The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

November 3, 2013

Warrior ramps it up

Edgewood’s LeMay finishes on podium, Lakeside’s Barrientos runs strong as well

Through the first mile of the Division II state cross country meet at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Edgewood coach Steve Hill was a little scared.

Not because his two runners — twin brothers Chris and Josh LeMay — weren’t running well. They were running too well.

Chris got through the first mile in third place while Josh was in 10th.

Chris, a 2012 state qualifier, maintained a strong pace and finished on the podium in 12th place with a run of 16:26.40.

“He came through the first mile in third and I was a little concerned with what was going on,” Hill said. “Luckily, there was a coach standing next to me and I was like, ‘What are my kids doing?’ Because I didn’t think it could continue. But he told me don’t worry about it, Division II’s front runners aren’t as strong, they’ll be OK. So that was a calming effect.

“Every time I saw (Chris) he looked me in the eye and was positive. We had a strategy and he kept doing what we had hoped.”

Hill said he would’ve been satisfied with a top-30 finish for Chris, so his finish certainly exceeded expectations.

Josh, who held off for 41st, was projected to finish around 52nd coming into the race.

“Chris’ time wasn’t extremely fast, but the field kind of sat back,” Hill said. “He had an opportunity and took it. No one really came after him, beside a few of the top runners.

“Realistically, I was going to be happy if he was in the top 30s. That’s probably what we were expecting. In the top 16, that gets him on the podium, it’s a big accomplishment and he gets a medal which is great.”

For Josh, the sub-17 time was a personal record on grass, something Hill was pleased with.

“He exceeded expectations and broke 17 which is good, he’s only ever done that on a road race, so this is a grass PR for him,” he said. “He was right there and fell back a little bit but he ran well.”

While Chris surpassed what Hill might’ve originally projected, he did say the junior has been running strong leading up to the state meet.

“He’s had a really good couple of weeks here leading up to district and regionals,” he said. “The district conditions were bad for anything really good to happen and last week he fought to get to where he got. Mentally he was there and just went after it.”

Also in Division II, Perry’s Aaran Gessic placed 31st. The Pirates senior ran a 16:53.37.

Hill said the course conditions were solid for the most part.

“There was no rain today, it was a little overcast and the temperature was probably in the 40s with a little wind, but it only effected a few places,” he said. “We felt that after looking at the girls times, the course was there for the taking.”

Hill hopes the LeMays strong finish to the season will translate to success in 2014.

“It’s our hope,” he said. “Their brother is down here, he’s talking the talk right now. It’s there if these guys want it. We’ll have to see over the next couple months. We only lose really one person from top seven or eight runners so it’s there. We just really have to drop some time, but it’s possible to get down here.”

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