Howland’s Mauri takes Sim Earich boys title


By BOB ETTINGER

sports@vindy.com

BAZETTA

The Sim Earich Invitational cross country meet has become something of a dress rehearsal for the district cross country meet. Runners took to the Trumbull County Fairgrounds course on Saturday afternoon in that final tune-up for the postseason.

The Austintown Fitch boys claimed the Division I-II team title as Howland’s Vinny Mauri ran away with the individual title in 15:58.39. Canfield’s Giovanni Copploe was second in 16:19.96.

“For the first mile, I was next to Vinny Mauri and we were pushing each other,” Copploe said. “He surged after that first mile. I didn’t go with him and I should’ve. He pulled away after that. It was good to run the course the week before districts. I know what I have to do here next week.”

In the Division III boys race, Jakob Rose ran away for a victory in 16:31.00. Mikel Lagaras of Champion and Louis Larney of Girard were second and third in 17:22.41 and 17:24.24, respectively.

“It could’ve been better,” Larney said. “I could’ve raced smarter. I went out too fast in the first mile. I do it every time. I need to work on it. I stayed pretty consistent the rest of the race. [The course] is flat. I’m used to it. I know what I can do, what I can do better and what I shouldn’t do.”

The Vikings took the team championship with 72 points to the Golden Flashes’ 87 and Maplewood’s 91.

Jefferson was second to Fitch’s 84 points with 105 and Poland was third with 112.

“I thought we could be second, but the boys ran well,” Poland coach Becky Rudzic said. “It fluctuates between us and Jefferson. It’s real close. Jefferson just had the better day today. We had three boys run lifetime PRs. [Fitch] is just a bigger, stronger team. I hope the kids got comfortable with the course and they know where they are going [for the district meet].”

Hailey Zelinsky of Niles cruised to a third-place finish in 19:26.65, just behind Emi Cummings (19:15.07) of Laurel and Bailey Roberts (19:23.04) of Ashtabula Edgewood in the Division I-II girls event.

“Today, I didn’t have a time in mind,” Zelinsky said. “I didn’t have a place in mind. I just wanted to go out and have fun. It’s my last race before districts. I wanted to see what I could do when I didn’t think and just ran. I think having that stress of getting a certain time and a certain place was too much. I just knew I could [run a great race]. At this point, I’m just getting faster and faster.”

Edgewood topped Boardman for the team title, 60-82. Poland was third with 83 points.

East Palestine dominated the girls Division III race winning with 48 points. Western Reserve Academy was the runner-up with 88 points and Champion was third with 90. Grace Steimle of Grand Valley won the individual race by more than a minute in 18:57.68.

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