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Copley boys cross country coach reflects on season

11/22/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COPLEY — First-year Copley High School boys cross country head coach John Roseman said the best word to describe the team’s 2012 season is “progress.”

“I thought we did very well. In fact, we made very good progress,” he said. “The runners had a lot of [personal bests] — a lot of dropping of times and stuff.”

The team, which finished with a dual meet record of 3-5, placed fifth in the conference meet and eighth at the district meet.

“I thought their best race was at the district meet, where they placed eighth and beat some teams they had lost to earlier in the year,” the coach said.

According to Roseman, the team’s top runner was junior Chris Onyak, “who really stepped up and had a great year.”

“Chris Onyak qualified for the regional meet with a 21st-place finish and a time of 17:11.0. Chris placed 33rd at the regional meet with a time of 17:00.3,” he said. “Chris is a kid with a lot of talent. I think he has really just started to realize his potential this year. There was a big improvement in his times this year compared to last year, and I think if he gets a little bit more focused, you’re going to see another big jump next year.”

Two of the team’s top seniors this season, Roseman said, were Kyle Banit and Mitchell Koelner.

“Kyle was a good runner. I would describe him as kind of a free spirit. He did well for us. He had a pretty good district meet. Plus, he was never at a loss for words and he was always upbeat for us at practice,” he said. “The biggest thing with Mitchell was his team leadership. He was probably our best team leader.”

Other key seniors included Andrew Vidalis, Peter Weigand and Jacob Kulas.

“Andrew is a great kid. He made big progress this year. He’s a hard worker,” the coach said. “Peter was a captain and one of my team leaders. And Jacob is a talented runner. He did good for us.”

Other top runners for the team, Roseman said, included sophomores Jacob Davis and Ben Rosenthal.

“Jacob’s a kid with a lot of talent. On the days he would really go at it, he looked great. If he gets more consistent, he’s really going to turn some heads. He’s a really good runner,” the coach said. “Ben is a young runner with some talent. Once he really figures out the mental side of racing, he’s going to be a good one.”

Roseman said the team “started to really come together at the end of the year,” and next year he’s looking “basically just for some improvement.”

“To be honest, we’re pretty young,” he said. “I think this was a season of change, because I do things a little bit differently than what’s been done in the past. But I think as that comes together, and they come into a new season recognizing what is expected of them and what they are capable of, we’ll see improved results. We were in eighth place at [districts] this season, but next season I think you’ll see us making a run at [regionals] as a team.”

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