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1. Thomas Albani



Published: Mon, January 28, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



1. Thomas Albani

Boardman

Think cross country is a non-contact sport? Check out this quote by our athlete of the year, Boardman's Tom Albani: "It comes down to who's gonna want to bleed for it." He didn't actually draw blood, of course, from any competitors -- his name isn't Tyson -- but you get a little idea of the determination that he has. "I'm looking to make an impact," was his goal at the state meet. That kind of determination guided him to a 23rd place finish at the Division I state meet, where he shattered the 16 minute-mark, and in the process set a school record. His 15:59 broke the old mark, which stood for 10 years, by nine seconds. "I ran the whole race close to my threshold. You don't have the big lapses so you have to tell yourself to get through it." If you've gotten the impression Albani gets through races mentally as much as physically, you're right. He was also an academic All-Ohioan, with a grade point average over 3.5.

X Grade: Senior.

X Positive influence: "The person I would have to say most directly had a very positive affect on my running would have to be my coach, Mr. Pavlansky. When he came to coach he upped the intensity of our workouts and made us stronger all around both physically and mentally."

X Memory from the season: "The best memory from this season would have to be when I learned I had actually gone under 16:00 For a 5K. For about an hour after my race I thought I had run 16:02 but the final result was actually 15:59."

X Future plans: "Right now it's up in the air as far as colleges go. It's a battle between Case Western, John Carroll, Mount Union and Hiram. I would like to study pre-med and major in classical studies if possible. Long term career goals are foggy, all I know is I want to work in medicine."

2. Joe Taylor

Cardinal Mooney

X Grade: Senior.

X Positive influence: "My cross country Coach, Adrian Mangino, is an excellent coach and a friend. Without his help I would not be at the level I am today."

X Memory from the season: "Diving head first into a pit of mud at the Sim Earich Invitational after the boys and girls team had done well in the race. The mud wrestling was by far the most ridiculous and fun experience that I had this past season."

X Future plans: "I am planning on attending an Ivy League school in order to continue my athletic and academic endeavors. My top choices are Harvard and Yale."

3. David Pykare

Maplewood

X Grade: Senior.

X Positive influence: "My coach Ted Rupe and past Maplewood runners."

X Memory from the season: "Competing back and forth with McDonald all season long."

X Future plans: "To run in college and major in Education."

4. David Mealy

Springfield

X Grade: Senior.

X Positive influence: "Mark Brady because he has helped me get ready for some big races and I was able to do well in all of them."

X Memory from the season: "Repeating as ICL champion and finishing ninth at state."

X Future plans: "I plan on running in college and becoming a history teacher."

5. Paul Moser

Maplewood

X Grade: Sophomore.

X Positive influence:: "My head coach Ted Rupe. He got me interested in distance running while I was in elementary school. Mr. Rupe is very motivating and encouraging, and carries his own successful history."

X Memory from the season: "Running in the state championship meet and qualifying for All-Ohio."

X Future plans: "To return to the state meet the next two years and continue to work on my time and place in the meet. In the future, I plan to run in college."

6. Matt Isenberg

McDonald

X Grade: Senior.

X Positive influence: "My coach, Chris Rupe, because he is a very good runner and coach. He is out there training with us every day. He is a very positive person."

X Memory from the season: "The best memory would be a tie. The first was the last half hour before the state championship when my team and I were all together loosening up. The second was after they announced that we won and everyone down in the finishing area was so happy."

X Future plans: "Right now I am planning to continue my running career at Akron University. There I will also be studying to be a chemical engineer. I am taking part in some off-season road races as well."




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