Saturday, January 28, 2023

Hornets make improvements

Kirtland’s cross country teams entered the 2017 season with high expectations and so far the Hornets have delivered.

At Kenston’s Frank Gibas Invitational on Saturday, Kirtland runners showed great progress from their Week 1 performance at the Berkshire Early Bird Invitational.

“There were many big improvements from last week and overall improvement as a team,” said Kirtland coach JP Moran. “It was a big race by freshman Julie Namciu and the top three boys were all in the 18s. The girls were all 24:00 or below. That’s very good for us. We’re working on closing our gaps in the top seven and all moving up so we can have low numbers and a tighter pack.”

Namciu finished the race in 22:41, good for 58th place.

Sophomore Lauren Snyder finished 29th with a time of 21:23 while her sister Sydney Snyder was 37th in 21:38.

Junior Emily Crebs (24:02), freshman Mateja Mrva (24:42), freshman Aimee Baldrey (24:45) and senior Holly Samf (25:10) also competed for the Hornets in the girls’ race.

Junior Konnor Duncan paced the Hornets in the boys’ race. He finished 45th with a time of 18:31.

“I’m very happy to have run an 18 this early in the season,” Duncan said. “I ran the same time last year and I had more training time then, so I am very excited for the next few meets because I am hoping to be running somewhere in the 17s for the (league) meet.”

Senior Colton Zanko wasn’t far behind as he finished 49th with a time of 18:37.

Junior Jake Grdadolnik (18:56), junior Nick Briggs (20:29), sophomore George Shuppe (20:52), freshman Jonny Jackson (21:33) and freshman Ian McGreal (21:43) also competed.

“We’ve all just been putting in great work and working to beat each other,” Duncan said. “Colton, Jake and I were all leap-frogging off of each other trying to come in first for the team. We’re hoping to have all of our runners in the 19s or below for CVC.”

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Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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