The top three runners seem to be in midseason form.
As for the others?
Well, let’s just say Cuyahoga Falls head girls cross country coach Dan Scourfield needs a bit more.
The Lady Black Tigers finished sixth with 160 points at the eight-team Green Bulldog Invitational last Saturday at Boettler Park in Uniontown. Wadsworth, a Suburban League National Conference rival, won the competition with 30 points.
Lady Grizzly freshman phenom Clare Nicholas placed first out of 71 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 50 seconds.
Scourfield was pleased with the performances of Meredith Gallagher (14th, 21:35), Elsa Lowry (33rd, 22:39) and Melody Lewis (41st, 23:17).
"The first three ran really well," Scourfield said. "Meredith was eight seconds of her PR [personal record].
"Elsa is really going to help us once she learns how to run a 5K and I’m really happy with Melody. She hasn’t run competitively in more than year because of a broken ankle."
The veteran Falls coach is hoping to see more black and gold near these three ladies’ shoulders in the future.
"The middle of the pack needs to get closer to the front of the pack," Scourfield said. "They looked like they were coasting. They didn’t look like they were competing and moving up."
Rounding out the top five for the Lady Black Tigers were Valerie Deighton (45th, 23:26) and Zoe King (49th, 23:51).
Kelsey Mayes was Falls’ sixth runner with a personal-best time of 23:58. Olivia Smith was next for the Lady Black Tigers (24:14).
"Kelsey has the background of a sprinter," Scourfield said. "Olivia had a good day."
Scourfield also was impressed with sophomore Kara Herman and freshman Ana Crangle, who placed 13th and 17th, respectively, in the open race.
"Kara has improved by leaps and bounds," Scourfield said. "She performed well enough to run on varsity."
Falls will have to run faster times in the fourth and fifth spots if it wants to make a serious impact in upcoming races.
Fortunately, Scourfield’s younger runners are growing up fast and are pushing the veterans to lower their times.
"The new ones are only going to get better," Scourfield said. "Once they figure it out, they will push the pack."
The Lady Black Tigers are scheduled to compete in the Suburban League Super Duals Saturday at Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton. Racing is set to begin at 9 a.m.
"Everybody is facing Hudson," Scourfield said. "Everybody but Hudson should be fairly competitive. We’re going after whoever is the seventh challenger."
Falls is scheduled to run at the Pat Ritchie Invitational Sept. 8 at Walsh Jesuit High School. Racing is set to begin at 9 a.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.