Published in The News-Herald
October 20, 2019
Justin Iler never ran at Madison’s course before, but understood what to expect based on times ran at the site of the district meet earlier in the season.
With University’s district assignment changed from Trumbull to Madison this year, a venue change made little difference in the result of Iler’s first postseason race. The senior, intent on advancing to the state meet for the third straight year, pulled away early and won the D-I boys race in 15 minutes, 26 seconds on Oct. 19.
Iler finished 28 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Mentor’s Nick Kozlowski. About halfway through the race, Iler nearly passed the utility vehicle driven by an event volunteer as the driver struggled to stay ahead of him but still remain close enough to pace the rest of the pack.
“I’m satisfied with how I ran,” Iler said. “15:26, 15:27, right in that area, which is a new PR for me. I felt great doing it, ran 4:50 the first mile and 5-flat for the other two.”
Iler led the Preppers to a third-place team finish with 90 points, as University advanced to next week’s Boardman Regional. Nate Miller (16:37) followed Iler in 14th, Griffin Walsh (16:56) placed 21st, Ben LaFave (16:57) was 23rd and Cameron Monesmith (17:12) rounded out the pack in 23rd.
Iler called the race a confidence boost for the entire team, which qualified for last year’s state meet. Personally, Iler looks forward to continuing his senior season at Boardman.
“I want to make each and every meet count this postseason and vie for that No. 1 position,” Iler said. “I don’t want to leave anything out there.”
A week after Kenston recorded a perfect score at the Western Reserve Conference meet, the Bombers again compiled a 40-point performance to win the team title. David Rosinski led the pack with a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 59 seconds to place third overall.
Kenston’s top five all placed among the first 13 finishes as the Bombers joined University as transplants into the Madison District. Dennis Princic ran a strong race to finish fourth in 16 minutes, Tyler McMahan (16:27) was eighth, Jack Turk (16:37.2) placed 12th and Garrett McConnell (16:37.4) was 13th.
“I mean, going into it, we were pretty happy with where we were compared to the other teams,” Rosinski said. “We still couldn’t sleep on any of it. We had to make sure we did our thing, got in, got out, raced well and I think we all did that. I think our top seven, all the way through, stepped up today.”
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