Geneva’s boys’ cross country team and Edgewood’s girls’ squad both claimed titles at the Ashtabula County Meet at Lake Shore Park on Saturday.
The Eagles beat the Warriors by six points in the boys’ race to prevent the Edgewood sweep.
Geneva senior Alex Reese and his brother, Zachary, finished first and second in the boys’ race ahead of Edgewood’s Joey Jafarace to seal the Eagles’ win.
“For the last two weeks, I have been thinking about this race,” Alex Reese said. “My coach told me that our main competition, Edgewood, were two points ahead of us on paper based on their times. Their fastest runner, who I have always been neck and neck with, had a faster time than me throughout this season so far. I knew for sure that I would definitely be right there with him during the race, but I wasn’t sure if I could be able to pull it off, but when I got close to him, I knew that was my golden opportunity, so I went for it. This was probably the toughest race I have ran in a while, both mentally and physically. This race has constantly been on my mind for quite some time, and it felt so great to have things work out this way and see such great results from not just me, but my team as well.”
Reese finished in 17:43, six seconds ahead of his brother and 23 seconds ahead of third-place Jafarace.
“The same course that we ran at today is the one that we run at our first meet, so naturally our times are always pretty slow on this course,” he said. “But, for how difficult this race is with all the hills, I am very satisfied with my time. I was actually surprised with my time when I finished.”
Geneva’s William Hanchosky finished fifth in 18:06, Sam Robinson placed 11th with a time of 19:00 and Bryan Lininger was 16th in 19:41. Timothy Robinson (20:02), Matthew Frabotta (20:35), Zach Tidwell (20:46) and Brier Streets (20:46) also ran for the Eagles.
With both an individual and team win under his belt, Reese hopes to use this momentum for a strong start to his senior season.
“I have always had confidence issues in my running abilities,” he said. “I feel like sometimes I forget how skillful I am at running and I hold myself back from running at my true potential. However, after this race, I had realized that my running capabilities and my inner potential is much more than I thought. I’ve never really thought that I could see myself getting this far, but I have. This race has been a great and much-needed boost to my confidence and I will continue to always keep learning and growing from this experience. I would also like to thank my parents, my team, my coach, and my older teammates from my past years of running.”
Grand Valley’s David Steimle placed fourth with a time of 18:05 and Edgewood had top 10 finishes from Granison Hill (18:17), Kurt Corrigan (18:24) and Griffin Obermiyer (18:29).
Edgewood’s Lydia Randolph cruised to first-place in the girls’ race.
The senior finished in 20:54, 54 seconds ahead of Geneva’s Grace Dubsky, who was second.
Edgewood’s Caroline Nelson (3rd, 21:54), Layce Artman (6th, 22:32), and Abbie Metcalf (9th, 23:12), Geneva’s Renee Tetlow (4th, 22:02) and Alayna Lomas (10th, 23:12) and Lakeside’s Athena Pantoja (5th, 22:03) also finished among the top 10.