Monday, January 30, 2023

Kirtland’s Christine Walsh wins Hawken Invitational

Kirtland’s Christine Walsh continues to show improvement on the trail this season and on Wednesday she won the Hawken Invitational with a time of 24:08.80. It was the first race win of her career.

Kirtland's Christine Walsh won the girls' race in 24:08.80

Paced by Walsh and with strong finishes from Katherine Stief and Clarice Aquila the Hornets finished second overall to the host Hawks in the girls’ race.

“That’s a huge confidence booster for the girls’ team and Christine,” said Kirtland coach JP Moran. “That is her first cross country win. Katherine was up front the whole time too. Clarice was a solid three for us and the freshmen ran well as our fourth and sixth, Maggie (Fovargue) and Holly (Samf). Crissy (Faught) and Maria (Shepherd) ran hard and Bridget (Stark) placed right behind them.”

Stief was sixth with a time of 25:07.70. Aquila (27:08.10) was 12th, Fovargue (29:21.8) was 19th and Faught (29:27.40) rounded out the top 20.

With just four runners, Kirtland’s boys didn’t place as a team but saw strong performances out of Kevin Cummings and Colton Zanko. Cummings was 13th with a time of 20:49.30 and Zanko placed 14th with a time of 20:53.60.

“The boys had a decent race,” Moran said. “They are competing and running hard even though they don't have five and this is a grueling week, but they are on pace and I told them this is preparing us for later in the season so keep working.”

Nick Meyer ran the race in 22:17.60 and Josh Mansfield finished in 22:21.70.

Beachwood’s Cathy Perloff finished second in the girls’ race with a time of 24:28.40 and Anna Post was 17th with a time of 28:10.00. Esther Millas also competed for the Bison.

The Bison boys finished third overall. Jack Spero led the way with a third place finish in a time of 18:48.80. Alex Remer (21:34.00) and Adam Moses (21:49.00) also finished among the top 20.

“Stellar performance by Cathy Perloff and Jack Spero,” said Beachwood coach Jamie Lader. “The boys finished third but the girls did not have enough for a team. The boys are starting to look much better as a team.”

Cardinal also competed at the event. It was the Huskies’ first meet of the year.

Anna Futty, Ashley Lucarelli, Shelby Miller and Allissa Nevison all finished among the top 20. Futty (25:36.60) was 10th, Lucarelli (26:19.10) was 11th, Miller (28:00.40) was 16th and Nevison (28:54.60) was 18th. Avila Gyorki also competed for the Huskies.

Brandon Neikirk led the Cardinal boys with a seventh place finish in 19:58.00. Chris Noreika was 21st with a time of 21:56.90 and Alec Wolff and Logan Daw came in 27th and 28th place, respectively. Wolff ran the race in 22:45.40 and Daw finished in 22:50.40.

Aidan White (23:42.60) and Craig Shanower (24:26.70) also competed for the Huskies.

“It was a good first meet,” said Cardinal coach Greg Cicero. “We were able to see where our base has us and identify some areas to work on. I’m encouraged by the running of Anna Futty, Ashley Lucarelli, and Brandon Neikirk, who all ran strong races.”

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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