The Spartan Invitational at Boardman attracts some of the best cross country programs In Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Because the course at Boardman is the same one used the for Northeast Ohio regional meet, it’s natural that top-level teams want to try out the course in midseason. 

Such a daunting field would make life tough for the young Nordonia cross country teams Saturday.

The Knight boys finished 19th in the Division I boys race at Boardman with 489 points. Louisville won the Division I boys title with 124 points. 

Meanwhile, the Knight girls struggled, finishing 32nd in the 35-team Division I girls race with 855 points. North Allegheny (Pa.) won the Division I girls title with 124 points.

The highlight of the day for Nordonia was the performance of senior Jaden Wimbush.

Running a historically slow course at Boardman, Wimbush was able to get a top 15 finish, taking 15th place in 16:40.4. Wimbush came in with a pack of about 20 runners that came in behind the leaders.

Uniontown Lake’s Nathan Moore won the Division I boys race in 15:46.

Behind Wimbush, freshman Chris Turner turned in a solid performance, finishing in 82nd place in 17:46.9 in his first run at Boardman. Senior Jeff Sajovie finshed 99th in 17:54.7.

Sophomore Alex Bye (151st, 18:27.6) and junior Nathan Lahrmer (161st, 18:33.5) rounded out the scoring runs for Nordonia. Sophomore Jacob Colbert (180th, 18:43.9), senior Scott McCabe (191st, 18:48.9), junior Robert Wolf (192nd, 18:49), junior Evan White (216th, 19:08.1) also ran the varsity race at Boardman.

For the young Nordonia girls team, Boardman proved to be a meat grinder.

No. 1 running Austimn Westbrooks was the only Knight to break the top 100 in the Division I girls race. The junior finished 51st in 20:50.2.

Brunswick’s Emily Bardwell won the Division I girls race in 18:31.

Beyond Westbrooks, Nordonia was shuffled to the back of the pack. Junior Mikayla Bell finished 188th in 23:16.7, while junior Grace Heiser was 221st in 24:00.9.

Freshmen Leah Lammers (235th, 24:27.5) and Meg Picoult (262nd, 25:48.6) rounded out the scoring runs, while sophomore Kylie Frantantonio (264th, 26:00.1) also ran the varsity race.

Up next for Nordonia is the Fleet Feet Invitational at Strongsville Saturday. First race is 10 a.m.

Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, or @MLeonard_GHO