"Improvement" is the name of the game in cross country, and the Nordonia High School boys and girls runners are showing that improvement during the early part of the 2016 season.
That improvement was on display at the Tiffin Carnival Meet at Hedges Boyer Park in Tiffin. The Nordonia boys placed sixth in a field of 34 teams in the Division I Varsity B race.
Senior Tommy Masteller finished third overall in the varsity race with a time of 16:58, while sophomore Matt Korodi was 13th with an effort of 17:24. Rounding out the top five for the Knights were freshman Jayden Wimbush (49th in 18:10), sophomore Nick Orzechowski (60th in a season-best 18:17), and sophomore Tyler Mosher (64th in a personal-best 18:19).
In addition, junior Matthew Gerhart finished in 91st place with a time of 18:39. Freshman Jeff Sajovie placed 105th with a personal-best effort of 18:47 to complete the varsity squad's effort.
The Nordonia girls, on the other hand, placed 11th in a field of 31 teams, despite the absence of a few varsity runners (sophomore Abby Rice, sophomore Gina Eterovich, and junior Carmen Licht).
"Junior Kayla Buck and sophomore Ava Gravino did an outstanding job in the varsity race replacing the varsity runners who could not participate," said Nordonia head coach Mike Martin.
Buck and Gravino both ran personal-best times. Buck finished in 100th place (21:11), while Gravino was 150th (22:08).
Sophomore Kayla Vasarhelyi led the way for Nordonia by finishing in 32nd place (20:03). Junior Lizzy Gurko was next, placing 40th with a time of 20:14. Junior Caroline Lohm finished in 51st place with a season-best time of 20:23.
Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Knights were freshman Hannah Hover (86th in 20:56) and junior Kendra Lippincott (87th in 20:57).
"Hannah and Kendra both ran personal-best times, cracking the 21-minute barrier for the first time in their careers," said Martin.
The Nordonia boys and girls also competed in the Suburban League Super Duals on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Silver Creek Metro Park.
The Lady Knights were 5-2 in the Super Duals, leaving them an outside opportunity to win the Suburban League. The Knights, on the other hand, went 2-5.
Junior Lizzy Gurko led the way for Nordonia, finishing 16th with a time of 20:32. Vasarhelyi was next in 20th place with an effort of 20:37. Rounding out the top five for the Lady Knights were Eterovich (28th in 20:52), Lohm (29th in 20:54), and Rice (30th in 20:54).
Masteller finished 10th for Nordonia with a time of 16:54, while Korodi placed 34th in 17:33. The rest of the top five for the Knights were Wimbush (45th in 17:59), Orzechowski (48th in 18:02), and Gerhart (82nd in 18:45).
On Sept. 17, the Knights and Lady Knights will compete in the Spartan Invitational at Boardman. Boys varsity race will be a 1 p.m. while the girls will be at 2 p.m.