He’s a bit rusty.
And he has a long way to go before he gets back to his peak form.
But senior Jack Wilcoxson is back.
The Cuyahoga Falls boys cross country team placed 11th with 325 points in the 26-team Division I race at the Galion Cross Country Festival. The competition took place last Saturday at Amman’s Park. Pickerington North won the competition with 98 points and also had the top runner. Matt Duvall won the 151-member race with a time of 15 minutes, 24.4 seconds.
Wilcoxson made his much anticipated 2019 debut after missing the previous races with a leg injury.
The 2017 state qualifier led the Black Tigers with an 18th-place clocking of 16:39.2.
"Jack had a nice day," Falls’ first-year head coach Chris Wilcoxson said. "It was nothing crazy, just feeling it out. He ran a nice race for not competing that much."
Koby Dunford was Falls’ next runner with a 46th-place time of 17:08.5.
The next two Black Tigers were Lukas Keverkamp (77th, 17:39.5) and Logan Urich (90th, 17:48.7).
"Lukas picked up the slack," Coach Wilcoxson said. "Logan ran well. Everyone else maintained their pace."
Falls’ fifth runner, Anthony Nichols (94th, 17:52.8), suffered a leg injury during the race after catching a spike from another runner.
"Anthony got beat up," Coach Wilcoxson said. "He caught a spike in the back of his achilles. He went down, got back up and never was right after that. He’s a little black and blue."
The Black Tigers have been looking at the long haul since the beginning. But Saturday’s race was a start to what Coach Wilcoxson hopes to see when the races really count.
"We’re just glad we had all seven running on the same day," he said. "I don’t care which seven they are. If somebody is out, so be it. We’ll move forward.
"Everybody is staying true to form. Practice is going pretty well and I really believe the guys are having fun. And if you’re having fun, you run well in practice and in meets.."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.