Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
October 25, 2018
The Kenston, Solon and University School boys repeated their team finishes from a year ago, while Solon senior Olivia Howell defended her title going away during the Division I district cross-country meet on Saturday at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Cortland.
The reigning state runner-up, Howell became a four-time district champion with a winning time of 17:52.82 on the 5-kilometer course, easily besting Hudson sophomores Emmaline Hannan, 19:03.32, and Brenna Beucler, 19:03.41, while Kenston sophomore Ellie Pleune finished fourth in 19:12.96 in the 12-team, 91-runner race
The Kenston and Solon girls did not advance to regionals last season, finishing ninth and seventh, respectively, but both programs made the top-five cut at districts on Saturday.
After finishing ninth in 2017, the Lady Bombers returned as district runners-up with 81 points, bested only by Division I state No. 10-ranked Hudson, according to Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches pollsters, which defended its title with 72 points.
The Aurora girls finished third with 81 points, Twinsburg took fourth with 100 points, and Solon finished fifth with 113 points.
Joining Pleune as scorers for the Kenston girls, senior Kate Taylor placed sixth in 19:26.22, freshman Jocelyn Van Skyhock took 13th in 19:49.54, freshman Jennifer Kapcio was 22nd in 20:08.19 and freshman Kathryn Klotz finished 36th in 20:48.24, while junior Sarah Bennett, 21:26.10, and sophomore Alexa Busby, 21:41.49, rounded out the Lady Bombers varsity squad.
The district runner-up showing was the Kenston girls’ highest team finish and first regional berth since 2014. Pleune, who was a state qualifier last year, is the only Lady Bomber with regional experience.
The Solon girls, meanwhile, are advancing to regionals as a team after a one-year hiatus.
Joining Howell as scorers for the Lady Comets, freshman Ellie Radis placed seventh with a personal best of 19:26.37, senior Elsa Mabey clocked a season best 19:55.96 to finish 16th, freshman Jada Freeman took 42nd in 20:55.91 and sophomore Sanem Yenibahar was 48th in 21:18.45, while freshman Mira Atwah, 21:47.07, and senior Leah Kloboves, 22:36.09, rounded out the Solon girls’ varsity squad.
In the boys competition, meanwhile, defending state champion and state No. 1-ranked Hudson, 43 points, defended its district title, while runner-up Kenston, 122 points, third-place Solon, 127 points, and fourth-place University School, 135 points, also repeated their places in the team standings from a year ago. Aurora finished fifth with 148 points to secure the final regional spot in the 16-team, 116-runner field.
But the talk of the day was Howland senior Vincent Mauri’s victory in 14:54.8, which is the fastest 5-kilometer time in the state this season, according to Ohio Mile Split. It was his personal best time by more than 45 seconds, as he easily bested Twinsburg senior Ryan Adkins’ runner-up finish in 15:23.1, while Hudson senior Evan Manley took third in 15:33.3.
Manley was 16th in the state last year, while Mauri was 18th and Adkins was 24th.
Leading Solon’s district team on Saturday, senior Logan Esper finished fifth in 15:50.7, while University School junior Justin Iler took ninth in 16:00.5 and Kenston senior Jakob McConnell was 10th in 16:00.9. Esper, in particular, shed 15.37 seconds off his time from a year ago.
Joining McConnell as scorers for the runner-up Bombers, senior Kyle Silk finished 18th in 16:36.4, junior David Rosinski took 20th in 16:45.1, junior Casey Pleune was 33rd in 17:07.4 and sophomore Jack Turk finished 41st in 17:17, while sophomore Garrett McConnell, 17:21, and junior Jordan Knapp, 18:02.8, rounded out Kenston’s varsity squad.
Silk shred 28.2 seconds off his time from last season, while Pleune shed 14.89 seconds off his 2017 district performance.
Joining Esper as scorers for the Comets, junior Kareem Yousef and sophomore Nathan Close both clocked 16:52.0 to finish 24th and 25th, junior Aden Pickus took 36th in 17:10.8 and freshman Ryan Goldfeder was 37th in 17:12.6, while junior Ben Shafron, 17:19.1, and sophomore Josh Baker, 17:20.6, rounded out Solon’s varsity harriers.
Close shed 28.72 seconds off his district run from a year ago, while Pickus dropped 25.66 seconds off his 2017 performance.
And joining Iler as scorers for University School, senior Ben Chao finished 15th in 16:16.8, junior Graham Clark took 30th in 17:04.7, sophomore Griffin Walsh was 34th in 17:07.5 and senior Michael Castellanos finished 47th in 17:25.8, while freshman Nate Miller, 17:44.8, and senior Cole Bowes, 17:58.1, rounded out the Preppers’ varsity squad.
Chao shed 19.21 seconds off his district run from a year ago, while Clark dropped 23.01 seconds, Walsh dropped 25.98 seconds and Castellanos dropped 18.81 seconds.
Up next, Solon, Kenston and University School will compete at the Division I regional meet with the boys starting at 12:30 p.m. and the girls at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Boardman High School, where the top seven teams and the top 28 individuals will advance to states.
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