Tallmadge boys runners score perfect win over Roosevelt

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

The talent difference was obvious, and the final score illustrated it.

The Tallmadge boys cross country team easily defeated Suburban League American Conference rival Theodore Roosevelt 15-50 Sept. 16 at home.

“It was a great night,” Blue Devils head coach Jeremy Huth said. “Conditions were very favorable to run well, and we lived up to that expectation. Top to bottom, every kid ran extremely well, so we’re definitely happy with where we’re at.”

.

Where they're at is a 2-2 record.

“We knew Kent wasn’t that powerful and we could pretty much keep it at a controlled pace,” said Huth. “We had about 10 kids that ran together for the first mile, so it was more of a team effort, pulling all these underclassmen along. Everybody did what they were asked to do. We had seven guys in front of Roosevelt’s first guy.

“This meet was about building our underclassmen – letting them experience running with our top guys and trying to hold on and just feeling that confidence of ‘I’m up in the front of the race.’ And our upperclassmen were great leaders in the meet.”

Tallmadge senior Tommy Naiman won the meet with a first-place time of 17 minutes, 20 seconds. Dawson Ansley, his classmate, finished second with a time of 17:59.

“Tommy went out with our entire team but then turned it on for the last two miles,” Huth said. “The last mile, I think he ran a 5:10 compared to his first mile that was a 5:45. We just wanted him to go fast the second half of the race, and he did that. It was overall a good performance out of him.”

Freshman Joey Naiman, Tommy’s brother, finished third with a time of 18:06.

“Joey continues to impress us,” said the coach. “It was just another solid performance out of him.”

Senior Ben Jurkowski finished fourth with a time of 18:10, and freshman Collin Adams placed fifth with a personal-best of 18:30.

“That was a huge race for Ben,” Huth said. “He’s been struggling a little bit. Just to have him back close to Dawson and Joey was a good thing. That brought our top four pretty close together, which is what we’re looking for.

“Collin continues to impress me more and more. I’m excited to see the future of both him and Joey. They’re both freshmen doing amazing things.”

According to Huth, this match came at an opportune time.

“We have some big meets coming up, so this was a good meet to have because a lot of kids ran well,” he said.

Tallmadge is scheduled to compete in a tri-meet against Carrollton and host Massillon Jackson Sept. 19 at 5:45 p.m.

The Blue Devils are set to host American Conference rival Copley Sept. 23 at 5 p.m.