FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- Paced by Samantha Grohe's fourth-place overall finish in 21:35.81, the Greenmen varsity girls cross country team finished fourth out of 16 teams in the Todd Clark Invitational on Sept. 21 on a rain-soaked course at Cloverleaf High School.
"This group of girls could do something really special this year, and each week they show us that it is more and more possible, but now they have to start believing in their abilities and talents," said coach Laura Bell. "We are starting to show the big dogs we can race with them."
Meanwhile, the boys placed 11th out of 14 teams, with Andrew Swan leading the way with a 17th-place overall finish in 18:43.39.
"The boys race was the last of the day and by that time the course was a mess and the temperature was rising," said Bell. "But Andrew continues to have great races."
Other girls varsity finishers were: Deja Davis, 19th in 22:35.87; Dana Cassidy, 20th in 22:36.53; Marissa Henderson, 32nd in 23:13.95; Michela Palma, 68th in 24:47.02; Sammie Miller, 76th in 25:19.42; and Emily Keller, 77th in 25:20.25.
Other varsity boys finishers were: Logan Gross, 42nd in 19:35.58; Jack Brown, 53rd in 19:57.22; Tristen White, 67th in 20:22.63; David Meredith, 82nd in 21:04.86; Daniel Sovich, 84th in 21:15.38; and Jack Petroski, 85th in 21:16.36.
"Part of the course had large standing pools of water and the hills were so torn up that many athletes fell face first in the mud," explained Bell. "But this is the kind of race that makes cross country so much fun and shows us what true character we have."
Bell said Grohe was not afraid of the mud and "almost floated on top of it." She added it was great to see Davis and Cassidy also racing together at the front of the pack, while Henderson had a much improved race than the week before and Palma, Miller and Keller were consistent in their efforts.
"We've never had a team that has 11 or 12 girls who can race at the varsity level," Bell said, adding that makes for an exciting season. "It drives them even more when they know they could get bumped back to JV the next week."
RESULTS IN the girls 11th-12th-grade open run were: Abbey Stechler, sixth in 24:30.49; Hannah Swan, 13th in 24:55.67; Morgan Miller, 20th in 25:29.17; Allison Jenkins, 23rd in 25:39.6; Lauren Hunt, 26th in 25:56.38; Jacqueline Caputo, 31st in 26:24.58.
Brittany Schambach, 34th in 26:52.17; Emily Cymanski, 35th in 26:55.01; Kaylin Anderson, 39th in 27:23.64; Emily Studer, 40th in 27:24.22; Rachelle Love, 43rd in 27:50.28; Olivia Pollack, 45th in 27:53.97, Sammie DiGeranimo, 46th in 28:03.31; Sydney Pinney, 49th in 28:10.01.
Megan Phillips, 54th in 28:37.38; Brooke Kosar, 59th in 29:40.89; Sarah Marchese, 60th in 29:57.13; Kathleen Cymanski, 62nd in 30:22.55; Josephine Stummer, 63rd in 30:24.25; Maddison Flagg, 65th in 30:58.55; and Megan Maull, 66th in 30:59.33.
Bell said Gross has really stepped up and continues to run with strength and determination, while White continues to push through the season despite recovering from a spring track injury.
She added Brown, Meredith and Petroski continue to be consistent, and Sovich, despite taking the ACT earlier in the day made it to the race on time.
"The boys are starting to come together, but still have lots of room for improvement, which I think they are capable of," Bell said. They are starting to close the gap on Kenston, but it's going to be tough for them to beat the Bombers on their home course for the Chagrin Valley Conference meet."
Boys 11th-12th-grade open run results were: Ian Houston, 43rd in 21:38.5l; Zachary Jenkins, 56th in 22:01.92; Austin Biggs, 60th in 22:23.05; Joel Stell, 65th in 22:34; Reid Stephan, 68th in 22:39.68; Henery Vachon, 69th in 22:41.46; Sam Flowers, 81st in 23:26.27; Josh Kane, 88th in 23:34.2.
Scott Carlson, 107th in 24:33.36; Benjamin Sender, 10th in 24:43.17; Brett Poremba, 109th in 24:45.41; Garret Aini, 112th in 25:03.5; Dane Fellenstein, 114th in 25:10.82; Cameron Schnell, 121st in 26:15.79; Gavan Baker, 123rd in 26:32.68; Ryan Carey, 126th in 27:34.19; and Thomas Micatrotto, 128th in 27:51.17.