The Boardman High School Cross Country team concluded the most successful season in school history with a fourth place finish at the OHSAA State Championship Nov. 2. Senior Mark Hadley became the school’s first ever male cross country state champion and classmate Alan Burns earned All-Ohio honors with his 21st place finish.
Hadley’s time of 15:10 was less than a second from the course record despite windy and wet course conditions. Hadley led from about 600-meters in to the finish and concludes his senior year undefeated, besting 3125 runners this season. He joins Lori Gomez as the only cross country state champions in BHS history.
“What Mark has accomplished this season and over his career will most likely never be duplicated,” said Boardman Head Coach John Phillips. “He is, without question, the greatest cross country runner in Boardman history.”
Burns also improved on his state performance a year ago by 17 places and concludes his career as an All-Ohioan, as well.
“It was a great day for Alan,” said Phillips. “He was able to get under 16 minutes despite the imperfect conditions and put us in position to finish in the top five as a team.”
Seniors Justin Maroni and Jacob Kelleck, as well as sophomore Nathan Hadley, rounded out the scoring places for the Spartans with sophomore Adam Deeley and junior Nick Long filling the final two spots.
“As a coach I could not be more proud,” explained Phillips. “What this team and especially this senior class have accomplished is truly amazing and will be remembered forever.”
On top of placing fourth as a team, six Spartans earned Academic All-Ohio status. They were Mark Hadley, Alan Burns, Justin Maroni, Nick Long, Adam Deeley, and Nathan Hadley.
Next up the Spartans will send both Hadley’s, Maroni, and Burns to the Footlocker National Qualifier Race in Wisconsin the weekend of the Thanksgiving holiday. Runners placing in the top ten will move on to the National Championship in San Diego on Dec. 14.