It was a meet of firsts when Twinsburg's cross country program opened the season with the first meet at the Solon’s "Run, Comet, Run" Invitational.
For starters, it was the first annual meet by Solon as the Twinsburg girls team placed first out of eight teams and boys senior Ryan Adkins placed first overall for the runner up Tiger-boys Saturday at Cleveland MetroParks Polo Fields in Moreland Hills.
Veteran Twinsburg head coach Sarah Kmet was pleased overall as the Tigers got those first-race jitters out of the way.
"The girls won and it was a tight team race, and the girls beat some quality teams from Solon, Chagrin Falls, Mayfield and Nordonia," Kmet said.
Twinsburg won 58-60 and edged Chagrin Falls, Mayfield (71), Nordonia (79), and Solon (81).
Adkins was impressive as he captured the boys individual championship with a time of 16 minutes, and 20.9 seconds. He easily beat Solon's Logan Esper (16:46.8).
Last fall, Esper finished ahead of Adkins in the state meet. He was 20th in Ohio and Adkins was 24th in Division I.
"The boys finished second to Solon, but Ryan Adkins cruised to an easy victory, besting the field by 26 seconds," said a thrilled Kmet.
For the youthful Lady Tigers, junior Alyssa Deeds paced the team as she placed a strong third overall with a time of 20:14.5.
"Alyssa finished third despite losing a shoe in the mud about halfway though the race," Kmet explained. "Overall, it was a good opening effort for the ladies."
Junior Rebecca Mold ran eighth overall with a time of 20:58.7.
Experienced senior Angela DeFabio ran 11th overall behind a clocking of 21:14.4 and sophomore Katie Vasiliauskas ran 16th in 22:00.7.
A trio of juniors ran next for the Tigers – Desha Perera (20th, 22:23.1), April Dale (27th, 22:41.7), and Annabelle Dolney (28th, 2:49.4).
Some of the other top girls were freshman Ava Turner (34th, 23:15), freshman Morgan Peeden (45th, 23:50.3), and senior Brittany Bober (47th, 24:04.4).
"Next week at league's Super Duals the girls will face even stiffer competition, but having shaken off the rust this week, I expect some even better racing from them," Kmet said.
Twinsburg will open league action at the Suburban League Super Duals Sept. 1 at Silvercreek Metro Park in Norton.
For the boys, Adkins got huge support from freshman sensation Aiden Cain, who ran third overall in 16:56.1.
"Aiden had a fantastic high school debut while Carson Albright, Darren Robinson, Brian Nesic and Christian Harsa all showed big improvements over this week last year," Kmetpointed out.
Albright finished 20th overall at Solon as the senior registered a time of 18:09.9.
Placing 26th and 27th, respectively, was Robinson and Nesic. Robinson is a junior who was timed at 18:48.8 and Nesic is a sophomore, who crossed in 18:49.4.
A trio of Tiger juniors finished next – Will Corbin (32nd, 19:09.2), Harsa (33rd, 19:11), and Ethan Golnick (34th, 19:15.3).
"I really liked what I saw out of Will Corbin and his debut, as well," Kmet added. "I am really looking forward to getting this group to reach their potential."
Seniors Arty Jindra and Marco Nesic also contributed. Jindra ran 59th (19:57) and Marco Nesic was 79th (20:31).
Twinsburg will also prep for the Brecksville Bruce Lerch Invitational Sept. 8.