MADISON — Area cross country teams went head to head with quality competition from all over northeastern Ohio on Saturday morning at the U Wanna Come Back Invitational.
Madison High School boys cross country coach Jeremy Verdi said many teams come to the meet to prepare for the district meet to be held in several weeks at Madison High School.
“Teams from big school power houses, like Mentor and Stow, came to town to get a feel for the course and prepare for the important meets to come. “There is something special when you come in the morning ... and you see hundreds of runners,” he said.
Edgewood’s Granison Hill led all area performers with a sixth-place finish in a time of 16:43 in the boys varsity race. He paced his team to a seventh-place finish in the team standings. Geneva’s Alex Kollhoff finished ninth at 16:55, helping the Eagles to a sixth-place team finish.
Edgewood acting cross country coach Luke Stecki said Hill ran a good race and Brandon Wetherbee had a big day for the Warriors.
Geneva boys and girls coach Emily Long said she likes to keep the district meet a special surprise and not compete on the course prior to the big event, but transportation challenges led to the team’s coming this year.
The Eagles girls team placed seventh in the team standings.
“That is the first time Renee [Tetlow] has PR’ed since she was a freshman,” Long said of the senior. Tetlow and teammate Mya Evangelista both broke 20 minutes, running 19:59 followed closely by Grace Dubsky at 20:09.
“I think it is going to give them a positive burst into districts,” Long said.
The Edgewood girls team faced a difficult challenge and finished 10th out of 21 teams. Lead runner Maddie Crooks was removed from the course at the one and a quarter mile mark with a knee problem, Stecki said. He said the removal was a coach’s decison.
He said the Warriors are focused on trying to get to Columbus for the state meet.
Madison’s girls team finished 12th. Taylor Hennessey led the way in a time of 21:01. The Blue Streaks boys’ squad claimed 10th as four runners packed close together, including Brayden White 18:01; Noah Anderson 18:18; Izaiah Siler, 18:25 and Daniel Frager 18:43.
Pymatuning Valley’s girls, led by Josie Miller with a time of 21:05, posted 14th. Mason Summers, with a time of 18:28, paced the Lakers boys team to also capture 14th.
Lakeside’s boys team finished 16th. Thurston Shaw ran a 18:14 to lead the way. The Dragons girls squad had only four runners complete the course. Alexis Ricket led the way with a time of 26:40.