By Ken Silva
YOUNGSTOWN — On an unseasonably warm day at a slow course, Brunswick’s boys and girls cross country teams showed their toughness Saturday.
With temperatures reaching 79 degrees, Selena Pasadyn led the girls to a third-place finish at the Boardman Invitational, while the boys received a strong team performance to finish fourth.
The meet did not start well for Pasadyn (5th, 19:24. and the girls, as the team fell to the back of the pack in the first mile.
“I thought they were jogging in the first part,” said Blue Devils coach Kerry Hunter. “I started yelling at them and they picked it up.”
Junior Alexis Uber (19:42. ran an especially strong race for the Blue Devils, finishing ninth and running with Pasadyn for much of the day.
“She was running on all heart and may have ran out of gas at the end, but I’ll take that from my runners any day,” said Hunter. “She’s a gutsy kid.”
Wadsworth finished 13th, receiving strong performances from Cara Powell (51st, 21:02. and Ashley Gray (53rd, 21:03.
Highland was without coach Devin Lippincott, who was attending a funeral, and finished 18th out of 24 teams.
“I think the heat got to them,” assistant coach Bob Berry said. “The sun was really blaring.”
Hunter was even more pleased with the way his boys competed.
“I thought we ran a great race today,” he said. “If Nathan Geiss ran his usual race, there’s no telling what we could’ve done.”
Geiss (63rd, 17:46. usually competes with Austin Olshavsky for the No. 1 spot on the team, but cramped after the first mile to finish fourth for the Blue Devils.
“It’s the Boardman curse,” Geiss joked. “I’ve never ran well on this course.”
Olshavsky (21st, 17:02., Tyler Menear (26th, 17:12. and Logan Indre (73rd, 17:28. ran strong races to make up for their struggling teammate.
“This course isn’t for fast runners, it’s a racers’ course,” said Hunter. “That works to our advantage.”
Wadsworth’s boys finished a disappointing 15th out of 32 teams.
“We did not run well,” coach Michelle Farr said. “Our biggest problem was the gap between our second and third runners.”
After setting a school record last week, Russell McCune ran 50 seconds slower to finish sixth for the Grizzles (16:34.. McCune refused to blame his performance on the hilly course or the heat.
“I just went out too fast,” he said. “It was my fastest first mile ever and I was winded after that.”
The Grizzles did receive a strong performance from Nate Tipton (12th., whose time of 16:53 was only 11 seconds slower than his personal record.
“I think Tipton was our only bright spot,” Farr said. “His time was only a little slower than at Tiffin, while the rest of the boys were 30 or more seconds slower.”
Stuart Arbuckle (97th, 18:07. and Zach Davis (111th, 18:14. paced Highland’s boys to a 24th-place finish.
“We had a hard workout Monday and took it easy for the rest of the week,” coach Josh Victor said. “I thought we needed to recover from last week’s meet, but the extra rest didn’t work.”
Contact Ken Silva at email@example.com.