Stow sophomore cross country runner Jayla Atkinson is trending towards a school record, and she and her teammates are closing in on an impressive accomplishment.
Atkinson and her Bulldogs teammates will be in action Saturday for the Division I regional meet at Boardman High School with two achievements in mind after a memorable district meet at GlenOak High School.
Atkinson led Stow to a Division I district team championship this past Saturday on the grounds at GlenOak by completing the 3.1-mile course in a first-place time of 18:23.6.
“Jayla’s time on Saturday was the second fastest time recorded in school history,” Stow coach Aaron Morris said. “She is only nine seconds from the school record.
“The team’s district win was only the fifth time this has been done in school history. The last time the Stow girls won the district was in 1993. This team is attempting to qualify to the state meet for the first time in over 20 years, the last time being in 1999.”
Stow scored 58 points in the district meet at GlenOak with five runners in the top 20: Atkinson, Kendra Cassiday (sixth), Deena Ingrassia (12th), Samantha Fobean (19th) and Hannah Hartenberg (20th).
“The district meet was very exciting,” Morris said. “We knew that Massillon Jackson was going to be a tough team to beat. I had scored the meet out at several points during the race and the lead changed several times throughout the competition and neither team ever got more than four points ahead of the other.
“We ended up winning by two points when it was all said and done, but both teams ran fantastic team efforts. If the girls run like that again at Boardman we should have a very good chance of qualifying to the state meet for the first time in over 20 years.”
Medina, Brunswick, Aurora, Wadsworth, Hudson and Avon also have solid girls teams.
Aurora’s Morgan Schmitt was second at the district meet at GlenOak in a time of 18:42.5, Wadsworth’s Kailyn Biecker was third in 18:52.5 and Jackson’s Kailey Zagst and Sofia Istnick were fourth in 18:56.7 and fifth in 19:01.0, respectively.
The Division I regional girls race at Boardman is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Saturday and the boys are set to being at 4 p.m. The top eight teams and individuals finishing in the top 32 advance to the state meet.
The Division I boys race is set to feature solid teams from Louisville, Perry, Jackson, North Canton Hoover, GlenOak, Lakewood St. Edward, Medina and Brunswick.
Thomas Rice of GlenOak and Luke Ondracek of Walsh Jesuit each enter the meet as district champions.
Rice won a district title on his home course in a time of 15:33.98. Ondracek finished first in the district meet at Lorain Community College in a time 15:49.0.
Walsh’s Luke Lenz will join Ondracek in the regional meet at Boardman.
“Ondracek and Lenz are both seniors so this postseason is a special time for them,” Walsh Jesuit coach Mark White said. “Both train hard, race hard and will embrace the opportunity to compete among the best in the region on Saturday. They enter the race right where you want them to be this time of year — focused, confident and running at their best with an opportunity to advance to the state meet.”
Woodridge on path to success
Woodridge will be in the running for regional titles Saturday at Boardman in the Division II races, with girls starting at noon and the boys at 1 p.m.
The top six teams and individuals finishing in the top 24 advance to the state meet.
The Woodridge girls and boys teams won Division II district team titles this past Saturday at Lorain Community College. Woodridge’s girls team is ranked No. 1 in the OATCCC state poll and the boys squad is No. 3 in the state poll.
Woodridge’s girls scored 45 points to win at Lorain. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (77) and Revere (85) were second and third.
Morgan Monesmith of Hathaway Brown finished first in the girls race at Lorain in a time of 18:45.0 and Annabel Stanley of Norwayne took second in 19:08.8.
Woodridge’s Izzy Best was third in the district meet at Lorain in 19:25.5 and Reese Reaman was fourth in 19:38.9. Eloise Willett, Leighton Kline and Thalia Johnston each finished in the top 15 to complete the scoring for the Bulldogs.
“Izzy Best and Reese Reaman continue to lead the way,” Woodridge coach Jeff Howard said. “Eloise Willett and Leighton Kline have also been impressive. Thalia Johnston has been really good the last few weeks also. Freshman Marissa Boone has our fourth-best time of the season and is consistently among our top six. Kathryn Kiley is our seven and would have qualified individually as well.”
Salem, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Tallmadge and Hoban also have solid girls teams.
Woodridge’s boys won at Lorain with 46 points. Cloverleaf (88) and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (99) were second and third.
Aaron Dutt led Woodridge’s boys in the district meet with a second-place finish in a time of 16:46.5. Sam Su, Seth Singer, Will Holland and Andrew Shaheen each finished in the top 15 to complete the scoring for the Bulldogs.
“Unioto and Marlington are clearly the top two teams and will be tough to handle,” Howard said. “We have Marlington this weekend. After Aaron Dutt and Sam Su, we have a series of interchangeable parts. These include Will Holland, Seth Singer, Steven Duffy, Robbie Champa and Andrew Shaheen. The boys have an outside chance of sneaking a fourth consecutive state championship.”
Siblings Noah Graham (15:57.84) and Bella Graham (18:42.5) of Marlington won the individual titles Saturday in the Division II district races at GlenOak High School.
Marlington won a district boys team title with 20 points and five runners in the top eight. Field, Tallmadge, Salem and West Branch are also formidable foes.
Drennan Akins and Lucas Mitchell are leading CVCA into a regional appearance. Akins placed first in the Division II boys district race at Lorain in a time of 16:29.7.
“Drennan is healthy, fit and on course for great postseason competition and he continues to lead and encourage team success,” CVCA coach Rick Lyons said. “Drennan is a young man whose priorities and values in and out of competition have made our community proud.”
Lane leads Mogadore
Mogadore is set to compete in the Division III races Saturday at Boardman. The girls start at 9 a.m. and the boys are slated to compete at 10 a.m.
The Mogadore girls team won a Division III district championship this past Saturday at GlenOak with 47 points. Katie Lane paced Mogadore at GlenOak with a second-place finish in a time of 19:39.22.
Wildcats teammates Rachel Whetstone, Mia Gaetjens, Amber Morris and Emma Quillen also placed in the top 20.
Michael Beaven can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.
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