Led by sophomore Ella Gilson, Hawken’s girls’ cross country team won a second straight team title at the 2018 Division II district cross country meet at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds on Saturday.
The Hawks finished with 58 points while second place Poland Seminary scored 63. Salem finished third with 84.
Hawken’s boys’ team finished in sixth place by one point. Only the top five teams advanced to regionals.
“After winning the (Chagrin Valley Conference) title for back-to-back years, the team focused on doing the same at the district meet,” Hawken coach Chris Farroni said. “We had a good week of practice, which gave the girls the confidence to give the race their best. I feel extra motivation came as a result of what the boys’ team experienced. They did not want to experience the disappointment of coming up short.”
Gilson won the individual district title with a time of 18:05. Juliana Metz finished second overall with a time of 19:02.
Julia Newman finished 10th (19:54), Lena Sylvan was 21st (20:51), Adele Metres placed 24th (21:08), Amanda Lee finished 51st (23:01) and Jocelyn Chin was 61st for the Hawks in 23:51.
“Ella and Juliana attacked the first mile to set their place in the race,” Farroni said. ‘They were first and second at mile one and never relinquished their positions. Julia has been feeling under the weather, but she hung tough to give us what we needed in No. 3. Lena and Adele ran strong against the wind and finished ahead of Poland’s next runners.”
Hawken’s depth paid dividends in edging Poland for the district title.
“Poland Seminary ran a great race on Saturday,” Farroni said. “Their top three ran really well and we knew it was going to be decided by our fourth and fifth runners.”
Now the Hawks will focus on defending their regional title at Boardman High School on Saturday.
“The girls were really excited to win the district title,” Farroni said. “They have been working all season to earn a return to states. The district title is the first step on the trip and can give them a boost as they head into a pretty tough regional meet at Boardman. The other three district champs—St. Vincent-St. Mary, Beaumont and Chagrin Falls–have put together great seasons and we are looking forward to competing against them on Saturday.”
Senior Michael Snyder finished 10th in the boys race with a time of 17:28 to punch is ticket to the regional meet.