Highland boys, Revere girls each edge Aurora in American Conference meet

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies
Matthew Singleton of Aurora races to a first place finish in the Suburban League American Conference race at Silver Creek Metro Park Cross Country Course on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Norton. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]
Ellie Meech of Revere races to a first place finish in the Suburban League American Conference race at Silver Creek Metro Park Cross Country Course on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Norton. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]
Mikayla Jones of Aurora  comes in fourth during the Suburban League American Conference race at Silver Creek Metro Park Cross Country Course on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Norton. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]
Elijah Hadler of Highland runs on the course and a third place finish in the Suburban League American Conference race at Silver Creek Metro Park Cross Country Course on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Norton. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]

NORTON — Green has been the dominant color at the Suburban League American Conference cross country meet the last few years.

In the boys race, that trend continued, as Highland edged Aurora to win its fourth straight conference title Oct. 17 at the Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton.

in the girls race, however, a trio of young runners in Revere red came to the front to edge the Greenmen for the title.

Highland's boys won a dogfight with the Greenmen, edging Aurora 38-40 for the conference title. Tallmadge was third in the boys race with 65 points, followed by Revere (98), Copley (113), Kent Roosevelt (179) and Barberton (221).

The girls race was nearly as close, as Revere beat Aurora 40-47 for the title. Highland was third with 53 points, followed by Tallmadge (82), Copley (141) and Roosevelt (176).

Highland boys coach Andrew Lynden said his team did exactly what was asked it..

"We had a specific goals for all of our guys and everyone did what they needed to do," Lynden said. "It was a very good race all across the conference, which is very good to see."

Elijah Hadler took third in 16:42 to lead Highland, with teammate Max McAdams right behind in fourth in 16:48.

"We wanted to get everyone in the top 10," McAdams said. "We thought if we did that, it would be we a blowout. It wasn't a blowout, but everybody did their jobs. Our sophomores have really stepped up this year."

It wasn't a blowout because a pair of neighbors from Aurora finished first and second.

Defending conference champion Matt Singleton repeated as individual champion for the Greenmen in a time of 16:17, shaving nearly 30 seconds off his winning time from last year.

"I'm happy with that," Singleton said. "We were planning on going out conservative, because the first mile is always so fast. Once I got to the hill, I attacked."

Fellow Aurora junior Andrew Ploskunak was in a familiar position — chasing after his friend and neighbor — as he took second in 16:30.

"That was a good race for all of our guys," said Aurora coach Laura Bell-Peters. "Andrew has been chasing Matt for a long time. That's what they do."

Rounding out the top five was Tallmadge senior Tommy Naiman in 16:54, though Naiman was upset he couldn't stay with the leaders.

"I know he wanted to be up front," said Tallmadge coach Jeremy Huth. "I'm all about the team. My goal is to get five guys under 18 minutes. That's all I care about."

Huth got his wish, as Tallmadge fifth runner Jackson Queen came in 17:59.

Meanwhile, in the girls race, two freshman and a sophomore dominated the race for Revere.

Revere freshman Ellie Meech won the race in 19:20, followed closely by sophomore Megan Diulis (19:30) and freshman Aleni Bender.

"It was something I never thought possible," said Meech of going 1-2-3. "We all have worked so hard this year. It was amazing. It was the best course I've ran all season."

Aurora nearly nipped Revere because there was a gap of more than two minutes between the Minutemen's third and fourth runners.

Aurora senior Mikayla Jones led the charge for the Greenmen, as she took fourth place in 19:37. Grace Barto took sixth for Aurora in 20:10.

"I knew from the beginning I had to run with them," Jones said of the Revere trio. "It was really fast."

"I think they ran very well," Bell-Peters said of her girls team. "We had a lot of injuries this year and with COVID, we're running against the invisible man. I think a lot of them did well today"

Rounding out the top five in the girls race was Tallmadge junior Ana Crangle in 20:01.

"It was actually really awesome to run," Crangle said. "The first mile felt fast and I usually melt after the first mile. Today, I felt strong."

"Ana Crangle had a phenomenal race today," Huth said. "We're so proud of her for carrying on the tradition we've had the last few years here."