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FROM STAFF REPORTS
Akron -- Fresh off a pair of Suburban League American Conference championships, Aurora High's girls and boys cross country teams are setting their sights on this weekend's Division I district meet.
The girls topped runnerup Medina Highland and the boys beat Copley on Oct. 15 at Goodyear Heights Metro Park in Akron.
Senior twins Olivia and Samantha Grohe lead the girls, placing fourth and fifth overall, respectively in 20:05 and 20:22.
They were followed by Brynn Sesny, seventh in 20:25; Madeline Schmitt, 10th in 21:00; Katy Fellenstein, 11th in 21:01; Karsen Zabell, 12th in 21:15; and Elizabeth Keller, 13th in 21:18.
"The girls varsity is extremely focuses and wants what they missed out on last year," said coach Laura Bell. "All of them have the drive and desire and work ethics to back it up.
"Sesny continues to race fierce and is closing the gaps behind Samantha and Olivia. Fellenstein also had a standout performance."
Meanwhile, Donovan Boyle paced the entire American Conference boys varsity field with a time of 16:55.
He was followed by Solomon Bibza, third in 17:31; Robert Taylor, fourth in 17:32; Henry Rees, ninth in 17:48; Connor Brown, 15th in 18:12; Zach Jenkins, 16th in 18:14 and Sam Siedel, 31st in 19:14.
"Boyle continues to impress as a first-year runner with maybe 80 miles for his summer base training," said Bell. "He has a lot of heart and that pushes him to the next level. He knows what he wants and is willing to suffer to reach those goals."
Bell said she was equally impressed by the other boys "as they all pulled together and raced as pack, continuing to drop times. They know it is going to be extremely difficult to qualify to regionals, but I believe they are capable if they're williing to trust their training and abilities, and willing to gut it out in the end."
The Greenmen open girls runners also finished first among American Conference teams, topping second-place Hudson.
Results were: Marissa Sesny, third in 22:20; Hailey Adler, fourth in 22:24; Santina Burdick, sixth in 22:55; Makenna Kish, seventh in 22:57; Lexie Mehallis, 10th in 23:11; Kate Walton, 11th in 23:12; and Sara Gerber, 17th in 23:23.
"The JV girls had an amazing performance, coming in first place overall iin both conferences," said Bell.
"Felice came in eighth overall, but first in the American Conference. A comendable performance from Young, too, as he finished strong after losing his shoe early on."
The AHS boys open runners came in eighth overall, as Hudson was the top team, but was first in the American Conference..
Results were: Zach Thomas, 25th in 19:23; Tyler Liston, 43rd in 20:07; Luke Calder, 45th in 20:11; Jack Deptola, 50th in 20:57; Dominic Felice, 61st in 20:57; Tyler Hayes, 79th in 21:36; and Ben Young, 84th in 22:00.
"It was a comendable performance by Young, as he finished strong after losing his shoe early on," said Bell.
The Division I district meet will be Oct. 22 at the Trumbull County fairgrounds near Cortland, with boys starting at 2:50 p.m. and girls at 4:50.
"Both teams are focused and are working to make Aurora history," said Bell about the district meet.
The fairgrounds is on Everett Hull Road. Aurorans can get there by taking Route 82 east to Hiram, continuing on Route 305 through Nelson, Southington and Champion to Durst Clegg Road, then turning left (north) to the fairgrounds, which is just west of Mosquito Lake.