Cross country coaches earn honors
Neighbors | Submitted.The annual awards banquet of the Ohio High School track and cross country coaches took place in February in Columbus. Boardman girls cross country coach Stacey Hunter (left) and boys cross country coach John Phillips were named District 1 Coaches of the Year for cross country from the fall season. District 1 is representative of all of the coaches from Mahoning, Ashtabula, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties.
The annual awards banquet of the Ohio High School track and cross country coaches took place in February in Columbus. Boardman boys cross country coach John Phillips and girls cross country coach Stacey Hunter were named District #1 Coaches of the Year for cross country from the fall season. District 1 is representative of all of the coaches from Mahoning, Ashtabula, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
Hunter has coached the Boardman girls cross country team for two years. This year, her team had many accomplishments, including being County, Suburban League and District Champions and finishing runners-up in the Federal League. They finished fifth at the Regional meet, missing qualifying to state by one place. The team was also undefeated during the regular season. Junior Jordan Grantonic earned Federal League Runner of the Year honors. In coach Hunter’s first year, the team finished third at the Suburban and County meets, fourth at the Federal League meet and fifth at the District Meet.
Coach Hunter is a 2000 graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, where she qualified to state in cross country two years and three years in track. She ran competitively at the University of South Florida for two years before transferring to Baldwin Wallace her final two years, where she qualified to the Nationals in the indoor 800-meter run. She is a physical education teacher at Center Middle School and also serves as the high school distance coach in track and field.
Coach Phillips finished his fifth year of coaching cross country at Boardman. His teams have been the Mahoning County Champions the past five years in a row. They were Federal League and District champions the past two years. This year they were also Regional Champions, advancing the team to the state meet. Coach Phillips led his team to a fourth-place finish at state, which ties the best team finish since 1985.
Senior standout Mark Hadley won the first individual state championship in boys cross country history and fellow senior standout Alan Burns finished All-Ohio at the state meet.
Coach Phillips has been selected as the Cross Country Coach of the Year by the Mahoning Valley Coaches Association for the past four years and was named Federal League Coach of the Year for the past two years.
He is an English teacher at Boardman High School and also serves as the boys head track coach.