Aurora coach praises many runners for Kenston meet effort

by KEN LAHMERS | EDITOR Published:

Bainbridge -- Coach Laura Bell said she knew after last Thursday's workout, the Greenmen cross country runners were going to have some great races Aug. 30.

As it turned out, the girls placed fourth out of 13 teams and the boys were eighth out of 15 at Kenston's Frank Gibas Invitational. Berkshire won the girls team title and Solon won the boys.

The Grohe twins were outstanding for the girls varsity as Olivia placed third in 19:49.7 and Samantha was fourth in 19:50.5.

Rounding out the top seven were Marissa Henderson, 29th in 21:47.6; Marissa Sesny, 30th in 21:48; Abbey Stechler, 34th in 21:58.2; Caroline Siedel, 50th in 22:36.4; and Sammy Miller, 64th in 23:08.8.

Pacing the boys was Andrew Swan, seventh in 16:56.1, followed by Tristan White, 25th in 17:49.1; Jack Brown, 50th in 18:28.2; David Meredith, 56th in 18:39.4; Zachary Jenkins, 8th in 20:09.5; David Intihar, 92nd in 20:22.5; and Ian Houston, 96th in 20:49.3.

"Samantha is about 20 seconds from her all-time best and is definitely ahead of the game. Having Olivia by her side is proving to be a powerful duo," said Bell. "Henderson, Sesny and Stechler are crucial for our success, and Siedel and Miller continue to drop times."

The coach said Swan looked great again. "He's racing smart. The Walsh meet [Sept. 6] will be a great opportunity for him to take a little more risk. Tristan broke into the 17s and set a new personal best." She also praised Brown, Meredith, Houston, Jenkins, Intihar and Sam Flowers, several of whom had personal bests.

Also placing in the varsity girls race were Gena Leib, 66th, and Jacqueline Caputo, 73rd, while finishing out varsity boys runners were Flowers, 99th, Ryan Markowitz, no placing available; and Ryan Carey, 116th.

"Leib had a great first varsity race as a freshman, recording a personal best by 2 minutes," said Bell. "Caputo is working hard."

Lara Ketonen was first overall in girls open at 22:04.3, while Whitney Lieberth also was in the top 10 (fifth at 23:39).

Also in the top 50 were Emily Keller, Alison Jenkins, Brooke Kosar, Lexie Mehallis, Olivia Calder, Kenedie Barner, Lauren Sapochetti, Josephine Stummer, Hannah Swan, Maiko Reed, Megan Phillips, Brittany Schambach, Kaylin Anderson and Olivia Pollock.

In the top 50 in the boys open were Matthew Peluso, 11th, and Connor Brown, 42nd, while Tyler Liston, Gavin Baker and Scott Carlson placed between 50th and 100th.

"Ketonen had an amazing race," said Bell. "It was her first-ever CC race. She went out conservative and then felt good enough after the first mile to let loose. She's earned a spot on the varsity for this week.

"Peluso had a great first CC race after struggling last year and not competing in a meet. He earned a spot for next week's varsity race and is going to be a key player. Brown also was in his first-ever CC race and earned a varsity spot."

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