Showcasing the rugged hills at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Woodridge cross country looked sharp at the 34th annual CVNP Invitational.

Jeff Howard's loaded boys squad dominated with 45 points to win the meet Sept. 29.

The Bulldogs beat Brecksville (110) and also defending Division I state champion Hudson (131), which used an alternate lineup.

Woodridge, ranked third in Ohio's latest OATCCC Division II state poll, also finished ahead of Fort Loramie (159) and Nordonia (179) in the 28-team field. Fort Loramie is a Division III power, ranked third most recently.

In girls' action, the Lady Bulldogs placed third out of 17 schools with 89 points and plenty of strong times.

Howard was pleased with both teams.

"The boys team ran well on the hills of Pine Hollow," he said. "The Bulldogs placed seven runners in the top 25 of the varsity race to secure a comfortable win."

Junior Micah Blair ran second with a time of 17 minutes, 19.0 seconds. Blair was second out of 230 runners.

Only New Philadelphia's Aidan Harr beat Blair. Harr repeated as individual champion with a time of 16:55.8.

"Micah Blair led the way with a second-place finish," said Howard.

Sophomore Ryan Champa also excelled for the Bulldogs as he finished fifth in 17:44.

"Ryan (Champa), Riley Galehouse, Zayd Elkurd, and Sam Dutt completed the team scoring in the varsity," noted the mentor.

A junior, Galehouse placed 11th overall with a clocking of 18:09. Sophomore Zayd Elkurd wasn't far behind as he was 13th in 18:14.

Junior Sam Dutt crossed 14th for Woodridge with a time of 18:14.

Seniors Ryan Kiley and Andy Muha also stood out.

Kiley finished 16th overall with a time of 18:21 while Muha was 21st†in 18:33.

Also running for the Bulldogs and placing 25th-overall was senior Nedal Elkurd (18:44.4), freshman Aaron Dutt (29th in 18:48.1), and sophomore Andrew Lauck (46th in 19:13.9).

In girls' action, Fort Loramie won 56-74 over Poland Seminary. Woodridge also finished ahead of Mayfield (102), Brecksville (115), Nordonia (134), and Hudson (189).

The 18th-ranked Lady Bulldogs were competitive with state ranked clubs and Division I programs. Hudson is ranked seventh in Division I and ran with many JV athletes. Poland Seminary is ranked 13th in Division II while Fort Loramie is fourth in Division III.

Howard was pleased with his young squad, paced by freshman Izzy Best.

Best led the Woodridge charge as he ran 10th in 21:42.

"Izzy grabbed a top ten finish to pace the Bulldog team to a third-place finish," Howard said. "The girls had a break out performance on the hills of their home course."

Sophomore Anastasia Bakuhn placed 16th in 22:54 while junior Rosie Sterling also impressed with a 23rd-place effort in 23:07.

Veteran seniors Jenna Kaiser and Sarah Frederick ran next for Woodridge.

Kaiser was 25th with a clocking of 23:12 while Frederick was 33rd in 23:38. Junior Leah Stanfield was 42nd in 23:55, followed by sophomore Anna Wojcik, who was 46th†in 24:06.

"Anastasia Bakuhn, Rosie Sterling, Jenna Kaiser, and Sarah Frederick rounded out the scoring five on the varsity," proclaimed Howard. "Leah Stanfield and Anna Wojcik continue to run well to provide depth."

In JV action, the Lady Bulldogs won team honors 64-71 over Kent Roosevelt.

Woodridge was led by Ellie Kleinhenz (seventh, 28:45), Elise Carey (13th, 28:59), Leighton Kline (14th, 28:59), Evelyn Willett (16th, 29:09), Delaney Duve (18th, 29:12), Alyssa Kropff (33rd, 29:42), and Catie Meehan (48th, 29:59).

The boys team also won the JV team title 35-46 over Hudson.

Leaders for the boys were Ryan Lauck (runner up in 19:14), Greg Muha (fourth, 19:22), Andrew Shaheen (seventh, 20:02), Marvin Montgomery (ninth, 20:08), Christian Jenkins (13th, 20:13), Caden Hibbs (14th, 20:15), and Reece Mercer (20th, 20:31).

Woodridge also grabbed wins at the recent Golden Spike Invitational at Field High Sept. 25.

"Zayd Elkurd grabbed his first high school win as the boys dominated the field winning by more than 60 points," said Howard.

"A late push by Anastasia Bakuhn helped the girls steal a 1-point victory from the host Falcons," said the coach

"Leah Stanfield and Anna Wojcik continue to close up on the Bulldog lead group each week as well."

Woodridgw was set to run at the Stow Bulldog Invitational Saturday.

The Portage Trail Conference Championships are set for Oct. 13 at the Randolph Fairgrounds.