Cross Country: Girls Team is State Bound Along with Simpson as Lone Male Qualifier

Cross Country: Girls Team is State Bound Along with Simpson as Lone Male Qualifier

By: Matt Lindley, Head Coach
For More Info: Kristy Booher Angelo, Associate AD - 

The varsity cross country team made the trip to Boardman High School for the OHSAA Division III Northeast Regional Championship full of belief and knowing what would be required to move on to state. On a chilly damp day full of drama, the Lancers came out on the successful end.

In the girls race, four teams would advance. Gilmour faced stiff challenges from Maplewood and traditional rivals McDonald, along with talented squads from Smithville and Canton Central Catholic among others. Relying on tactics that served them well all season, the girls went out to challenge the race from the beginning. As things unfolded, it was clear Gilmour was rising to the challenge and asking questions other teams struggled to answer. In the end, the Lancers ended up tied with Maplewood for first with Gilmour taking second on the tie-breaker. With that result, the girls move on to the state championship for the 10th year in a row, as well as the 15th time in school history. The Lancers were led by Caitrina Barton '21 in 11th place, followed closely by Kaitlin Rulison '23 in 18th and Mary Lombardo '22 in 20th. Rulison was also the top freshman in the field. Jorja Hlifka '20 had a strong finish in 33rd to put Gilmour in contention, while Mia Polisena '22 continued her outstanding postseason with a 58th place finish. Nina Padanilam '22 (98th) and Ava Moe '22 (102nd) rounded out the scoring for the Lancers

In the boys race, Gilmour was represented by seniors Cole Durdella '20 and Bryson Simpson '20. The boys regional for Division III is always difficult with many top teams and individuals. Both Lancer competitors ran valiant races. Simpson, sticking his nose into the race from the beginning, stayed up with the leaders and fought off many challenges from those trying to catch him en route to a seventh-place finish in a personal-best time of 17:00. That outstanding result qualified him for the state meet for the third year in a row. Durdella ran a tough race, but unfortunately failed to qualify, finishing in 71st place. His four-year career was marked with many great race though, and he will be long remembered as an outstanding part of the cross country program.

The qualifying Lancers compete in the OHSAA Division III State Championship at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio on Saturday, November 2. The girls race at 11 a.m. followed by the boys race at 1:30 p.m.

Click here for more information about the 2019 OHSAA State Championship.

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