On Saturday, October 14, the Lakewood Rangers Boys’ Cross Country team began their postseason at the Southwestern Conference Championship. The meet, which took place at Lorain County Community College, featured a lot of outstanding competition and is the first of what the Rangers hope to be many postseason meets this season, as they have big goals heading into the heart of the season, which include qualifying to Regionals.
At the championship, the Rangers took 4th out of 10 teams with 89 points. Avon Lake won the conference with just 50 points, having their top 5 runners earn All-Conference. Following Avon Lake was Avon in 2nd place with 76 points, Amherst in 3rd with 78 points, and Olmsted Falls rounded out the top 5 with 137 points. It was a close race for 2nd place, but the difference was Avon having three All-Conference runners and Amherst having just two runners in the top 16.
Winning the Boys Race was Josh Hill of Amherst Steele who won with a time 16:24.2. In 2nd place not too far behind Hill was Jack Reed of Avon, who ran a time of 16:30.2. Closing out the top 5 were Milan Seiber of North Ridgeville (3rd place, 16:58.4), Alex Freeman of North Ridgeville (4th place, 17:03.7), and Eric Alu of Avon Lake (5th place, 17:04.8).
The Rangers were led by Senior Joe Burtzlaff, who finished 6th place with a time of 17:06.3, earning him First Team All-Conference. For the Rangers, Burtzlaff was followed by Sophomore Cormac Kramer who finished in 10th place with a time of 17:24.6, earning him Second Team All-Conference, Junior Joey Toole (17th place, 17:57.5), Sophomore Sean O’Donnell (26th place, 18:14.0), and Sophomore Patrick McCallum rounded out the Rangers’ top 5 (30th place, 18:24.1).
Next Saturday, October 21, the Rangers will compete in the OHSAA District Championship at Lorain County Community College. At the meet, the top 4 teams and the top 16 individuals will qualify to the OHSAA Regional Championship on October 28 at Boardman High School. The Rangers, who have qualified to Regionals as a team the past three years, hope to extend their streak to four years with at least a 4th place finish.