last year. Tom Albani finished in eighth place (16 minutes, 57 seconds) last year, and he won (in 17:13) at East Palestine last week.
Canton GlenOak will defend its boys Division I championship against 48 schools. In the Div. I girls race, Strongsville is the defending champion.
Key runners: Sophomore Brittany Durkin took first place (21:52) in leading the Spartans to the team crown at East Palestine last week.
Boardman's Gina Mavrikis, Allison Bager, Melissa Davner and Bridget Beachy all finished in the top 15 at East Palestine. Canfield's Kristen Piersante and Austintown Fitch's Kaitlin Kempe are also strong runners.
Joe Taylor, one the area's top runners, will be among the top contenders as Mooney defends its Div. II boys title.
Taylor placed 13th at Boardman (17:22) last year and was third at East Palestine last week (17:55).
Cleveland Heights Beaumont, considered one of the strongest Div. II girls programs in the state, defends its title against 48 schools.
Lisa Davies and Megan Cingcade of West Branch, Val Zajac and Deanna Schorsten of Mooney and Candice Eagon of Struthers should be among the top contenders.
The Girard, Maplewood and McDonald boys placed 1-2-3 in Div. III at Boardman last year and should be among the contenders again in a field of 34 teams.
David Pykare of Maplewood, Todd McDevitt of Lisbon, Bob Caldwell and Tony Simeone of Girard, and Kevin Stonestreet, Jason Corman, Tim Kunkle and Matt Isenberg of McDonald are all contenders for strong finishes.
Pykare placed 12th (17:43) and Stonestreet was 14th (17:45) at Boardman last year.
Pymatuning Valley is the defending girls champion in Div. III.