Cross country teams prepare for Malone Invitational
By Jeff Gorman
CANTON — Several local cross country teams will run at the Malone Invitational Sept. 23.
The boys and girls teams from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (CVCA) will race at Malone, as well as the girls teams from Green, Highland and Manchester high schools. All five teams competed at the Spartan Invitational in Boardman Sept. 16.
The CVCA boys placed fourth at Boardman, trailing only Woodridge, Canal Winchester and Canton Central Catholic high schools among Division II high schools.
That finish is consistent with the Royals’ season so far, as CVCA has finished fourth at the McDonald Invitational, fourth at the Hoover Invitational and fifth at the Walsh Invitational against Division I schools.
“We moved up to the [Division] I race so we could compete against Walsh,” said Royals Coach Rick Lyons “We were interested in how we would do against them.”
Walsh finished seventh. The only Division II school to defeat CVCA in that race was Aurora High School.
The Royals placed first in the PAC-7 Super Duals, which is worth 40 percent of the league championship. CVCA scored a narrow victory over Triway High School.
“We have a young team,” said Lyons. “We have one senior (Gordon Grob) who consistently runs on varsity, and our top runner is a sophomore (Kyle Sullinger). We have a great bunch of freshmen who are running in the 17- and 18-minute range.”
One of those freshmen, Ross Crocker, joined Sullinger in the top 25 at the Spartan Invitational.
The CVCA girls finished in third place in the Division III race at the Spartan meet, trailing only Gilmour Academy and Woodridge.
Sophomore Katie Gilespie led the Lady Royals with a ninth-place finish. Sophomore Carolyn Case and freshman Ana Lewison also placed in the top 25.
“We should have finished second at least,” said George Hallis, the CVCA girls coach. “We’ve beaten Woodridge a couple of times in the past.
“The good news is that we raced against the teams we need to beat to get to state,” he added. “If you take out the top four teams, the fifth team was 100 points behind.”
Other top runners for the Lady Royals include senior Kate McRoberts, sophomore Brianna Jones and senior Bailey Teague.
The Green girls team placed 19th among the Division I schools. Freshman Lauren Buser was the top finisher for the Lady Bulldogs, as she finished in 31st place.
Manchester took 36th place in the Division II race. Junior Mindy King led the Lady Panthers by finishing 38th.