June 27, 2016

Mostly sunny

Anna Boyert, Ryan Gallagher secure top-10 finishes

HEBRON — Medina senior Anna Boyert and Buckeye junior Ryan Gallagher ended their cross country seasons on a high note with all-state finishes Saturday.

Boyert finished fourth for the second straight year in the Division I girls race (18:12.49), earning All-Ohio (top 25) for the third time in her career.

Buckeye’s Ryan Gallagher, left, finished sixth at the Division II state cross country meet. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY AARON JOSEFCZYK)

“I led for most of the race,” Boyert said. “I hadn’t done it this year yet, so it was cool to get out, to do it, have fun and give it my best. I’m happy with how I did.”

Cincinnati Princeton senior Claudia Saunders (18:04.50), Rocky River senior Elyse Bierut (18:08.46) and Beavercreek junior Sydney Leiher (18:10.21) grabbed the first three spots.

Boyert was a cover girl of sorts. Her picture from the 2010 state meet was on the cover of this year’s program as part of a collage along with Versailles’ Tammy Berger, Louisville’s Stephen Stamp, Independence’s Ryan Polman, St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Tessa Weigand and Woodridge’s Drake Sulzer.

“I tried to downplay the meet today a little bit because I have the two Foot Locker meets yet,” said Boyert. “I’m planning to run at college, although I have no idea where just yet. I’m going to take my visits in January.

“I’ll feel it. You just know where you want to go. I definitely want to go Division I. I’m excited. It’s an exciting process. I’m just taking it all in.”

Gallagher came ready to perform at a high level. The Buckeye junior finished sixth in D-II in a personal-record 15:59.75.

“I’m just glad I had a good day on the right day,” Gallagher said. “I haven’t felt good for the last 48 hours. I wasn’t going to let what happened last week (at regionals) happen again. That might be why I had a bad race last week, because it was all about today.”

Gallagher defeated three runners who beat him at the Tiffin Regional: St. V-M’s Patrick O’Brien (8th, 16:10.28); Van Wert’s Jared Fleming (10th, 16:14.15) and Padua’s Evan Bialosky (12th, 16:16.72).

Last year, Gallagher was 36th at state in 16:41.7. He was 72nd in 17:41.12 as a freshman.

“My parents and all four of my brothers were here today,” Gallagher said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’m going after (the state title) next year.”

Napoleon senior Steve Weaver won the D-II boys race in 15:25.09. Defiance junior Abel Flores took second (15:41.53).

Wadsworth senior Paige Szabat (22nd, 18:46.70) was the other Medina County athlete to earn All-Ohio.

“The first mile was quick,” said Szabat, who was fighting an upper respiratory problem. “I picked it up the last mile. The second mile was a little rough for me. I came back a little in the third. I gave it my all.”
Szabat had high hopes coming in. She was second at Tiffin behind Bierut with a time of 18:21.90.

Medina and Brunswick found the going tough in the D-I boys race. Medina ended up 10th with 248 points and Brunswick was 11th with 253 in the 16-team field.

Senior Robert Robinson (43rd, 16:17.76) led the Medina boys, who finished in the top 10 for the fifth time in eight state-qualifying appearances since 2004.

Robinson was as high as the top six in the opening mile before the punishing pace caught up with him.

“I was just trying to hang on the rest of the way in. I was falling off and fading,” Robinson said. “The state (team) championship wasn’t the goal. The approach was about having PRs, to have fun and then see what happens. That was our motivation.”

Brad Polacko (16:46.12), Ian McKee (16:49.65), Zach Dombi (16:53.06) and Dan Schwendler (16:53.21) rounded out Medina’s top five.

Senior Nathan Geiss (73rd, 16:31.55) led the Brunswick boys, who were making their first state appearance since 2006. Logan Indre (16:34.78), Tyler Menear (16:40.43), Cody Bukszar (16:53.06) and Austin Oshavsky (16:56.83) rounded out the top five.

Contact Paul Heyse at sports@medina-gazette.com.