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High School Sports

All about willpower as Medina's Juliette Keller and Cloverleaf's Max Gucker dominate meet

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    Medina's Juliette Keller runs to victory in the Division 1 varsity girls race during the Medina Cross Country Festival.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    Cloverleaf's Max Gucker cruises to a victory in the Division 2/3 Boys varsity race at the Medina Cross County Festival.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    Highland's Vince Manning, left, and Medina's Harry Custer battle for position during the Division 1 varsity boys race during the Medina Cross Country Festival.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — Medina’s Juliette Keller and Cloverleaf’s Max Gucker had to rely on a number of things to push through their runs.

In the end, both banked on mental toughness to win their respective races in a dominating Saturday for Medina County teams at the 27th annual Medina Festival.

Without Highland’s Kaylie Kenne in attendance, Keller pushed through to win the

Division I girls race, while Gucker was downright impressive in taking the D-II/III boys event from start to finish.

“I knew she wasn’t going to be here, so I just imagined that she was right with me, and I responded how I would if she really was there,” Keller said of Kenne, who was on a college visit. “I just had to push myself.”

As Keller and Gucker were in full control of their respective races, the county swept the four team titles up for grabs. Wadsworth (girls) and Medina (boys) won in D-I, while Cloverleaf (boys and girls) took top honors in D-II/III.

Keller got off to a steady start but never lost ground en route to her 18:44.4. Despite a torrential downpour for the final five minutes, the All-Gazette pick took first by 20 seconds.

“I felt good during the race physically,” Keller said.

“For the past few races I’ve been getting sick during it, which has prevented me from running fast, but today was good.”

Wadsworth freshman Clare Nicholas fed off the fast pace set by Keller, passing Westlake’s Erica Francesconi after the first mile for the second position and holding on in 19:04.4.

“I was trying to keep (Keller) in sight,” Nicholas said. “I was just trying to stay with her. (Francesconi) was behind me, and that pushed me to go faster, too, because I didn’t want her to press me.

“I’m glad I could stay somewhat close with (Keller), because she’s really fast.”

While Nicholas led the way, the Grizzlies’ win came on the strength of its next four runners. Sophomore Ashley Galek put together one of her best runs of the year, taking 17th in 20:29.4, followed closely by Laney Corell (26th place), Rachel Murphy (28th) and Sami Beddow (32nd).

“Ashley really stepped up today,” Wadsworth coach John Burton said. “Our strategy was to be in certain positions along the course, and she was doing that. We encouraged the other three to get up behind her and be in those same positions, and Laney, Rachel and Sami did a great job of doing that.”

Madelynn Madison led the Kenne-less Hornets, crossing in 12th in 20:19.6, while Medina was third with Keller and Carmela Henning (15th, 20:28.3) leading the way.

Medina’s “B” squad was fourth and paced by Olivia Roberts, who was ninth in 20:05.8.

Medina and Highland went 1-2 in the boys D-I standings and were separated by 11 points.

The Hornets’ Vince Manning used an impressive kick to come away with a fourth-place finish in 16:41.5, while Harry Custer paced the Bees with a 16:47 that was seventh.

The short burst of rain affected the end of the girls race and made for muddy terrain at the Ella Canavan Elementary course the rest of the day.

“When we came down this backstretch, I got the arms moving faster. It was a good way to finish,” Manning said. “I haven’t been able to kick that hard in a while.

“With the course being muddy, it was difficult to get that energy. Every time you came around a turn, you would slip and fall, so you really had to dig in.”

The Medina boys took the win on the strength of its next four runners — Graham Hayden, Caleb Cummings, Kevin Horrigan and Michael Palocko — finishing in the top 30, while the Hornets had Max McAdams and Avery Finding place 15th and 17th.

Benji House led the Grizzlies, who were ninth, by taking 18th in 17:23.9.

The rest of the day belonged to the Colts, who made things look easy in both small-school races.

Gucker was in full control from the starting gun, creating separation a mile in before a strong finish in 17:28.8. The junior won by nearly 30 seconds.

While Gucker was hoping to race against All-Ohioan Drew Roberts of Mapleton, who took part in last year’s meet but was elsewhere Saturday, he relied on inner drive.

“I just wanted to put a lot of distance between myself and the field,” he said. “I wanted to lead the whole race. I just tried to imagine that someone I’m going to be competing against in the next couple of weeks is by my side, just motivate myself.”

Teammates Alex Derhammer and Kyle Chudzinski were fourth and sixth, respectively, to help the Colts to a 31-point win over Willard.

Black River freshman Jared Bradford rounded out the top 10 with a 18:34.5, while Buckeye was paced by Mason Kabat’s 13th-place 18:53.4.

Cloverleaf’s girls needed everything they had to hold off district rival Padua. With rookie Makaela Salyer (7th, 21:58.8) leading the way, Maria Porras (11th, 22:29.8), Tommie Kurtz (12th, 22:35.9) and Bailey Freeland (14th, 22:51.5) placed 14th over better to give the Colts a 59-62 win over the Bruins.

Sarah Kozik led Black River in 18th, while Brooke Franz was 25th for Buckeye.

Notes

Like his older brother, Cloverleaf eighth-grader Brett Gucker also was a winner, taking the 3,200-meter middle school race in 11:54.30. Gucker held off Brunswick’s Vince Petitto (12:00.20) and Black River’s Wyatt Royster (12:04.10). The Blue Devils took the title with 61 points. Buckeye’s Sandra Dolata took runner-up honors in the girls race, clocking 13:21.70 and finishing eight seconds behind champion Cambri Mushrush of Welty. Brunswick’s Teodora Iovi (3rd, 13:25) and Medina Claggett’s Kylie O’Cull (4th, 13:41.10) also broke 14 minutes.

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.

Results

MEDINA — Results Saturday from the 27th annual Medina Festival held at Ella Canavan Elementary School. Top 10 individuals for each race and Medina County participants listed.

DIVISION I

Boys

Team standings (out of 26):1. Medina 95, 2. Highland 106, 3. Kenston 107, 4. Hoover 143, 5. University School 154, 6. Brecksville 160, 7. Nordonia 197, 8. Hoban 240, 9. Wadsworth 250, 10. New Philadelphia 255, 11. Medina B 367.

Individual standings: 1. Vincent Mauri (Howland) 15:49.4, 2. Aidan Harr (NP) 16:17.9, 3. Jakob McConnell (K) 16:39.1, 4. Vince Manning (High) 16:41.5, 5. Vinnie Giumenti (Dover) 16:41.9, 6. Justin Iler (US) 16:44.8, 7. Harry Custer (Med) 16:47, 8. Jayden Wimbush (Nor) 16:49.1, T-9. Jay Lutton (Hoover), Chase Easterling (Western Brown) 16:50.

Medina (95): 7. Custer 16:47, 14. Graham Hayden 17:08.3, 21. Caleb Cummings 17:29.6, 25. Kevin Horrigan 17:35.7, 28. Michael Palocko 17:46.5, 62. Cameron Schontzler 18:17.9, 72. Charlie Heidenger 18:25.8.

Highland (106): 4. Manning 16:41.5, 15. Max McAdams 17:11.8, 17. Avery Finding 17:23.5, 32. William VanFossen 17:55, 38. Joseph Sewell 17:58.5, 107. Dylan Liggett 18:55.4, 113. Garrett Wright 18:57.3.

Wadsworth (250): 18. Benji House 17:23.9, 36. Sam Drown 17:57.7, 60. Ryan Sieber 18:16.4, 66. Jonah Murphy 18:20.6, 70. Henning Elsass 18:23.3, 74. Dominic Delmoro 18:26.2, 81. Matt Flaker 18:30.5.

Medina B (367): 54. Bryce Vein 18:10.5, 65. Carter Kolesar 18:19.5, 76. Brandon Piehler 18:27.7, 85. Jake Parkhurst 18:34.2, 87. Eli Schmeller 18:36.5, 111. Drew Reddick 18:56.7, 132. Jeff Hurst 19:20.4.

Girls

Team standings (out of 24): 1. Wadsworth 105, 2. Green 107, 3. Medina 122, 4. Medina B 138, 5. Kenston 148, 6. Highland 174, 7. North Royalton 195, 8. Archbishop Hoban 244, 9. Rocky River 245, 10. Magnificat 248, 18. Wadsworth B 516.

Individual standings: 1. Juliette Keller (Med) 18:44.4, 2. Clare Nicholas (Wad) 19:04.4, 3. Erica Francesconi (West) 19:10.4, 4. Kendall Anenson (G) 19:47.3, 5. Samanatha Coleman (RR) 19:54.9, 6. Bridget Hahn (Hob) 19:57.5, 7. Carmen Sims (G) 19:59, 8. Claire Hollon (Hoover) 20:03.9, 9. Olivia Roberts (Med B) 20:05.8, 10. Ella Russell (RR) 20:12.6.

Wadsworth (105): 2. Nicholas 19:04.4, 17. Ashley Galek 20:29.4, 26. Laney Corell 20:45, 28. Rachel Murphy 20:49.9, 32. Sami Beddow 20:51.1, 61. Emma Codding 21:42.8, 97. Michaela Davis 22:32.8.

Medina (122): 1. Keller 18:44.4, 15. Carmela Henning 20:28.3, 29. Angela Dobson 20:50, 34. Savannah Kole 20:54.4, 43. Jenna Razavi 21:12.8, 80. Claire Schmeller 22:03.8, 87. Julia Razavi 22:19.4.

Medina B (138): 9. Roberts 20:05.8, 18. Maddie Miller 20:31.6, 33. Jessica Campbell 20:51.3, 36. Reagan Kole 21:04.1, 42. Ava Tengalia 21:09.7, 50 Valerie Suttman 21:29, 82. Sarah McKee 22:08.3.

Highland (174): 12. Madelynn Madison 20:19.6, 25. Elissa Scheel 20:43.6, 39. Melissa Bearer 21:08.6, 48. Amanda Orban 21:19.1, 49. Elizabeth Oberhaus 21:25.2, 68. Emma Cox 21:54.6, 93. Hanna Kunzler 22:27.8.

Wadsworth B (516): 84. Emily Kurtz 22:11.2, 104. Allie Kidd 22:47.6, 113. Nyla Patterson 22:59.7, 114. Abby Winkler 23:00.5, 122. Lexi Cogley 23:23, 125. Macy Weinreich 23:28.7, 130. Reagan Gatz 23:36.8.

DIVISION II/II

Boys

Team standings (out of 15): 1. Cloverleaf 68, 2. Willard 99, 3. Columbia 108, 4. Rootstown 127, 5. Padua 130, 6. Elyria Catholic 132, 7. Holy Name 211, 8. Buckeye 216, 9. Open Door 220, 10. Northwest 238, 13. Black River 314.

Individual standings: 1. Max Gucker (Clo) 17:28.8, 2. Matthew Bildstein (P) 17:57.1, 3. Colvin Hershberger (Clay) 18:03.5, 4. Alex Derhammer (Clo) 18:26, 5. Jett Paulus (R) 18:27.8, 6. Kyle Chudzinski (Clo) 18:31, 7. Matt Pettegrew (Col) 18:32.6, 8. Nick Schuler (HN) 18:33.1, 9. Jared Swartz (Col) 18:33.8, 10. Jared Bradford (BR) 18:34.5.

Cloverleaf (68): 1. Gucker 17:28.8, 4. Derhammer 18:26, 6. Chudzinski 18:31, 16. Nick Bailey 19:00.4, 41. Luke Malena 19:54.3, 45. Andrew Hibler 20:14.7, 62. Matt Grissom 20:42.3.

Buckeye (216): 13. Mason Kabat 18:53.4, 40. Jay Davis 19:52.8, 43. Jacob Stahl 20:05.3, 48. Brady Vickerts 20:25.5, 78. Aiden Martin 21:08.9, 79. Caleb Gerdeman 21:09, 88. Ryan Steppenbacker 21:25.5.

Black River (314): 10 Bradford 18:34.5, 59. Devon McLean 20:36.1, 71. Shane Mesko 21:03, 93. Nathaniel Kubitza 21:40.9, 162. Nate Conrad 25:54.3, 180. Joe Beard 31:12.4.

Girls

Team standings (out of 15): 1. Cloverleaf 59, 2. Padua 62, 3. New Philadelphia 88, 4. Revere 141, 5. Willard 161, 6. Buckeye 176, 7. Rootstown 176, 8. Northwest 182, 9. Holy Name 196, 10. Elyria Catholic 311, 12. Black River 330.

Individual standings: 1. Sydney Jenko (P) 20:30.8, 2. Rachel Anderson (NP) 21:08.4, 3. Mackenzie McCarthy (Manchester) 21:15, 4. Madeleine Finton (Col) 21:36.7, 5. Brenna Heinzerling (P) 21:47.7, 6. Morgan Adams (W) 21:52.7, 7. Makaela Salyer (Clo) 21:58.8, 8. Rebekah Stoneman (NP) 22:01.4, 9. Emma Hinkle (Loudonville) 22:20.3, 10. Katie Byram (P) 22:21.3.

Cloverleaf (59): 7. Salyer 21:58.8, 11. Maria Porras 22:29.8, 12. Tommie Kurtz 22:35.9, 14. Bailey Freeland 22:51.5, 24. Paige Munchick 23:51.4, 42. Jenna Oliver 25:03.9, 70. Katie Canfield 26:53.7.

Buckeye (176): 25. Brooke Franz 23:54.4, 31. Morgan Sejka 24:08.1, 36. Julia Fike 24:47.1, 46. Elyana Metter 25:08, 52. Grace Dunlay 25:25.5, 54. Sara Koeth 25:35.8, 61. Faith Krakowski 26:18.7.

Black River (330): 18. Sarah Kozik 23:23.8, 48. Kaitlyn Clifford 25:13.5, 103. Tara Cleary 28:41.6, 109. Micayla Pluta 29:05.6, 146. Nicole Beard 33:26.9, 157. Ella Yoder 35:13.



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