The River boys squad placed second in the seven-team meet, while the Pirate girls earned gold with an impressive and deep performance in the traditional season opener at Cahoon Park.
On the boys’ side, a youthful group replacing eight of its top 10 runners from a year ago got breakout performances by sophomore Luke Kishna and senior captain Jacob Dorenkott. Kishna logged an eighth-pace time of 17.58.4 in the 5k, 99-runner meet. Dorenkott finished one spot back with a time of 18:07.4. Both times marked career bests.
River’s three other scoring runners were freshman Sam Buehrle (17th place), sophomore Seth Williams (18th) and senior Kenny Bollin (25th). The Pirates carded a team score of 77, slotting them just ahead of third-place Normandy (84). The GLC Preview champion on the boys’ side was Bay. A dominant Rocket team earned a perfect score of 15 points by having runners place first through fifth. Bay senior Ivan Slyepkan won the event, clocking in with a time of 17:44.1.
The girls’ race was a close match between River and Bay. Pirate runners earned five top-10 finishes in scoring 24 points. The Rockets scored 40 points in garnering silver.
Freshman speedster Samantha Coleman won the event with a final time of 20:39.7. Coleman finished two seconds clear of runner-up Olivia Bird (Bay). Freshman Ella Russell (21:11.2, third place), senior Mafe Chaves-Bernal (21:27.3, fifth), senior Katie Wojnowski (22:22.6, seventh) and sophomore Marcella Pfaff (personal-best 22:22.9, eighth) rounded out Rocky River’s scoring quintet. And just behind them were two other River runners – Alison Ritvo and Jane Murray – who placed 11th and 12th.
“They ran as a pack through mile one,” said Girls’ Head Coach Dee Zuercher, “and that helped them stay on pace and finish strong. I’m so proud of how the girls ran today, especially our freshmen in their first race.”
On both the girls’ and boys’ sides, the River-Bay placements were a flip of the script from last October when the GLC boys title was claimed by the Pirates (Rockets second) and the girls were circuit runners-up (finishing second to Bay).
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