FROM STAFF REPORTS
Cortland — Aurora High School’s girls varsity cross country team will have at least one more week of action after finishing fourth in the Division I district meet at the Trumbull County fairgrounds and advancing to the Boardman regional.
However, the boys’ season is over as they did not manage to qualify as a team, and no individuals advanced.
In a drizzling rain, the girls secured the fourth qualifying spot behind Boardman, Chardon and Twinsburg. Solon finished fifth to secure the final qualifying spot.
Samantha Grohe set the pace with an overall eighth-place finish in 19:23.95, and Deja Davis was 10th in 19:30.19.
Rounding out the team finishes were: Dana Cassidy, 23rd in 20:22.49; Marissa Henderson, 34th in 20:54.86; Deanna Calder, 43rd in 21:20.05; Michela Palma, 46th in 21:25.96; and Emily Keller, 77th in 23:02.,78.
The overall top individual was Louiza Wise of Solon in 18:46.22, with Samantha Stansbury of Chardon second at 18:56.95. Twelve girls teams competed. It was the first time Aurora ran in the district in Cortland.
“We knew Chardon and Boardman were pretty much a sure shot to advance, but we had to fight Twinsburg, Kenston and Solon for the other two spots,” said coach Laura Bell.
“The girls knew they all had to have good aces and every person was going to count. Sure enough, we beat Solon by one point.
“Davis and Grohe continue to lead the team, setting new personal bests. Palma and Calder really stepped it up at the end, passing several girls near the finish line, which made all the difference.
“To beat a big school like Solon, which has such a huge success rate, is a really big deal, and I am not sure the girls really realize what they have accomplished. All of them set new personal bests.”
The coach noted this weekend is going to be tough, as the team looks to qualify for the state meet.
“There is a lot of great competition and talent ladies,” she said. “Right now 36 girls going into the regional meet are sub-20s. The girls are really going to have to bring their A game to qualify, but we are very excited to see what they can do.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Swan topped the boys, finishing 27th overall in 16:58.13. The Greenmen placed ninth out of 13 teams. Boardman, Twinsburg, Chardon, Warren Howland and Solon will advance.
Other Aurorans were: Logan Gross, 51st in 17:46.34; Jack Brown, 60th in 17:55.87; Daniel Sovich, 68th in 18:31.89; Tristan White, 70th in 18:39.93; David Meredith, 72nd in 18:46.54; and Stephen Riley, 74th in 18:54.87.
“It was really tough for the boys,” said Bell. “We knew what we were up against and knew Swan was the only one who had a chance to qualify. Unfortunately, his stat wasn’t great. He slipped in the beginning, which caused him to get boxed in and unable to get out in the front pack.
“Before the first mile, he was in the 50s, but he moved up to 29th place in the second mile, but he was just too far back to get into the top 16 to qualify as individuals.
“Overall, the boys had a very good season, finishing strong at the district and setting several personal bests. I am very proud of their performance. They are a wonderful group of young men.”
Bell said the temperatures were brisk at the district meet, with light rain for the girls and much cooler and more rain for the boys. “The course was flat and fast, much faster than at Malone College or Goodyear Park in Akron,” she noted.