Despite course issues, Twinsburg cross country makes strides against Stow

Steve Batko
Correspondent

Despite s little bit of on-course confusion, the Twinsburg cross country program showed progress in a league dual meet against Stow-Munroe Falls.

It was a meet that Twinsburg head coach Sarah Kmet was focused more on process than wins or losses.

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Host Stow prevailed in both meets Sept. 26. The Tiger girls fell 37-22 and the boys lost 41-18.

“While both teams lost to Stow, we saw a lot of forward progress,” declared Kmet. “The course was poorly marked, which led to some confusion for several of our runners.”

“Katie Vasiliauskas definitely ran more than a 5k in the confusion and it easily cost her a couple of places,” added the coach, alluding to her battle-tested senior veteran.

For the girls, Sophie Besset paced Twinsburg with a second-place effort behind Stow’s Jayla Atkinson, who had a time of 18 minutes, 43.41 seconds.

Besset’s time was 20:44.81.

Vasiliauskas ran fourth overall with a time of 20:58.44. Cordi Firem crossed eighth overall with a clocking of 21:45.74.

Experienced Tiger Jessica Abrams also finished 12th overall in 22:03.48, followed by Emma Sweeney, who was 13th with a time of 22:16.86, Ava Turner 16th in 22:30.9, and Lauren McClung, who ran 17th in 22:31.37.

Kmet was pleased overall with her young squad.

“Across the board we had a much better effort attacking the beginning of the race,” said Kmet.

“There were season bests across the board - really excited to see Cordi (Firem) and Jessica (Abrams) begin to drop time, and Ava (Turner) and Lauren (McClung) making big improvements,” commented Kmet.

In boys’ action, Aiden Cain led Twinsburg by finishing fourth overall in 16:46.40.

“Aiden finished fourth, but it was a much-improved effort from last week,” noted Kmet. “He closed the gap in a major way on the top two boys from Stow.”

Next for the Tigers was Sam Wales-McGrath, who crossed sixth overall in 17:13.05. Vince Sciarabba ran eighth with a time of 17:25.52.

“Sam also had a great race and continues to improve over the 5k distance,” explained Kmet. “Like the girls, big season bests were across the board for the boys.”

Senior Brian Nesic placed 12th overall with a clocking of 18:28.61.

Max Howard finished 15th with a lifetime best of 18:40.52.

Aiden Bennage also ran his best ever with an 18:40.96 (16th overall) and Jos Jenyk crossed in 19:06.12 (24th).

“It was good to see Aiden Bennage and Max Howard have enormous personal bests,” proclaimed Kmet. “Brian Nesic is starting to really round into form and freshman Jos Jenyk has had an excellent couple of weeks, capped by this week's 43 second PR.”

Twinsburg hosts league rival Wadsworth Oct. 1, runs at Hudson in a tough league meet Oct. 10, and will compete at the Suburban League Championships at Silver Creek Metro Park Oct. 15 in Norton.

“I am really looking forward to seeing how we race in October,” offered Kmet. “The kids have handled this pandemic season so well I am so excited to see what else we can do.”