Members of the Tallmadge boys cross country team have been doing some serious "scouting" lately.
"They’ve really stepped up and started to do a lot of research on who they’re running against and what the competition is going to be like, which is definitely a positive," Blue Devils head coach Jeremy Huth said. "They’re educating themselves about the sport."
This new strategy seemed to help Saturday in the Suburban League Super Duals at Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton. Tallmadge finished 3-3 in the American Conference with wins over Revere (24-37), Barberton (15-50) and Kent Roosevelt (15-50) and losses to Copley (23-34), Highland (15-45) and Aurora (23-32).
"Instead of just running on instinct, the boys were running on who was around them," Huth said. "Even though I was a little disappointed because we typically don’t run well at the Super Duals, I think we can compete with a couple of these schools that beat us, Aurora and Copley."
Overall individually, Adam Beucler of Hudson won the race with a time of 16 minutes, 16 seconds. A total of 129 runners competed.
Blue Devils’ senior Zach Brown finished 32nd overall with a time of 17:56.
"Zach wanted to be in the top 10 in the American Conference, and I think he was 12th or 13th," Huth said. "It was probably not the performance he wanted overall, but it was nice to see him step up. He had a great race.
"That was a pretty good time on a pretty tough course on a pretty tough, hot day."
Sophomore Tommy Naiman finished 49th with a time of 18:20.
"It was probably not Tommy’s best performance," Huth said. "I know his expectations were a little higher than he finished.
"I told him after the meet, ‘Every race, you’re going to learn what worked and what didn’t. You need to run more on feel.’
"I think he overanalyzed who he should be running with. After the first mile, those guys weren’t in site and I think he freaked out a little bit."
Senior Alex Krukemeyer finished 54th with a time of 18:26 and sophomore Ben Jurkowski took 59th with a clocking of 18:37.
"Alex didn’t run last year, but ran for us his first two years," Huth said. "He has been improving each week. He’s a very dedicated, consistent runner and it’s showing. To be our No. 3 guy is very impressive.
"Ben is getting a lot of great experience and continues to improve week by week."
Senior Nick Sabetta finished 67th with a time of 18:50.