They had been tearing their legs up for about a month.

Now it's time for the Cuyahoga Falls girls cross country to ease things up a little bit.

And fortunately for the Lady Black Tigers, all the energy they used to get to this point is paying off.

It sure did Sept. 17.

Falls finished 14th in the 25-team Division I race at the Galion Cross Country Festival at Amann Reservoir and Park.

Olentangy Liberty won the competition with 84 points and Sandusky Watkins Memorial (91) and Troy (122) placed second and third, respectively.

"I'm pretty happy with how they ran," Lady Black Tigers head coach Dan Scourfield said. "Their times are ahead of where they had been. We're always looking for our girls to improve.

"They are right near the end of their training. They had some difficult days of training and are running on bad legs. I certainly wasn't expecting world-class times."

Olentangy Orange's Allison Guagenti finished first out of 168 runners with a time of 18 minutes, 44.5 seconds.

Kayla Huffman led the Lady Black Tigers with a 33rd-place and personal-best clocking of 20:30.9.

Rounding out the top five for Falls were Emily Zimmerman (53rd, 20:52.4), Anna Johnston (95th, personal-best 21:53.5), Valerie Deighton (110th, personal-best 22:13) and Melody Lewis (113th, season-best 22:15.3).

Also running for the Lady Black Tigers were Meredith Gallagher (131st, personal-best 23:09) and Chelsea Huffman (152nd, 24:54.4).

"Chelsea had an off-day," Scourfield said. "She struggled a little bit. Emily ran all right -- not great."

Falls finished 19th out of 23 teams with 529 points in the open race.

Alivia Hamric led the Lady Black Tigers with a 79th-place and personal-best time of 23:06.9.

Others who contributed to Falls' team score were Payton Veto (141st, 23:59.3), Zoe King (155th, personal-best 24:06.7), Kristica Barnett (232nd, 25:15.7) and Sarah Jones (240th, 25:20.6).

Now that the training is just about over, Scourfield plans to make workouts a bit easier as the latter portion of the season draws near.

"It's going to lighten up," he said. "They should start to feel better this week. It was a good test for the girls. They ran against some good competition. They're still growing."

The Lady Black Tigers were scheduled to run in the Black River Invitational Sept. 24. Results were not available at press time.

Kayla and Chelsea Huffman, Zimmerman, Johnston and Deighton are set to run in the Paul Primeau Invitational Sept. 30 at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills. Racing is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

The rest of the Falls' runners are set to run at the Columbiana Clipper Invitational Oct. 1 at 11:45 a.m.


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