MIDDLEFIELD—West Geauga’s Patrick Garrett set a new personal record in winning the 2019 Cardinal Invitational on Saturday.
Garrett hoped to run with the lead pack but those plans changed when the opportunity to finish first became a reality.
“I was pretty pumped to win the race today,” Garrett said. “I didn’t really have expectations going into the race, so I kept an open mind throughout and the opportunity presented itself towards the end.”
Garrett ran a time of 16:39.3 to edge fellow Chagrin Valley Conference runner John Steimle of Grand Valley, who finished in 16:40.2. Harvey’s J.T. Basco finished third in 16:41.
Riverside’s Bryce Weber placed fourth but he helped to pace Garrett.
“I wanted to stick with Riverside’s best guy and then pull away from him at the end,” Garrett said. “After that happened, I realized I was up there with the top two and I had a legit shot at winning. At that point I told myself, ‘You’re right up there now, you’ve got to go for first,’ so I stuck with them and focused on my kick at the end.”
That kick proved to be enough to outrun the rest of the field.
Now, Garrett hopes to ride this momentum into the postseason.
“This race really gave me a big confidence boost in knowing that when I’m in a situation like the one today that it’s going to hurt but staying mentally strong is key to my success,” he said.
Other CVC runners to finish among the top 20 included Cuyahoga Heights’ Darien Tillett (7th, 17:13), Grand Valley’s David Steimle (13th, 17:39), Hawken’s David Hamilton (12th, 17:38), Kirtland’s John Sayle (17th, 17:51) and West Geauga’s Kenneth Kirk (6th, 17:07), John Patterson (10th, 17:19), Anthony Tirabassi (14th, 17:43), Chris Whiting (15th, 17:46) and John Mikes (18th, 17:51).
Perry’s Cori Lynch led the CVC runners in the girls’ race. She finished fourth with a time of 20:45.
The CVC had several more top 20 finishers including Independence’s Emily Skoczen (6th, 20:59) and Makenna McGhee (10th, 21:03), Kirtland’s Reilly Greenlee (11th, 21:05), Orange’s Kate Halloran (5th, 20.53), Perry’s Alyssa Vis (17th, 21:55) and West Geauga’s Grace Gyetko (7th, 21:00), Skye Hackathorn (8th, 21:01) and Julia Martinez (14th, 21:20).