• Dr. Herpy

Lady Bombers capture first DI district banner

Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
October 29, 2020
Tony Lange

Princic wins title; Chardon, Kenston, Solon, US harriers advance

It’s not often that a district cross-country field features five state-ranked teams, including three in the top 10, but that didn’t stop the Kenston girls from claiming their first big-school banner on Saturday in Madison.

The state No. 5-ranked Lady Bombers, according to the coaches poll, recorded a five-seven-12-13-27 finish to score 64 points, besting state No. 9-ranked Mentor, 73 points, No. 10-ranked Shaker Heights, also 73 points, and the rest of the 21 schools that had competing runners.

Meanwhile, the No. 18-ranked Chardon girls finished fifth, 136 points, to advance as a team to regionals, while the Solon girls were seventh, 215 points, and qualified a pair of individuals runners.

Mentor sophomore Savannah Dennison won the individual title in 18:32.07 on the 5-kilometer course, besting Chardon senior runner-up Andrea Mann, 18:39.71, and the rest of the 115 runners in the field.

Leading the way for Kenston, sophomore Cece Paglia finished fifth in 18:53.91, demonstrating her potential to consistently break the 19-minute barrier on courses she doesn’t call home.

While both Mentor and Shaker Heights had their one runners cross the line before Paglia, and both Mentor and Shaker also had a tighter one-through-five pack than Kenston, the Lady Bombers won their title through putting out the fastest two, three and four runners in the competition.

Joining Paglia in scoring for Kenston, sophomore Paige Masson finished seventh in 19:12.37, senior Ellie Pleune took 12th in 19:18.48, freshman Emerson Greene was 13th in 19:19.88 and junior Jenny Kapcio finished 27th in 20:01.90, while junior Jocelyn Van Skyhock was 33rd in 20:18.43 and junior Katie Klotz finished 39th in 20:33.64.

Following in Mann’s footsteps as scorers for Chardon, freshman Rae Kawalec finished 28th in 20:02.42, freshman Cate Dawson took 30th in 20:06.79, freshman Giada D’Agostino was 35th in 20:19.35 and junior Morgan Fisher finished 41st in 20:36.23, while junior Katie Snyder took 44th in 20:47.36 and senior Brianna Nieset was 58th in 21:20.73.

Advancing to regionals with top-24 finishes as individuals for the Solon girls, junior Ellie Radis took 15th in 19:24.84 and junior Jada Freeman was 22nd in 19:50.44. Freeman secured her spot out by 0.88 second.

Also representing the Lady Comets were junior Jessie Kwiatkowski, 20:38.52, junior Natalie Miller, 21:41.69, senior Emily Schneider, 21:48.60, senior Aliza Greenfield, 23:08.76, and sophomore Meena Chandrasekharan, 23:14.80.

Up next, the Kenston girls, Chardon girls and the two Lady Comets will compete in the Division I Youngstown Region championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at Boardman High School, where the top eight teams and 32 individuals will advance to states.

DI boys cross-country

When the initial results came in, Kenston senior Dennis Princic was listed as runner-up by a mere 0.07 second during the Division I district cross-country meet on Saturday at Madison High School.

But upon reviewing video of the photo finish, it was determined Princic clocked a 16:00.00 to best St. Ignatius junior Matt Kelly by 0.01 second to capture the district title among 148 runners on the 5-kilometer course.

In doing so, Princic became the first Bomber harrier to win a district crown since 2004 graduate Justin Baum clocked a 16:21.88 at the Division I Perry District in 2003.

In the team race, meanwhile, the state No. 4-ranked Kenston boys, according to the coaches poll, finished runners-up with 53 points, as they were bested only by No. 7-ranked St. Ignatius, 47 points, in 24-school field.

State No. 8-ranked Mentor finished third, 104 points, No. 18-ranked Solon took fourth, 110 points, University School was fifth, 139 points, and Chardon was sixth, 219 points, to also advance to regionals.

While it was a tight race between Ignatius and Kenston, the triumphant Wildcats had the faster two runner, the faster four runner and the faster five runner, with just 38 seconds separating their one through fives runners. Kenston had a 45.7-second gap in its pack.

Joining Princic as scorers for the Bombers, senior Garrett McConnell finished seventh in 16:28.05, senior Nathan Bertman took eighth in 16:28.62, senior Jack Turk was 13th in 16:32.23 and senior Tyler McMahan finished 24th in 16:45.70, while senior Owen Orlowski was 27th in 16:48.36 and junior Braden Hunt took 35th in 16:59.34.

Scoring for the fourth-place Comet harriers, senior Nathan Close finished fifth in 16:21.75, senior Johnny Ciccero took 14th in 16:32.93, senior Josh Baker was 16th in 16:34.69, junior Ryan Goldefer finished 36th in 17:00.25 and junior Adam Yousef took 39th in 17:07.10, while sophomores James Howell,17:11.42, and Charles Kasper, 18:18.58, rounded out the varsity squad.

Scoring for University, senior Griffin Walsh finished fourth in 16:15.50, junior Nate Miller took ninth in 16:30.62, senior Ben Lafave was 10th in 16:30.70, senior Chris Frerichs finished 52nd in 17:27.01 and senior Stefan Leonard took 64th in 17:50.40, while sophomore Cameron Bizjak, 18:09.66, and freshman Chase Greppin, 18:10.55, brought up the rear.

And scoring for Chardon, freshman Karl Dietz finished 17th in 16:35.70, junior Luke Danison took 31st in 16:52.42, freshman Thomas Nelson was 56th in 17:37.13, senior Anthony Zampino finished 57th in 17:37.31 and sophomore Colin Snider took 58th in 17:41.03, while senior Jack Sweet was 59th in 17:42.45 and freshman Makoto Gumpf brought it home in 18:30.60.

Up next, Kenston, Solon, University and Chardon will compete in the Division I Youngstown Region championship at 3 p.m. Saturday at Boardman High School, where the top eight teams and 32 individuals will advance to states.

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