In a showcase regular season meet that is one of the largest cross country meets around, Woodridge flashed its talented at the 34th annual Boardman Spartan Invitational.

Longtime head coach Jeff Howard had plenty to say about his boys team championship and his girls' runner-up effort.

"The boys ran really well to best 43 schools and win the Boardman Spartan Invitational," he said. "The meet featured teams from Pennsylvania and West Virginia and in addition to winning the Division two race, the boys earned the ‘King of the Hill' award for the best five-man average of the day.

"This included teams from Ohio and Pennsylvania's returning big-division state champions," said Howard.

The Woodridge girls squad also stood out in a deep field.

"Our girls cross country team knocked off a few state-ranked teams on their way to a second-place finish," said Howard.

Grove City (Pa.) tried to match up with the Bulldogs top three boys finishers, but couldn't. Woodridge had a tight 50.1 second split.

Posting 33 points, Woodridge beat Grove City (117) as well as Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (203), Salem (211), Poland Seminary (250) and Greensburg-Salem {Pa), which was at 292.

"Micah Blair ran well to finish second overall," noted Howard, of his stalwart senior. "Ryan Champa, Zayd Elkurd, Sam Dutt, Aaron Dutt, and Andrew Lauck all finished in the top 11."

Blair was just edged by Grove City senior star Tobias Jones as Blair was timed at 16 minutes, and 10.6 seconds. Jones was at 16:07 while Blair also beat Salem senior Chris Hunter (16:13.2).

With a strong clocking of 16:26.4, Champa ran fourth overall as the junior has great experience. Elkurd, another junior, ran eighth in 16:42.6.

Sam Dutt is a senior who finished ninth overall in 16:57.6, followed by sophomore brother, Aaron Dutt, who was 10th in 17:00.6, just in front of Lauck, who was 11th overall at 17:01.8.

"Ryan Lauck (a junior) and Reece Mercer (senior) completed the varsity squad and finished 40th (17:53.2) and 69th (18:17.7) in the field of 339 finishers," said Howard.

St. Vincent-St. Mary won the girls team crown, 53-119 over Woodridge and Poland Seminary (137) and Minerva (140).

"Izzy Best and Libby Howard led the way with top-10 finishes for the girls," emphasized the coach.

Best is just a sophomore as she raced sixth overall with a clocking of 20:14.5.

Libby Howard crossed ninth overall with a time of 20:19.

Junior Anastasia Bakuhn ran 23rd overall with a time of 20:59.8.

"Anastasia continued her outstanding fall with a 23rd place finish while Elise Carey and Leighton Kline rounded out the scoring five," said Howard. "Anna Wojcik, Rosie Sterling, and Leah Stanfield made up the rest of the varsity squad."

A junior, Carey was 40th with a clocking of 21:46.2, Kline was 41st as the sophomore crossed in 21:46.9, and Wojcik ran 43rd as the junior was timed at 21:51.5.

Sterling and Stanfield are both seniors. Sterling was 46th in 21:58.9 and Stanfield ran 86th in 22:55.

"In the JV race, Woodridge runners dominated the field," Howard said. "Thalia Johnston, Leah Ziegler, Joy McFarland, Allison Palm, and Ellie Kleinhenz finished second through sixth in the field. Catie Meehan also finished in a strong ninth place."

Woodridge boys also dominated JV action.

"The boys JV competition was equally impressive as Bulldog runners took the top seven spots in the race," said Howard.

"Caden Hibbs ran well to win and was chased across the line by Peter LeMay, Andrew Shaheen, Seth Singer, Will Holland, Liam Kiley, and Owen Howell. Augustus Neitenbach and Conrad Haas each had top-10 finishes as well."