By BRANDON JUDEH
For the Star Beacon
Moments after Perry’s Aaran Gessic finished the boy’s division II race at Boardman high school, he smiled and exclaimed; “That’s two sports!”
The junior, who finished tenth, has now made it to state in two sports, wrestling and now cross country.
“It feels great!” a proud Gessic said. “Wrestling gives me the mentality to keep going through the race no matter how tired I am and to keep working hard and improving.”
Now that Gessic is headed to National Trail Raceway in Hebron on Saturday, he still has one more goal left for this season.
“I want to finish in the top 50 at state this year and then next year set my goals even higher and shoot for the top 10,” Gessic said.
Gessic will be taking his teammates along with him to state, as the Pirates finished second at regionals behind Marlington after capturing the district title last week.
The regional runners-up are rounded out by Dustin Gilbert, Eric Grubaugh, Devin Pritschau, Erik Pritschau, Alex Guthrie and Chris Jordan.
Also headed to state, as an individual, is Edgewood’s Chris Lemay, who just made it in by finishing 15th.
“It feels awesome, it’s just an honor to be going to state and being able to do it while running with my teammates during today’s race,” Lemay said.
Lemay remained consistent throughout the race as he was in the top 20 for the majority of the run.
Despite the less than desirable field conditions, Lemay says he and his teammates weren’t bothered by it.
“It’s like a tradition for us to run on a muddy, rainy field, it’s really fun. We are used to it,” added Lemay.
Lemay also said that he didn’t know he was in the top 16 at the end of the race.
“I just went through the sprint and luckily finished where I did,” he said.
Lemay’s twin brother, Josh, had a strong showing but did not qualify for state. Teammate Derryn Tomsic narrowly missed his shot to race in Hebron, he finished in 20th place with a time of 17:24.
As a team, Edgewood finished in 11th place.
Mathew Kantor, Brandon Scribben and Steven Houser, all of Jefferson, had strong showings as all three finished in the top 50.
Pymatuning Valley senior Drew Wonderling finished his final race 60th with a time of 18:10.
The news was not so good for the lone local girl in Division II, Jefferson’s Colleen O’Connor.
She had a rough outing with a time of 23:18, but will be back next year for her senior season, looking to make a return trip to regionals.
Judeh is a freelance writer from Lake Milton.
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