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Solon CC makes school history Preppers give it their all, person
Solon CC makes school history Preppers give it their all, personal bests
By TONY LANGE
The Solon Comets placed fifth at the Division I state cross-country meet Saturday, the highest-ever for their school.
The previous best team effort by Solon was eighth place, head coach Stephen Cerne said.
"That was the one thing we hadn't yet accomplished, so it was nice to kind of knock that one out and for them to have their season culminate in that kind of finish because you never know going week to week," Cerne said. "You can talk about it, prepare them mentally for it, physically, but until it actually happens, it's just a dream. So, to see them actually do it was great."
The Comets were beaten only by state champion Dublin Coffman, runner-up St. Ignatius, third-place Walsh Jesuit and Hilliard Davidson in the 16-team, 154-runner, 5-kilometer race at the National Trail Raceway near Columbus.
Running for Solon were sophomore Kevin Blank, 16:05, senior Dan Urbanek, 16:25, senior Max Haiss, 16:32, junior John Riordan, 16:35, junior Grant Behnke, 16:39, sophomore Kevin Burns, 16:55, and junior Eric Hansen, 17:53. Their individual sequence in the team race was 11-26-38-41-44-67-110.
Before the race, Cerne said he talked with his runners about the individual pain that each one of them would endure through the race.
"When you're out there running, you've got to think about your other teammates," Cerne said. "I told them just to put the effort forth because Dan Urbanek and Max Haiss, this is their last time running. So I wanted those younger guys to just think about that. As much pain as you're in, three, four more seconds of pain in terms of pushing yourself a little harder and knowing the glory you'll feel when you're in the top five."
A top-five performance like that of last Saturday will continue to build the Solon program for years to come, Cerne said.
"The more success we have, the more kids that want to be a part of it, the harder they're going to work to be like the team from the previous year or better," he said. "So, that's very encouraging. We had probably 30 kids come down from the team. We had a number of alumni down there. So, it was nice for the camaraderie."
Five of Solon's varsity seven ran personal best times, Cerne said.
"It was just a nice event. Whenever you get there, you're happy," he said "Whenever you perform that well, that's just a blessing. On the way home, all you could really do was smile."
The University School boys cross-country team finished 16th in the Division II state meet last Saturday.
Before the race, head coach Kirt Komocki said he talked to his Preppers about course strategy on the new National Trail Raceway route the Ohio High School Athletic Association chose for this year's state race.
"We told them to try to pass people one by one on every straightaway and fight for every single spot because you could be in 80th place overall and still be in the team race at like 50th place just because of the number of individual racers," Komocki said. "It was definitely a runners' course, very fast."
Competing for the Preppers in the 16-team, 146-runner race were sophomore Jakob Weisblat, 17:10, junior Stephen Staats, 17:46, senior Will Moore, 17:56, freshman Brad Tramer, 18:23, senior Repton Salisbury, 18:23, sophomore Walker Chieffe, 18:35, and senior John Anderson, 18:54. Their finishing sequence in the team race was 37-69-76-95-96-102-110.
Despite finishing last at the state meet, the Preppers ran well, Komocki said.
"I knew we were going to be toward the back," he said. "We had five PR's and I was happy with that. Jakob PR'd by like 35 seconds. Those guys were just way faster than us. We needed to PR everybody by 35-40 seconds and even with that we would have beat maybe two or three teams."
Overall, it was a good experience for everyone and there were no regrets, Komocki said.
"You never know when you're going to get this opportunity again," Komocki told his runners. "The regional was a little bit easier this year, so our goal was to take a swing, take a shot and then the same thing with the state meet. You never know when you're going to be back here again, so you might as well do your best and focus on what you can control and I told them to embrace the moment and leave it all on the course. I think they did."
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