Consistency can be a good thing.
However, when it comes to running, progress if far better than consistency.
Therefore, Cuyahoga Falls head girls cross country coach Dan Scourfield’s main objective is to achieve the latter over the former.
For now, though, the Black Tigers appear to be stuck in neutral.
Falls finished 13th with 281 points in the 16-team Division I race at Saturday’s Galion Cross Country Festival at Amman’s Park.
Wadsworth won the competition with 89 points and also had the top runner. Clare Nicholas won the 107-member race with a time of 18 minutes, 40.8 seconds.
The Black Tigers had two runners in the top 20. However, the rest of Falls’ contingent did not finish in the top 70.
"It’s a flat course that can be fast," Scourfield said. "I think people go in thinking it’s fast.
It doesn’t always work out that way.
"I think the girls are tired. We had the same workout as we did the week before. They ran as well as they could race that day. It wasn’t a horrible day. They’re still looking for that big drop in times."
Senior Amiayia Dudley led the Black Tigers for the third consecutive race. She finished eighth in
19:30.7 despite not having her trademark fifth gear in the end.
"Amiayia did exactly what we wanted her to do," Scourfield said. "She got out in front and tried to stay with the lead group. She did a pretty good job staying close to them.
"She went out faster than she ever did before. I think that took the sting out of her kick in the end. She couldn’t really close on anyone."
The always dependable Meredith Gallagher, a senior, was next for Falls in 18th (20:07.3). Her performance made a lasting impression on her coach.
"Meredith ran one of the best races I’ve ever seen her run," Scourfield said. "She competed all 5,000 meters. She’s very blue-collar. There’s not a lot of flash to her. She has a pretty good idea how she wants to handle her business. She is a joy to have."
Unfortunately for the Black Tigers, there was a significant dropoff after their dynamic duo. Rounding out the top five were Elsa Lowry (71st, 22:18.5), Teaghan Barnett (90th, 23:30.4) and Kearan Barnett (94th, 24:02).
"Becca Johnston ran a great [open] race," Scourfield. "Becca and Belle Kaufman ran really well."
Falls’ usual No. 3 runner, Chelsea Huffman, had an off-day due to a persistent illness.
"Chelsea probably shouldn’t have run at all," Scourfield said. "She showed up and gave it a try. It was a tough day for her."
Besides the very ill Huffman, Falls posted respectable times that have been — wait for it — consistent with their previous performances.
Scourfield and his ambitious young ladies, on the other hand, want more.
"They want to see their times drop," Scourfield said. "Everybody wants to run fast. We should start seeing those times drop in the next couple of weeks."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.