She was among the elite in both sports.
Nevertheless, Ravyn Edge will take polyurethane over grass and dirt any day of the week.
Mike Srodawa may have said it best when it comes to the accomplished teenager, who prefers ovals over parallelograms.
"She runs cross country for track," the longtime Tallmadge head track and field coach said.
There you have it: an enthusiastic yay for running in circles and an apathetic nay for jogging in the woods.
Well … not necessarily.
It’s not like Edge groaned too loudly when she made her way to the 3.1-mile courses. She has a bit of a soft spot for cross country too.
Kinda sorta, at least.
Either way, it’s all good for the former Blue Devils’ distance-running standout. When it comes to this laid-back speed demon, there are rare cases when a certain idiomatic figure of speech proves to be 100% true.
Unlike most of us, Edge gets to "have her cake and eat it too."
Edge, a Tallmadge resident who recently graduated from the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, has decided to continue her academic, track and field and cross country careers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
She plans to major in mathematics for actuarial studies at the 94-year-old private university, which is the largest accredited university system specializing in aviation and aerospace.
Edge will switch families when she heads to the Atlantic Coast. The not-so-feathery bird plans to ditch Corvus to join the Accipitridae species instead.
That’s because Embry-Riddle prefers "Eagles" flocking to their nests instead of ravens.
With one exception, of course.
"The campus is beautiful and it’s in Florida," Edge said. "Florida is nice. I was going to go to Ashland (University) for astrophysics, but I changed my major at the last minute."
Her new friends probably won’t mind.
At least the ones that resemble large birds of prey that make their home in Volusia County sure won’t.
Edge, who also considered Kent State, Akron and Clarion in Pennsylvania, was a two-time Division II state qualifier in the 1,600-meter race. She finished 11th last year and 12th in 2018.
This downright fearless teenager had quite an "Edge" to her in certain races.
When all of her team’s chips were on the table, Tallmadge’s favorite "Ravyn" had a knack for "flying" past her competitors.
"She’s a gamer," Srodawa said. "She would always work hard in practice. The bigger the meet, the better she ran."
Unfortunately, Edge’s bid for three in a row was nullified by a mysterious, invisible illness that has taken the world by storm.
Due to the deadly respiratory tract infection known as the coronavirus, the Ohio High School Athletic Association canceled the entire spring season.
Such horrible news had to be devastating for the super-athletic Edge, who has been excelling on the track for what seems like forever.
So it seemed.
"I wasn’t really too depressed, to be honest," Edge said. "I’m doing babysitting now. It sucked, but not to a point where I thought I was never going to run track again. I know I’m going to run in college so it wasn’t like boo-hoo."
Some of her future teammates may not agree.
Embry-Riddle, a Division II school, had its entire spring season canceled due to the virus. The indoor season was cut short as well.
Thankfully, everything was quite groovy for the Eagles the previous year.
Embry-Riddle won the seven-team Peach Belt Conference outdoor title. The Eagles concluded their 2019 season with a 20th-place finish at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships.
Oh, and cross-country racing exists in "The Spring Break Capital of the World" too.
Competing in the nine-team Sunshine State Conference, Embry-Riddle finished fourth last fall. The Eagles also placed sixth at the 17-team NCAA Division II South Region Championship.
Since cross country is just a glorified warm-up for her favorite sport, one might think Edge didn’t make much of a dent on the trails, right?
Her November "reign" seems to prove otherwise.
Edge was a three-time All-Ohioan for the Blue Devils after finishing 19th at the 2019 Division II state cross country meet. She also placed 18th the previous year and 21st as a sophomore.
Her final performance in a Tallmadge uniform was especially satisfying for the once leg-weary teenager.
That’s because she seemed a bit sluggish just a few weeks earlier.
Fortunately, Edge returned to her normal self in no time. As a result, she got to share a shiny new trophy with some of her closest friends.
"One of my proudest moments was when Ravyn was district champion," longtime Tallmadge head cross country coach Jeremy Huth said. "At the Suburban League Meet the week before, she finished third but she was our third runner behind [senior] Kenna [Loveless] and [freshman] Kat [Carter].
"Ravyn always wanted to run well at the league meet. I think she was disappointed. When she was district champ, they didn’t hand out any medals. I told her, ‘You’re the district champ and you don’t get anything for it.’ She pointed at the first-place trophy our team got. That’s all that mattered to her."
It sure did.
Thanks to Edge’s awareness to recognize the big picture, the Blue Devils’ distance dynamos had a season to remember.
Besides its district title, Tallmadge finished third at the state competition. By the way, the Blue Devils had never reached the state meet as a team prior to 2019.
With Edge and Loveless, a four-time All-Ohioan who is heading to Ohio University in Athens, running neck-and-neck every Saturday, Tallmadge finally kicked the door in.
Not surprisingly, the two gifted endurance gurus had some legendary races throughout the years.
Their friendly rivalry pushed both recently-inducted Hall of Famers to uncharted heights.
It was a delight to watch if you favor blue and gold colors. And no one was more stoked than Huth.
"Ravyn and Kenna battled back and forth," he said. "You knew Kenna had the endurance, but Ravyn had the speed.
"At the district meet, there was a girl running with them. Kenna and Ravyn worked together and they just dropped that girl. It was a really awesome moment."
Huth’s previous "really awesome moment" took place when his favorite XC superhero joined his version of "Teen Titans."
Prior to joining the Blue Devils, Edge ran for Akron East’s track and field and cross country teams during her freshman year.
"Her coach [John MacLean] couldn’t make it to the regional meet," Huth said. "He asked me if we could take her there and help her out. After that, we kind of took her in and cheered for her the rest of the way. And then she came to Tallmadge."
Edge is still a "Die-Hard" fan of MacLean, a Reserve Officer’s Training Corps’ junior instructor at East High School.
With the help of a man affectionately known as "Topmac," Edge had found her calling.
As it turned out, this cross-country paradise was located on North Munroe Road.
Pardon Edge if she didn’t feel too comfortable entering the Pearly gates, though.
After all, how can a so-called heaven be full of so many ... Devils?
"When I rode the bus with them, I was kind of shy because I didn’t know anyone," Edge said. "At first, I was not loving it. I already had my team. I was already settled in. It took awhile to get adjusted."
She found her way, eventually. And once that happened, there was no looking back for the young lady with a passion for running.
In case you’re wondering, Edge didn’t take too many days off during the winter either.
She was a three-time state qualifier for Tallmadge’s indoor track and field team too.
"She loves track," Srodawa said. "She’s definitely more than a distance runner. She long jumps for us and I’ve used her in my 4x2 [800-meter relay]. She’s a true middle-distance runner. I can’t wait to see what she does in college."
Edge has managed to keep busy despite the harsh circumstances. Besides her workouts, she is currently completing a College Credit Plus course at the University of Akron.
In a few short months, Edge hopes to be back in her comfort zone. Preferably at races when the bright lights come on.
Considering her massive success on trails and her recent inactivity on tracks, perhaps Edge might have a change of heart when it comes to picking her favorite surfaces.
Don’t bet on it.
When it comes to her favorite hobby, track and field will always be the sport "That’s so Ravyn."
"Everyone knows I don’t love cross country as much as track," Edge said. "Even though I like track more, I still like the workouts."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_Gannett.