If the Nordonia High School boys and girls cross country teams wanted to test themselves, then the GlenOak Golden Eagle Invitational was the place to go.
The Knights and Lady Knights kicked off the 2016 season Aug. 27, at the invitational. The Lady Knights finished sixth overall in a field of 12 teams, while the Knights notched a seventh-place finish in a field of 14 squads.
GlenOak finished first on the girls' side in the varsity race with 83 points. Twinsburg also compiled 83 points, but the Lady Tigers placed second. Massillon Jackson was third with 84 points. Nordonia's sixth-place finish brought with it 157 points.
Sophomore Abby Rice led the way for the Nordonia girls. She finished in 19th place overall with a time of 20:59. In addition, junior Lizzy Gurko placed 26th with an effort of 21:10.
Rounding out the top five for the Lady Knights were junior Caroline Lohm (33rd in 21:35), sophomore Kayla Vasarhelyi (36th in 21:47), and sophomore Hannah Hover (43rd in 22:02).
"We have a lot of work to do if we plan on going back to Columbus for the fourth straight year," said Nordonia head coach Mike Martin. "Abby Rice and Kendra Lippincott continue to run well, while Hannah Hover and Caroline Lohm remain steady."
On the boys' side, Louisville claimed the victory with 33 points, followed by Massillon Jackson (82 points) and Brecksville (102 points). Nordonia had 205 points en route to its seventh-place finish.
Senior Tommy Masteller finished in the top 10 for Nordonia in the varsity race, placing eighth with a time of 16:54. Next for the Knights was sophomore Matt Korodi, who was 29th with an effort of 17:37.
Rounding out the top five for the Knights were senior Andrew Wahl (46th in 18:09), sophomore Nick Orzechowski (56th in 18:16), and junior Matthew Gerhart (68th in 18:42).
"Tommy Masteller continues to excel, and Matt Korodi and Andrew Wahl continue to improve," said Martin. "Nick Orzechowski, Matthew Gerhart, and Larry Jenson remain steady, as well."
The Nordonia boys and girls managed to perform even better in the open race than they did in the varsity race, as both the Knights and Lady Knights finished third overall.
Brunswick won the girls open race with a total of 36 points. Chardon was next with 67 points, and Nordonia compiled 73 points.
Sophomore Ava Gravino captured first place overall in the open race with a time of 22:27, while junior Kayla Buck was fifth with an effort of 22:56. In addition, junior Amanda Westbrooks finished 18th (23:41), sophomore Claire Parker placed 21st (23:51), and senior Arden Dalzell was 28th (24:11).
Cleveland St. Ignatius won the boys open race with 22 points. Massillon Jackson was next with 49 points, and Nordonia placed third with 117 points.
Freshman Jayden Wimbush led the way for Nordonia in the open race, finishing second overall with a time of 18:43. In addition, freshman Jeff Sajovie placed 18th, producing an effort of 19:28. Rounding out the top five for the Knights were freshman Aidan Wells (20:08), junior Danial Moore (20:21), and sophomore Jason Lewicki (20:35).
On Sept. 3, Nordonia will compete in the Suburban League Super Duals at the new course at Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton. First race is set for 9 a.m.