New conference, same result: Woodridge cross country rolls through MAC

Steve Batkon

Woodridge cross country captured their final Metro Athletic Conference double dual meet this season as the boys and girls teams were dominant.

Jeff Howard was happy to mix up lineups when the Bulldogs hosted Ravenna and Norton Sept. 29 and celebrated the senior class.


As the boys team is atop the OATCCC Division II Ohio poll and the girls are ranked fifth, Woodridge had the depth to rest many of the top athletes.

The girls, 6-1 this fall in the MAC dual campaign, grabbed the top seven spots to net 15 points while the boys unit also scored 15 points with the top eight finishes.

Joy McFarland won the girls race over 26 competitors as she posted a time of 21 minutes, 2 seconds.

“Joy McFarland paced a pack of Bulldogs that finished in the top seven places,” said Howard.

Running second overall was Leah Ziegler, who crossed in 21:06, just edging teammate Anna Wojcik, who had a time of 21:09.

Evelyn Willett raced fourth with a clocking of 21:14 and Kathryn Kiley was fifth in 21:16.

Also running for the Bulldogs was Thalia Johnston, who was sixth in 21:48 and Kayla Mayner, who took seventh in 21:49.

“Mayner ran a monster personal best with her teammates,” noted Howard.

“Ellie Kleinhenz, Catie Meehan, Maddy Thompson, Riley Yajko, Delaney Duve, Betty Sterling, Belle Norris, Grace McFarland, and Makayla Foley all ran well,” added the mentor.

Will Holland was the winner for the boys as Holland was clocked at 17:17 in the Sept. 29 action.

“On a night set aside for the seniors of 2021, Will Holland led a pack of Bulldogs that grabbed the top eight spots in the team’s final conference double dual of the season,” explained Howard.

“The guys finished a perfect 7-0 and will move into the championship portion of their season healthy and ready to race.”

Finishing second was Seth Singer, who crossed in 17:22, Steven Duffy ran third in 17:26, Andrew Shaheen took fourth in 17:29, and Liam Kiley scored with a fifth-place in 17:39.

“Seth Singer, Steven Duffy, Andrew Shaheen, Liam Kiley, Sam Su, Peter LeMay, Conrad Haas, and Robbie Champa all joined Holland in the top 10,” said Howard.

“Nathan Brenneman, Owen Howell, Colin Galehouse, Balin Soful, Jason Thompson all had strong races.”

Grabbing sixth-place was Su, who had a time of 17:43, followed by LeMay in 18:01, and Haas was eighth in 18:18.

“A number of freshmen are also running well as the future of the program looks great,” emphasized Howard. “Eric Williams, Josh McGee, Carter Speakman, Isaiah Looman, and Shayn Thompson all had season bests.”

Woodridge also shone in a recent meet at North Canton Hoover.

“Reese Reaman grabbed her first high school win to pace a strong Bulldog performance in Stark County,” noted Howard. “The girls team grabbed seven of the top ten spots.”

The Bulldogs totaled 24 points in the victory over Division I North Canton (54) and Tallmadge (59).

Reaman’s victory came over 61 other runners as she was clocked at 19:46.9.

For the ladies, Reaman was followed by Izzy Best, Anastasia Bakuhn, Eloise Willett, McFarland, Ziegler and Wojcik in the top group.

Best ran third overall in 20:14.7.

Finishing fifth was Bakuhn, who crossed in 21:02.3, just ahead of Willett, who had a time of 21:03.8.

McFarland was next as she was eighth in 22:18.6, followed by Ziegler, who ran ninth in 21:31.7, and Wojcik, who crossed in 21:53.6 for 10th-place.

“Thalia Johnston, Kathryn Kiley, Evelyn Willett, Kayla Mayner, Natalie Howard, Catie Meehan, Ellie Kleinhenz, and Riley Yajko all raced well for the Bulldogs,” declared the coach.

Howard was thrilled with the boys’ squad too.

“The boys continued to do what they’ve done for the most of the year,” he said. “The state’s top-ranked Bulldogs knocked off the host Vikings of North Canton and Tallmadge.”

Woodridge won with 26 points to edge North Canton (34) and Tallmadge (72).

Ryan Champa captured another impressive victory as he crossed first out of 91 runners with a time of 16:08.6.

“Ryan won again and remains undefeated this fall,” observed Howard. “Aaron Dutt, Andrew Lauck, Caden Hibbs, and Andrew Shaheen all finished among the top nine runners and completed the scoring.”

“Will Holland and Steven Duffy rounded out the scoring seven while Liam Kiley, Conrad Haas, Robbie Champa, Josh McGee, Carter Speakman, Jason Thompson, and Isaiah Looman all ran well,” said Howard.

Dutt placed fourth overall with a time of 17:03.3, just edging teammate Andrew Lauck, who was timed at 17:03.8.

Hibbs ran seventh with a time of 17:25.3, followed by Shaheen, who was ninth in 17”42.

Finishing 11th was Holland, who crossed in 17:48.7 and the next three placers were all Bulldogs – Duffy at 17:52.1, Liam Kiley in 17:55.1, and Seth Singer (17:58.1).

The program will host the 35th Annual Woodridge CVNP Invitational this weekend at Pine Hollow.