Firestone boys cross country team earns 11th straight league crown
WEST AKRON — On Oct. 12, the Firestone High School boys cross country team scored its 11th consecutive City Series title.
“It was a good day for us. We kept the streak going, and the kids really did well. We scored 22 points and Ellet was second with 53,” said head coach Tim Carroll. “It was the first time that we’ve had seven kids in the top 10 at the City Series, which is pretty good, and it was one of the faster teams that we’ve had.”
Leading the way for Firestone was senior Quinn Gilbert, who finished second overall in the race and was the top runner for the Falcons.
“Quinn has done well this year,” Carroll said. “He’s real enthusiastic and he shows up every day looking to improve. He has been consistent. He paces well and he really goes after it. He ran his best time of 17:58 [on Oct. 12], and that’s what you want to do in the City Series championship. He came out and he ran his best.”
Right behind Gilbert was junior Harley Moyer, who has overcome a tough injury to score well in the postseason.
“Harley, who is one of our top runners, hurt his ankle at the Boardman Invitational and was out for two weeks or so, and he’s just starting to come back from that,” the coach said. “But he ran great [Oct. 12], and he finished third overall with an 18:09, which is his best time at Goodyear.”
The other Falcons who finished in the top 10 at the City Series championship were: senior Nathan Herr, 18:15; senior Stephen Dubetz, 18:47; sophomore John Bowen, 18:51; senior Jacob Petry 18:56; and junior Jeremy Thomas 19:02.
Overall, Carroll noted, the team has “had its ups and downs” this year, but he said the team is much better now than it was at the start of the season.
“Quinn had his fastest time [on Oct. 12], Harley and Jeremy Tomas ran their best times ever on Goodyear [Heights] Metro Park’s course, Nathan Herr had his best time ever, and Stephen Dubetz and John Bowen both ran their best times ever,” the coach stated. “So the majority of my varsity team just ran either their best time ever or their best time on the course. So I have definitely seen improvement. They excelled at the end of the year and came together to have their best performance in time to win a City title.”
The district meet will take place Oct. 19 at Goodyear Heights Metro Park, and Carroll said he likes where the team is right now, but added he knows they will be challenged.
“The team has really come together at the end of the season,” he said. “I’m hoping to drop our times a little more and place fairly well. Goodyear [Heights] Metro Park is our home course, so the kids know the course well. They’re excited for it. But it’s tough competition. We’re really going to be challenged by some of the top teams in our district, like Hudson, Nordonia, Tallmadge and some of those tough Suburban League schools we’ll have to face.”
Carroll, who is in his fourth year as the team’s coach, said he is confident his athletes will work hard for one another.
“You know, they have good camaraderie,” he said. “They really push each other and they run together. We’ve got a real good family atmosphere going on here.”
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