'Struggling' Tallmadge girls cross country takes second at Woodridge

Roger Gordon

The days of Kenna Loveless and Ravyn Edge are long gone for the Tallmadge girls cross country team.

The Blue Devils are in an uphill battle without those two state qualifiers.

A perfect example was Tallmadge finishing in second place with 53 points, behind winner Woodridge’s 19-point first-place standing Sept. 8 on a very hot day in a tri-meet at Woodridge. Rootstown was third with 56 points.

“We’re struggling right now,” head coach Jeremy Huth said. “The team dynamics are completely different than in years past. We had outstanding leaders and outstanding talent in years past, and we haven’t figured out how to overcome not having those girls around.

“We’re working on positive attitudes – what can we do each day to work to our potential, to compete to our potential, to do the best that we can within ourselves? We definitely did not run as well as we could have against Woodridge and Rootstown.”

In the tri-meet, Tallmadge junior Ana Crangle finished fourth in the 38-runner race with a time of 22 minutes, 33 seconds.

“It was a tough race for Ana,” said Huth. “She went out fast early on and had the lead for two miles, but then three Woodridge girls, in typical fashion, hunted her down. They literally watched her for two miles, but then they made a move the last mile. She went from first to fourth. I know she wasn’t happy with her performance at the end. She had a great first two miles but then kind of fell apart there at the end.”

Freshman Sydney Becks finished sixth with a time of 22:53, while senior Kelsey Bellman placed 13th with a clocking of 24:17.

“Sydney is making a huge impact,” Huth said. “She was pretty good throughout the entire race. She definitely fought with these experienced Woodridge girls. For a freshman never running cross country before, each race that she competes in … she’s gaining a ton of knowledge on how to compete, how to pace herself and how to finish.

“To be in our top five, that’s where Kelsey needs to be.”

Freshman Cara Basso finished 14th with a time of 24:43, and her classmate, Kate Archer, was 16th with a time of 24:57.

Tallmadge is scheduled to host Suburban League American Conference rival Theodore Roosevelt Sept. 16 at 4 p.m.