It was a steamy night on the running course for the Woodridge cross country program, but both teams went undefeated in league action, led by a red-hot Bulldog girls team that was on a mission.
With temperatures on the cusp of 90 degrees, the Portage Trail Conference Super Duals at Mogadore's Wingfoot Lake State Park Tuesday reminded runners that summer is still here.
The Bulldog boys won easily 20-89 over Field, followed by Lodi Cloverleaf (110) and Crestwood (112). Even without stalwart runner Riley Galehouse (hamstring), Woodridge was 14-0.
Head coach Jeff Howard's saw his girls team impress and go 13-0 by sending a message with a resounding 27-114 win over second-place Crestwood.
Last year, the girls were upended by a strong Cloverleaf unit. This time around, the Colts were fifth (139).
"The cross country program secured one-third of the Portage Trail Conference Championships as they swept the Super Duals," said Howard. "Our state-ranked girls team avenged a 2018 loss to Cloverleaf with an 87-point victory."
Fresh off a brilliant showing at the recent 29th annual Bruce Lerch Invitational Sept. 7 in Broadview Heights, the Woodridge girls continue to improve.
Izzy Best was crowned champion at the Super Duals out of 119 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 58.9 seconds.
"Izzy ran outstanding for the win," said Howard, of the sophomore.
Other good races by the Woodridge girls were turned in by senior Libby Howard (fourth) and junior Anastasia Bakuhn (fifth). Howard crossed in 21:11.8 and Bakuhn's time was 21:15.
Junior Elise Carey and sophomore Leighton Kline crushed their 2018 times this year.
"Anastasia, Elise, Leighton, and Leah (Stanfield) ran extremely well in the Bulldogs top seven," pointed out Howard.
With a time of 21:49.9, Carey beat her time last year by 91 seconds while Kline crushed her 2018 mark by almost three full minutes. Her time was 21:52.5. Carey was eighth and Kline, ninth.
Running 11th was Leah Stanfield, who crossed in 22:06.7, followed by a superb race by Anna Wojcik, who was 13th in 22:07.6. Rosie Sterling ran 17th in 22:18.5, Leah Ziegler, 19th in 22:25, Joy McFarland, 22nd in 22:41.4, and Thaila Johnston was 28th in 22:52.4.
Pacing the undefeated boys was senior Micah Blair, who crossed second overall out of 161 runners with a time of 16:32.5.
"Micah paced five Bulldogs in the top six of the race with his second-place finish," said the mentor. "Andrew and Ryan Lauck had outstanding races in our top seven."
Finishing in the top five was junior Zayd Elkurd, junior Andrew Lauck, and sophomore Aaron Dutt, who were third, fourth, and fifth.
Elkurd bettered his 2018 time by 38 seconds with a mark of 17:14.7.
With a time of 17:18.8, Lauck was a whopping 47 seconds faster than he was in last fall's race.
Dutt's time was 17:31.8, just edging senior brother Sam Dutt, who ran sixth in 17:32.8. Junior Ryan Champa was eighth in 17:46.2.
Finishing 10th overall was junior Ryan Lauck, who was timed at 18:04.8.
Senior Reece Mercer was 38 ticks faster than his 2018 race with an 18:28.2, good for 22nd overall, followed by Will Holland (18:35.5).
"Will, Liam Kiley, Victor Torres, and Augustus Neitenbach all had outstanding races as well," said Howard.
Neitenbach was a full two minutes faster in this year's race.
Woodridge placed five runners in the top 12 spots to win the boys team title at the Brecksville Bruce Lerch Invitational.
"The boys ran extremely well to grab a convincing victory at the Bruce Lerch Invitational," said the coach.
Woodridge netted 31 team points to easily beat Division I clubs from Brecksville (100), Brunswick (123), and Aurora (145).
"Blair, Champa, and Elkurd each finished in the top five while brothers Aaron and Sam Dutt finished 10th and 12th to complete the scoring," said Howard. "Twin brothers Andrew and Ryan Lauck rounded out the varsity seven."
Blair was the runner-up to Aurora's Matt Singleton (16:14.9) with a time of 16:35.1.
Champa ran third with a clocking of 16:44.1, followed by Elkurd, who was fifth in 17:00.4.
Taking ninth place was Aaron Dutt (17:10.2), Sam Dutt was 12th (17:12.8), Andrew
Lauck 18th (17:34.9), and Ryan Lauck, 21st (17:56.5).
In girls varsity action at Brecksville, Woodridge had some of their best action of the season.
"The girls ran their best race of the fall to earn a win," Howard said. "Great grouping allowed the group to best a number of the better programs in northeast Ohio."
It was a group effort as Woodridge nine runners in the top 46 spots of a deep field.
"I thought that Johnston and Kline were the best 5-6 runners in the field while Anna Wojcik and Evelyn Willett rounded out the varsity," added Howard.
Placing seventh overall, Best crossed in 20:23.4.
Howard ran ninth in 21:00.6, followed by Bakuhn, who was 13th (21:16.3), Carey 20th (21:30.6), Sterling 27th (21:56.8), Johnston 30th (22:05.4), Kline 31st (22:05.9), Wojcik 33rd (22:12), and Willett was 46th (22:31.2).