Bronson Luksza recently joined a rather prestigious club.

The Cuyahoga Falls' junior finished 45th with a time of 16 minutes, 58.1 seconds in the 30-team Division I race of the Galion Cross Country Festival Sept. 17 at Amann Reservoir and Park.

"Bronson broke 17 minutes for the first time in his life," Black Tigers head coach Bob Koch said. "That's a big barrier. It's a fairly exclusive club to be under 17 minutes."

As a team, Falls placed 15th with 409 points in the 30-team Division I race. Olentangy Orange won the competition with 70 points and Hilliard Bradley (116) and Ashland (174) finished second and third, respectively.

"I thought it was a good performance," Koch said. "It was a strong field. None of our freshmen had been in an atmosphere like that before. They stepped up very well."

Olentangy Orange's Hunter Moore won the race with a time of 15:26.2. A total of 212 runners competed.

Others who contributed to Falls' team score were Jack Wilcoxson (64th, 17:14.8), Anthony Nichols (90th, 17:27.3), Thomas Hillyer (105th, 17:40.4) and Jay Wilson (119th, 17:54.9).

"Jack dropped 15 seconds and Anthony dropped 27 seconds," Koch said.

Anthony Sondles (146th, 18:27.8) and Cody Zrelak (176th, 19:26.3) also ran for the Black Tigers.

Since the course at Galion is relatively flat, it's easy to go out a bit too hard to start the race.

Some of the Black Tiger runners couldn't resist the temptation.

"We tried to make too much happen in the first mile," Koch said. "But they finished strong. After the second mile, they were running by people."

In the open race, Falls placed ninth out of 14 teams with 273 points.

Andrew Kuntz led the Black Tigers with a 33rd-place time of 18:24.4.

Rounding out the top five for Falls were Jake Strausser (70th, 19:18.9), Zach Langbein (89th, 19:37.3), Sterling Hanselman (94th, 19:43.8) and Tom Gregory (113th, 20:11.7).

The Black Tigers have a long layoff before their next race. Falls is scheduled to compete at the Columbiana Clipper Invitational Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m.


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