CARLISLE TWP. — Coaches hope their runners spend the hours before the first race of the season focusing on rest, hydration and possibly loading up on carbohydrates.
Firelands junior Alessandra Davis and Keystone freshman Stephen Faltay, the two top Lorain County finishers in Monday’s Keystone Icebreaker, had different ideas about how to approach the race.
Davis, who finished fifth in the girls division with a time of 22:11.9, returned home Sunday night, less than 24 hours before the race after spending five days in Norfolk, Va., training with the Lorain Division of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
“I just got back from training with my youth military group and I’m exhausted,” Davis said. “We did a lot of fun PT but we did it in the ocean.”
Even a week of military training could not prepare Davis for the heat and humidity Monday at the Lorain County Metro Parks Equestrian Center.
“I would have liked to run a little bit harder at the end but for the first 2½ miles, I thought I did OK,” she said. “I wanted to just come out today and set a good pace.”
Davis and Brookside’s Alicia Fike, who finished ninth with a time 22:30.9, were the only local runners in the top 10 in a race dominated by Cloverleaf.
The Colts won the race for the sixth straight year, led by sophomore Maria Porras, who was individual champion in a time of 21:38.5. Cloverleaf had six runners finish in the top 12.
Brookside was the top local team, finishing third.
Although Faltay was racing on his home course, he didn’t know what to expect in his first high school race. And he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it after spending six hours Monday morning and in the early afternoon showing the Market Ducks he has raised at the Lorain County Fair.
“It was hard getting out. I was stuck behind a pack for a while, but it was a really good race,” said Faltay, who finished fifth with a time of 17:26.3. “Late in the race, I used the hill to my advantage and I just booked it the rest or the way. I feel really good for my first race in high school.
“I was at the fair for hours, walking around in shoes that weren’t very comfortable for walking around in. Today was the day for showing the ducks and we had to take them around and do showmanship and stuff like that. I’m really a little bit shocked I came here and did as well as I did.”
Although the Wildcats didn’t win the event — finishing seventh — and Faltay doesn’t know if his duck will win best of show, it was still a day he’ll never forget.
“It feels amazing. I’ll remember this when I’m 75 years old,” he said.
Fifth-place Columbia was the top local boys team. The Raiders were led by junior Matt Pettegrew, who finished ninth with a time of 17:34.6.
Pettegrew was one of a number of runners who appeared to be held up by a pack of Bay High runners running side-by-side at almost the same speed. Seven Rockets were in a pack around the two-mile mark, with all seven of those runners crossing the finish line in a span of 30 seconds to give the Rockets the team title.
“It was a tough race for everyone today. It was pretty hot,” Pettegrew said. “There were a lot of people on the track. When you have runners in a pack like that, it’s tough to get around them. Like I said, it was just a really tough race.”
Boardman junior Mitchel Dunham was the boys individual champion, finishing the 5K course in 16:40.8.
Team Standings: 1. Bay 54, 2 Boardman 101, 3. Norwalk, 4. Fairview 120, 5. Cloverleaf 133, 6. Columbia 141, 7. Keystone 185, 8. Firelands 220, 9. Buckeye 232, 10. Lake Ridge Academy 292, 11, Wellington 302, 12. Black River 346, 13. Brookside 352, 14. Midview 352, 15. Amherst 387.
Top 10 finishers: 1. Mitchel Dunham, Boardman, 16:40.8; 2. Robert Vazquez, Norwalk, 16:51.1; 3. Max Gucker, Cloverleaf, 17:12.9; 4. Mitchell Sommers, Norwalk, 17:24.0; 5. Stephen Falty, Keystone, 17:26.3; 6. Frank Bero, Boardman, 17:27.6; 7. Ivan Slyepkan, Bay, 17:31.7; 8. Jude Ault, Bay, 17:33.0, 9. Matt Pettegrew, Columbia, 17:34.6, 10. Dawson Maiden, Keystone, 17:35.1
Locals in top 20: 16. Jared Swartz, Columbia, 17:55.8; 18. Joel Pospisil, Brookside, 18:15.9, 20. Zach Baldwin, Firelands, 18:24.9
Team Standings: 1. Cloverleaf, 33; 2. Buckeye, 67, 3. Brookside, 105, 4. Fairview, 116, 5. Firelands, 136, 6. Midview, 152, 7. Black River, 172, 8. Lake Ridge Academy, 191, Keystone, 220.
Top 10 finishers: 1. Maria Porres, Cloverleaf, 21:38.5; 2. Lilly Palisin, Fairview, 21.47.7, 3. Maddie Roschival, Buckeye, 21:49.3; 4. Brooke Franz, Buckeye, 22:01.1; 5. Alessandra Davis, Firelands, 22:11.9;, 6. Bailey Freeland, Cloverleaf, 22:18.1. 7. Jenna Oliver, Cloverleaf, 22:20.1, 8. Elyse Coe, Norwalk, 22:25.5, 9. Alicia Fike, Brookside, 22:30.9; 10. Tommie Kurtz, Cloverleaf, 22:42.8
Locals in top 20: 13. MacKenzie Allsop, 23:34.8; 14. Grace Patchin, Midview, 23:36.5; 15. Mona Mchaourab, Lake Ridge Academy, 23:49.1; 17. Mackenzie Glass, Brookside, 24:05.4; 18. Marissa Meyers, Brookside, 24:11.7; 19. Kaitlyn Clifford, Black River, 24:31.9