The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

August 21, 2012

Mentor wins War on the Shore; five teams finish within five points of second

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — The Mentor B squad ran away with the War on the Shore. But things got really interesting after that Monday on the hills of Lake Shore Park.

The Cardinals packed their top five in the first 13 overall finishers, out of 140 competitors.

Lakeside’s Brandon Lopez ran away with the boys’ championship with a time of 17:46 over the difficult course that included two stretches of sand running and numerous hills.

After Bill Dennison’s team ran away with the team trophy, the next four teams finished within five points.

Jefferson finished in second place with 89 points, followed by Lakeside with 90, Madison with 94 and Edgewood with 94. That’s about as close as a cross country meet can get leading to some interesting rematches later in the season.

“I thought we ran real well this afternoon,” Jefferson boys cross country coach Steve Locy said.

The Falcons are coming off a trip to the state championship meet last year. He said the team is experienced and has lost several key components but some of the team did have experience all the way to the state meet.

Locy was especially happy with Matt Kantor’s second-place finish in a time of 18:16.

“I think he ran a very smart race. He’s worked very hard, not only running wise but his upper body. I think he has unlimited potential,” Locy said.

Locy said assistant coach T.J. Furman is handling most of the work relating to the boys team.

“They trust Coach Furman carrying on what John’s (retired coach Patterson) done,” he said.

Kantor was just trying to run a good race.

“I felt pretty good. I went out and ran my race. I wasn’t trying to get second but I did,” Kantor said.

The Falcons remaining top five finishers were Brandon Scribben, 17th in 19:19, Andrew Picard, 18th in 19:20, Steven Houser, 23rd in 19:38 and Nick Hiltz, 33rd in 20:02.

Lopez, who won the War on the Shore last year, said he felt controlled the entire race.

“I tried to stay relaxed on the flat (portions of the course) so I wouldn’t burn out,” Lopez said.

Lopez said he made his break at the top of the first set of hills (about a half mile into the race).

“I kind of went the same pace and they slowed down,” he said.

Lakeside coach Greg Zannelli said he was very happy with most of the runners performances.

“Hopefully we can use this as an inspiration,” he said.

Madison and Lakeside have been battling it out for several years and appear to be ready to do so again.

 “For the last few years it’s been Madison,” Lopez said of the four-point differential over the Blue Streaks.

Madison coach Jeremy Verdi said he had sub-par races from his first and fourth runners, but overall it was a good experience. He said his top seven took 4:20 off of last year’s performance. He said it was great to see 140 boys complete the race.

“We had some good and some bad,” Edgewood coach Steve Hill. “The first two (Derryn Tomsic in fourth place in 18:33 and Chris Lemay in fifth place in 18:38) ran extremely well.”

Edgewood junior Cory Stewart ran a PR on a very difficult course finishing 15h in 19:18.

Josh Lemay was 36th in 20:13 for the Warriors and was followed by Tyler Pocsics in 42nd with a time of 20:39.

The Dragons remaining top five were Brady Bunnell in ninth place in 19:04, William Taggart, 22nd in 19:33, Grant Dalton, 30th in 19:59 and Caleb Henery in 34th with a time of 20:05.

The Blue Streaks’ Willie Rendek finished third in 18:29 followed by Patrick Dorrough in 10th in 19:05, Nick Farnsworth was 27th in 19:45, Zack Byrne was 32nd in 20:02 and Jason Ryan was 35th in 20:08.

The Pymatuning Valley Lakers finished in seventh place with Drew Wonderling finishing 12th in 19:12, Chet Mientkiewicz 20th in 19:30, Corry Mientkiewicz 28th in 19:48, Jackson Bogardus 49th in 21:07 and Kurtis Kovalek 57th in 21:25.

Zannelli, who doubled as race planner, said he is happy with how the race went and the addition of teams, including Akron Firestone that made the trip.

“I was happy with the way the race went, the behavior of the runners and Mother Nature,” he said.

Firestone coach Tim Carroll said he was looking for a different race to kick off the year and thought it would be fun to come to a meet on the shores of Lake Erie.

“We liked it (but) it’s a tough course,” he said.

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