Cuyahoga Falls head girls cross country coach Dan Scourfield said the conditions at the Seneca Tiger Classic last month were the most brutal conditions he had ever witnessed.
He may retract that statement now.
The Lady Black Tigers placed 10th with 271 points in the 11-team Division I race of the Walsh Tomahawk Run Sept. 10 at Walsh Jesuit High School.
Aurora easily won the competition with 36 points and Walsh (85) and Solon (96) finished second and third, respectively.
Like the meet at Seneca, it was extremely hot and humid.
"This race might have been even more brutal than Seneca," Scourfield said. "I think it was more the humidity. It was tough. I was super proud of them for getting through it OK."
Scourfield decided to rest his top runners and give some junior varsity runners a chance to shine.
"We had the same pattern for the last five or six years," he said. "They need a week here and a week there to recharge their batteries. Last year, I didn't do it and we weren't happy with how the season ended."
The second unit certainly made the most of their opportunity.
"You can never tell how a kid is going to respond to adversity," Scourfield said. "Three of them ran PR [personal-record] times. We're not talking a couple of seconds. We're talking 1:30 and almost 2:30."
Solon's Olivia Howell placed first out of 83 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 31 seconds.
Sophomore Alivia Hamrick led the Lady Black Tigers with a 47th-place time of 24:35.
"Alivia really stepped up," Scourfield said. "She and I had a conversation about being No. 1. She responded like a No. 1. I was happy to see that."
Falls' next runner, Zoe King, ran a time of 24:53, breaking her previous PR of 27:03.
"Zoe methodically moved through the field," Scourfield said. "She is one I hope continues to improve. She has a lot of potential in terms of contributing to the varsity team."
Rounding out the top five for the Lady Black Tigers were junior Payton Veto (62nd, 26:04), freshman Kearan Barnett (64th, 26:28) and sophomore Kristica Barnett (66th, 26:37).
Also running for the Lady Black Tigers was freshman Samantha Lamer (75th, 27:40).
"Payton kept them calm before the race since we ran a bunch of new kids," Scourfield said. "Kearan went down from a 28:02 to a 26:28 and Samantha went down from a 29:45 to a 27:40. Both of them stepped up and didn't let the conditions bother them."
Falls was scheduled to run in the Galion Cross Country Festival Sept. 17 at Amann Reservoir and Park. Results were not available at press time.
The Lady Black Tigers are set to run in the Black River Invitational Sept. 24 in Sullivan. The race is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
"The new kids keep getting faster and faster," Scourfield said. "They're getting more comfortable running 5K races."