Saturday, January 28, 2023

Polman wins Spartan Invitational

The fourth time was the charm for Independence senior Tyler Polman at the Spartan Invitational.

Polman, who previously finished among the top 10 as a freshman, sophomore and junior, claimed the individual title at the elite meet held at Boardman High School in Youngstown on Saturday.

To win the race, he edged Smithville senior Joey Coudriet by just two seconds. Polman ran a time of 16:08.0 while Coudriet finished in 16:10.8.

“The goal was to individually win the meet but also run under 16 minutes,” Polman said. “16:08 wasn't a bad time for Boardman's course, but I believe I am capable of running stronger currently.”

Polman ran the first mile in about five minutes, 10 seconds and hit the two-mile mark around 10:30.

He pulled away from Coudriet in the final 1000 meters.

“From about 1200 (meters) into the race, Joe Coudriet and I had already broken away from the pack,” Polman said. “I led for most of the race, but the race really picked up the last 1000 meters. Joe and I were pretty much stride for stride until the final straightaway where I pulled ahead by 1-2 seconds. Overall, I wished the race went a little faster from the start, but I'm excited for winning the race and also running a very competitive race that came down to a final kick.”

Polman finished fourth in 2015 (16:19), fifth in 2014 (16:13) and ninth in 2013 (16:49).

Freshmen Wyatt Balser (23:08), Gregory Adams (23:13) and Thorin Chappel (26:21) and sophomore Kishore Gowrishankar (34:41) also ran for the Independence boys’ team.

Senior Dana Zaccardelli led the Blue Devils’ girls’ team with a 24th place finish in 20:43. Freshman Emily Skoczen was 48th (21:49) and senior Maria Sagi was 55th (22:03). Sophomore Emma Wensink finished in 23:41.

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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