Tallmadge girls finish second to Jackson in cross country tri-meet
The Tallmadge girls cross country team finished a distant second place to host Massillon Jackson Sept. 19 in a tri-meet that also included third-place Wooster.
The Polar Bears finished with 20 points, the Blue Devils had 50 points and the Generals totaled 130 points.
The large gap between Tallmadge’s point total and Jackson’s point total did not deter the Blue Devils from having the time of their lives.
“There were a lot of personal bests,” Blue Devils head coach Jeremy Huth said. “It was just a solid performance where, when we were done, everybody was excited. The atmosphere, the mood, was definitely positive. It was a good race for the girls. They put it all together.”
On Sept. 23 Tallmadge defeated visiting Suburban League American Conference rival Copley 23-32 to improve to 4-3 on the season.
Tallmadge junior Ana Crangle won the tri-meet at Jackson with a time of 19 minutes, 34 seconds.
“When Ana had a dominant lead and won the race, she was grinning from ear to ear. It was just fantastic. The joy on her face was just wonderful,” said Huth. “She’s been running well all year long. We just hadn’t had the conditions to be favorable, and this was a fast, flat course with only one hill.”
Junior Katrina Hunt finished eighth with a time of 20:41, freshman Cara Basso placed 10th with a time of 20:48 and senior Mackenzie Moran was 11th with a clocking of 20:56.
“That was a good step for Katrina,” the coach said. “She had a great race. To be second on the team is where I know she wants to be, and we need that to continue to happen. That’s exactly where we need Cara to be.
“To have a few girls now running under 21 minutes is a huge step in the right direction. We had three girls who were bang, bang, bang right there. Mackenzie and Katrina were both just a couple seconds off their personal bests. We’re really proud of them to get back to where they were last year. We need that to continue.”
Senior Kelsey Bellman finished 20th with a time of 21:27.
“I know Kelsey is definitely excited about that time,” said Huth. “It’s not her personal best time, but she ran a really smart race. She’s putting herself in a good position here at the end of the season.”
The meet against Copley was Senior Night.
“We ran a controlled race in which our upperclassmen were partnered up with underclassmen to try to give back and just help those girls, talk to them during the race,” Huth said. “We have a huge race this Saturday (Sept. 26), so we didn’t want to work anybody too hard. We were still able to pull out a win, though.”
The meet that Huth referred to is scheduled to include Woodridge, the defending Division II state champion, and host North Canton Hoover, a talented Division I team.
“It’s not going to be easy,” he continued. “We just want to compete with two top teams in the state.”
According to the coach, his team is on cloud nine, especially after the tri-meet at Jackson.
“They’re definitely happy with what direction they’re headed,” he said.
Tallmadge is scheduled to travel to American Conference rival Barberton Sept. 30 at 4 p.m.