by Audrianna Imka

The cross country Blazers had an incredibly noteworthy season this year. After a month of coming to school in the summer (ew) and practicing in the searing heat, we kicked off the season at the Hawken Invitational, in which varsity and JV all ran together, and we placed 2nd out of 9 teams. After a very hilly meet in Lorain, we traveled over 2 hours away to the middle of nowhere (AKA Tiffin) for the majority of the team’s favorite meet of the season. We stayed overnight, had some great team bonding, and finished in 8th out of 25 teams. 29 out of 31 of us set a new season or personal best time at one of the largest cross country meets in the nation. We tackled “The Hill” on the morning of homecoming, then traveled to amish country to run in the 85 degree heat and win “the belt” for the second year in a row. After a very successful senior nights, and a few more meets placing within the top 5 teams, the Blazer runners qualified for Regionals! This past Saturday, a group of fans drove to Boardman to cheer on our amazingly talented varsity team, who finished less than 35 points shy of qualifying for States. In the words of our esteemed coach, Clark Turner, “This team was one of the best in school history. The squad tied for the second best placing at the District level.  It had the second best showing at Regionals and this was the first time that the team qualified two individuals to the Regional Meet.” Despite not making it to States, our team had an outstanding group of runners who continued to impress me throughout the season. From hill workouts to team dinners to running in the pouring rain, we stuck together through thick and thin. Despite a few injuries (and a concussion), everyone continued to improve throughout the season. Tune in again next year to cheer your Blazer cross country team on all the way to States! In the meantime, you can find us at your local Mitchell’s, eating an entire ice cream cake with plastic spoons.