By Brandon Judeh
The Maplewood High boys cross country dominated at Saturday’s Sim Earich Invitational Cross Country meet at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds.
The division III boys race kicked things off as the Rockets took five out of the top six spots.
“It’s a real big confidence booster for our team to do so well,” Wyatt Hartman said. “We had some good times today, it was a great day to run and it was huge for us.”
Hartman’s teammate, and second place finisher, Derek Morrison says that his team has been working hard all season and the strong effort is starting to pay off.
“We have been doing hard workouts every other day and on the days in between we do long runs, its really hard work,” added Morrison.
Teammates Solomon Yoder, Tristan Dahmen and Mike Dahmen rounded out the top 10 placers for Maplewood.
The Rockets also ran away with the overall title with a score of 15.
In the girls Div. III race, Grand Valley freshman Jessica Finley cruised to an easy win with a run of 18:49, one minute faster than the second-place runner.
For part of the season Finley ran with a cast on her arm, something that was very frustrating.
“I had to get stitches and they put a cast on me, it messed with my form quite a bit,” Finley said. “I also had hip problems this year too, but I was able to prevail.”
Brookfield’s Maggie Slattery and Lindsey Swanson both placed in the top 10, while Western Reserve’s Becca Jamison finished 13th.
Austintown Fitch head coach, Paul Farr, felt confident about his team coming into the boys Division I-II race.
Farr says his team has had a great season thus far and many of his runners have steadily decreased their times.
“We have a bunch of guys that have finished as our two and three throughout the season,” Farr said. “We are going to see if we can get some guys in the 16s and finish off the year on a high note.”
Farr also noted that he felt he would have a few runners place high.
“I can see Bryce Baker, Patrick Ferguson and Zak Patrick finishing as our one, two and three guys today,” Farr said.
He was right, as Baker (16:03) finished fourth, Ferguson (16:23) seventh, Matt Ciccone (16:34) eight and Patrick (16:44) thirteenth.
Howland’s Ryan Sullivan took the overall title, as did his team, with a time of 15:35. Fitch took second place while Lakeview took third.
On the girls side, the top 10 was ruled by the All-American Conference as Poland, Howland, Fitch, Struthers and Girard placed in the top five.
The Bulldogs were led by overall winner Libby Rogenski (18:12), McKinsie Klim (18:43), Michelle Klim (18:47) and Melissa Klim.
Carissa Jenkins of Fitch finished in second and Howland’s Taylor Craigo, Struthers Catlyn Walker and LaBrae’s Amanda Richards were other notable top 10 finishers.