Sunday, October 2, 2022

Mustangs set for CVC challenge

Grand Valley’s cross country teams have enjoyed their share of success over the years but the Mustangs will face a new challenge in 2019 as a new member of the Chagrin Valley Conference.

Head coach Kurtis Fisher believes his team is up for that challenge and more.

“I feel that with the boys’ team we have the potential to compete well in the CVC in our first year,” said Fisher, who is in his 13th year at Grand Valley and 15th overall. “We have a two-time state qualifier (in John Steimle) as the leader of the team and the boys are stepping up to the level of John. We are young and will have many of the runners back the next two seasons together so the sky is the limit. With the girls, we only have two runners so we are looking for growth out of both of them and hope to see them place well as individuals.”

The Mustangs return three starters to the boys’ team and two on the girls’ squad.

Fisher will rely on that experience to pace the rest of the pack.

“We need to continue to grow as runners this year with the majority of the team being freshmen and sophomores,” he said. “If they continue to train hard they will have a very good season.”

Steimle, a senior, is the most talented and experienced of the bunch. He has a personal-best time of 16:08 as he seeks a third straight trip to the state meet.

“John is coming off an injury and is looking to get back to his state form,” Fisher said. “He is a hard worker and is looking healthy and strong.”

Sophomore Max Bogardus also returns and seeks to improve upon his PR of 22:55.

“Max has come into the season looking strong and I am looking for a great season from him,” Fisher said.

Freshman David Steimle should make an immediate impact in the lineup.

“David is coming in looking great as a freshman,” Fisher said. “He is running with his older brother and has the potential to compete at the state meet as a freshman.”

Sophomore Annabell Hlebak and freshman Allison Reiter are the only female runners on the squad. Hlebak holds a PR of 22:05.

“Annabell came on strong at the end of last season and I am looking forward to seeing her pick up where she left off. She has taken the well to her new role as the leader of the girls and should grow in the role,” Fisher said. “Allison is new to cross country and is getting better every day. I am looking forward to seeing what she can do this year.”

While the end goal is to have each runner earn a shot at the state meet, the Mustangs are eager to show what they can do in league competition.

“We are excited to join the CVC and looking forward to great competition,” Fisher said. “We are looking to try and make our eighth straight trip to the state meet this year as a program.”

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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