NORTON — Reflecting on their teams’ performance at the Suburban League Championship Meet, Stow-Munroe Falls coaches Aaron Morris and J.K. LeSeure could each be described as "Meh."
Neither coach was happy with the way his respective team ran at the meet, but results were not a disaster.
Under summer-like conditions at the Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton Thursday, LeSeure’s boys squad managed to take third place in the National Conference boys race with 102 points. Hudson repeated as champion with 34 points, holding off Brecksville-Broadview Heights with 45 points.
Meanwhile, the Bulldog girls finished in fourth place with 127 points, tying with Brecksville on points but finishing ahead via the sixth runner tiebreaker. Hudson won the girls title with 40 points, while defending champion Wadsworth was second.
Temperatures in the high 70s and a slower course at Silver Creek meant most personal records were not in jeopardy at the league meet. However, LeSeure said he was looking for just a bit more from his team.
"It wasn’t our best run, but I think we competed OK," LeSeure said. "Third place is probably the best we could have done, when you look at it. We would have liked to have run better against Brecksville, but it probably wouldn’t have got us second place."
Meanwhile, Morris said his girls team had the epitome of an up-and-down race, even though it earned the top four finish he was seeking at the outset of the season.
"When we got together after, we said, ‘Well, that was a mess,’" Morris said. "It was probably the best we could have done under the circumstances."
As has been the case most of the season, the Stow boys’ top three runners came home in sight of each other.
This time, however, it was freshman Micah Brantley who led the Bulldogs, taking 13th place in 17 minutes, 24 seconds. Junior Seth Macura was right behind in 14th place in 17:27, while senior Cooper LeSeure was 15th in 17:30.
"All three of them have been around each other all year," LeSeure said. "We ran as well as we could in the front. The gap between Cooper and Zach [Shawala] is what hurt us a bit."
Shawala came home in 31st place in 18:03, while senior Matt Duffy was right behind in 32nd place in 18:04 to round out the scoring runs.
Coach LeSeure noted freshman Colin Crandall continued his climb of the varsity ranks, taking 42nd in 18:19, while sophomore Zach Duffy finished in the final varsity place, taking 44th place in 18:20.
In the girls race, sophomore Kendra Cassiday was able to snag a top 10 finish. However, after beating the Hudson runners to the line the previous week at the Stow Invitational, Cassiday had to settle for a 10th-place finish in 20:35.
"It wasn’t her best race, but I’d rather have her do that here than next week," Morris said.
Morris noted freshman Josie Jones ran a strong race as she took 29th in 22:10, while junior Bella Baker was right behind, taking 30th in 22:13. However, Morris noted the conditions took a toll on his team, particularly freshman Grace Decker, who did not finish the race due to cramping.
Senior Abi Kuhn (32nd, 22:18) and junior Madi Hedrick (35th, 22:29) rounded out the scoring runs for Stow.
Sophomore Samantha Fobean (40th, 22:49); junior Caitlyn O’Brien (41st, 22:51); freshman Sydney Pitcovich (46th, 23:05) and sophomore Hannah Hartenberg (54th, 23:34) also competed in the varsity race.
Stow was set to open the postseason at the Division I district meet at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Cortland. The girls Division I race is set for 12:30 p.m. with the boys race at 3 p.m.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals at Cortland will advance to the Division I regional meet Oct. 26 at Boardman.