MIDDLEFIELD—Led by Jack Spero and Leah Roter, Beachwood’s cross country team’s turned in one of their strongest performances of the season at Saturday’s Cardinal Husky Invitational.
Spero finished third in the boys’ race while Roter was ninth in the girls’ run. The Beachwood girls finished fifth and the boys were ninth.
“On both sides they’re starting to come together as a team,” said Beachwood coach Jamie Lader. “We’re getting in better shape, which we’re really happy with. We’ve had some injuries and illnesses, but we’re really pleased with how it’s working out. I’m really pleased with our top runners, Jack Spero and Leah Roter; they’re just looking fantastic. I think we’re going to be OK. We have a tough district but we’ll be OK.”
Spero finished in 17:48.40, just over 40 seconds behind race winner Tyler Polman of Independence.
“He was so impressive,” Lader said. “He’s just a sophomore and this is his first time running cross country. He ran over the summer every day. He has blown us away at practice. He’s really going after it in practice. The first race of the year he broke 19 and last week he was at 18:08 and to see him break 18 was exceptional. He looked really, really good today.”
Alex Remer placed 31st with a time of 19:25.00 and Williams Starks was 54th with a time of 20:32.20. Adam Moses (21:23.20), Heli Colmenares (21:46.20), Ian Mitchell (22:48.70), Max Halpert (23:09.40), Mukul Govande (23:48.40), Jakin Wu (24:36.80) and Pete Bruening (36:12.50) also competed for the Bison.
“The boys are coming along and doing very well,” Lader said. “Alex Remer went in the 19’s. He’s also improving. We’ll get him there. I think he wants his time to be a little bit better but he’s just got to be patient.”
Roter finished in 21:43.10 to pace the Beachwood girls.
“She keeps on improving,” Lader said. “She went 22:30 last week and 21:43 today. To take a minute off in a week is exceptional. That’s a huge jump for her. She looked good in that race. She just went after it.”
Kalina Pateva also finished among the top 20 with a 16th place finish in a time of 22:45.50 and Cathy Perloff was 23rd with a time of 23:28.80.
“That was Kalina’s first race of the season,” Lader said. “She’s been ill and hasn’t been able to go. She’s a kid who can break 21 (minutes). To see her in her first race since last October, I’m really happy to see her run a 22 and change. When you haven’t raced in a year and to be able to hold that, I’m really pleased.”
Emilykate Hopson-Boyd finished 45th with a time of 24:51.90.
“It’s good to have her back,” Lader said. “Two years ago she broke the school record in the 800 (meter run) but she didn’t run for us last year. It’s good to have her back and see her do well this weekend.”
Maddie Haas (25:46.70), Esther Millas (28:32.00) and Hannah Leland (37:58.90) also competed for the Bison.
Beachwood races at Gilmour Academy next weekend.