Twinsburg cross country runs well vs. powerful Brecksville

Steve Batko
Correspondent

Getting a lot of work in for different athletes in the program, Twinsburg cross country head coach Sarah Kmet saw some good signs for her youth movement as well as some returning runners with their sets on a deep post season.

Twinsburg competed at Brecksville in a Suburban League meet Sept. 17. In the process, Kmet elected not to race boys junior Aiden Cain and senior Katie Vasiliauskas for the girl’s squad.

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Kmet wanted those two standouts to compete at the Spartan Invitational at Boardman High – the site of the Division I regional championships.

“Aiden and Katie had similar performances at Boardman,” said Kmet. “Both were conservative the first mile and picked up about 10 places the last two miles. They both were probably a little too hesitant early in the race and had too much left in the tank afterwards.”

Cain ran 13th overall out of 107 runners in the Division I Section A race. His time was 17 minutes, 16.0 seconds.

Vasiliauskas crossed 18th out of 87 runners at Boardman Sept. 19. Her clocking was 21:14.1.

“It was a good learning experience, especially being on the regional course,” commented Kmet. “I am optimistic that both runners will be back at Boardman in October.”

Brecksville has a solid club this fall and without their respective lead runners – Twinsburg lost in the meet on the road. The boys lost 20-41 and the girls lost 19-39.

For the boys, the highlight was the performance of Sam Wales-McGrath.

Wales-McGrath registered his first varsity victory.

“Sam earned his first win of his high school career and ran a personal best 17:48 and won by 30 seconds,” noted Kmet. “I am really excited about Sam’s progression and how fast his learning curve is.”

Other top times for the boys at Brecksville were Vince Sciarabba 18:55, Max Howard 19:23, Aiden Bennage 19:25, Brian Nesic 19:38, Koren Goss 19:44, Jos Jenyk 19:49, Haridu Peiris 19:51, and Will Linson, who crossed in 20:01.

“We had great races across the board with many season and personal bests,” Kmet said.

“Aiden Bennage and Haridu Peiris both had nice races after a tough week prior while freshmen Koren Goss, Jos Jenyk and Will Linson also continue to improve, a positive sign for the future.”

Pacing the girls at Brecksville was Sophie Besset. She was clocked at 20:59.

“Sophie has shown big improvement in her first season of cross country,” proclaimed Kmet. “She broke 21 minutes this week, an impressive performance in her fourth 5k race ever.”

“Cordi Firem also had a great race, dropping a minute from the previous week on the same course,” said Kmet.

Firem crossed in 22:30, followed by Emma Sweeney at 22:34, Jessica Abrams 23:01, Ava Turner 23:17, and Gunita Sran, who crossed in 23:32.

“Our girls are consistent week in and week, but will be challenged by the back half of our schedule, particularly by Stow and Hudson,” said Kmet.