Boys’ Cross Country wins SWC Championship


Coach Stephanie Toole

     This past weekend the Lakewood High School Boys Cross Country Team won their second Southwestern Conference XC Championship in three years.
     Going into the SWC Championship Meet we knew that the team title could go to anyone of four teams – Lakewood, Avon, Amherst, and Avon Lake. The 2018 SWC Preview Meet had been very close and each time we ran against our SWC foes in various XC Invitationals this fall, the scores remained close.
    The Lakewood Boys came into the the meet knowing that the team title was going to be hard fought. That it would be all about racing hard, that they would have to run with the confidence they put in the necessary off season training,  trusting their season training and paying attention to the small details and the fact that they were coming off their last two meets with fast times indicated they were ready to break threw and bring them out on the top.
       Sat. Oct. 13, 2018, on the cold rain soaked soggy and muddy LCCC course the Rangers put it all together.
      The LCCC course is traditionally not known as a fast course even in the best weather conditions. This proved true Saturday for it was all about grit, pushing through the cold wet weather conditions they couldn’t control(with temperatures 50 degrees colder than just five days before!), knowing where their opponents were in the race and racing smart.
     The final score was closer than anyone predicted with the Rangers coming out on top the ten team SWC field with 74 points, just a mere point ahead of Avon with 75pts followed by Amherst and Avon Lake tying with 79pts.  The 3rd place team was decided with the tie breaker – the 6th runner for Amherst(24th place) finishing ahead of Avon Lake’s 6th runner(41st place). Rounding out the team scoring was Westlake 109, Berea-Midpark 140, Olmsted Falls 162, North Ridgeville 233, Midview 235, and North Olmsted 282.
     Junior Cormac Kramer lead the Rangers with his 3rd place finish – earning him 1st Team All Conference honors. Senior Joseph Toole – 11th, Junior Patrick McCallum – 12th and Senior Tyler Hannah – 16th helped secure the Rangers team title with their strong finishes, also earning the trio 2nd Team All Conference honors. Sophomore Joe Kelly rounded out the team scoring for the Rangers and helping secure the victory running a terrific race finishing 32nd over all.
     Joe was brought up from the JV team on Wednesday to run Varsity after our #3 runner Junior Sean O’Donnell was sidelined with a hip flexor strain. Freshman James O’Donnell 37th and Sophomore Aidyn Zingale 45th rounded out the top seven runners for the Rangers. Both Joe Kelly and James O’Donnell earned Honorable Mention All Conference honors.
     Senior Tyler Hannah earned our ‘Runner of the Week” award – the true competitor that Tyler is, he stepped up big on Saturday running a PR(personal record) in those conditions. All season Tyler has been our 7th-8th runner, but Saturday he finished as our fourth runner! This break through race proved to be one of the defining factors for our team victory.
     Post season racing continues this weekend with the OHSAA Div. 1 District meet at LCCC. The team will toe the starting line at 11:45am. The top four teams and 16 individuals will qualify on to the OHSAA Regional Meet to be held at Boardman High School on Sat. 10/27 at 12:30pm. From the Regional Meet – 7 teams and 23 individuals will advance to the Div. 1 OHSAA State Cross Country Meet in Columbus.