Comfortable temperatures and sunshine can bring out the best in many athletes.
It sure did Saturday morning for Ellet sophomore Dorlan Bell and the Firestone boys team in City Series Championship Cross Country races at Goodyear Heights Metro Park.
Bell completed the 3.1-mile course in 17 minutes, 39 seconds to win his second individual City Series title in a row and the Firestone boys team won its 11th City Series team championship in a row with 22 points.
Ellet’s boys finished second with 53 points and Buchtel was third with 84 points.
“It feels awesome to win this again,” Bell said. “I have been working really hard in practice. My goal today was to run a 17:50 and I beat it. I surprised myself that I did it. This is a personal-best time for me.”
Buchtel junior Brittany Tate-Lockett topped the girls field at 22:00.
“I had no idea I would pull that off, but I am grateful and I appreciate it,” Tate-Lockett said. “Down the final [150-yard] stretch I felt like I could pull away and I did. I plan on working harder for next year.”
The Ellet girls team scored 35 points to win its second league title in a row. Firestone (40) and Buchtel (64) were second and third.
In addition to 11 titles in a row, Firestone’s boys have been No. 1 in 12 of 13 seasons.
“This is the first time we have got seven runners in the top 10,” Firestone coach Tim Carroll said. “As a whole, the guys ran together, ran strong and ran as a team. It is the fastest we have ran at City in a long time. I am real happy with their effort and real happy with their times.”
Falcons senior Quinn Gilbert (17:58), junior Harley Moyer (18:09) and senior Nathan Herr (18:15) placed second through fourth. Senior Stephen Dubetz and sophomore John Bowen were sixth and seventh, and senior Jacob Petry and junior Jeremy Thomas were ninth and 10th.
Gilbert, Herr, Dubetz (18:47), Bowen (18:51) ran personal-best times.
“This feels really great and I am just happy that we could keep the tradition alive,” Gilbert said. “We stayed strong as a team and we made this one of the fastest City meets that we have had in a long, long time.”
Buchtel senior Emani Griffin placed second in the girls race at 22:07. Ellet junior Shayla Morris and senior Kennedy Soyk were third and fourth, respectively.
Ellet has won the girls title in 10 of 12 seasons.
“It was a very tight race,” Ellet coach Matt Cochran said. “I figured if we could break 40 points, we should be fine. I had done every possible combination of different ways the three teams could place. I figured out the ones that put us on top and I shared that with the girls. I told them what they needed to do and they did it.”
The top 10 girls were all from Ellet, Buchtel or Firestone.
The other Ellet girls who scored were seniors Sharnisha Baddley and Mikhayla Callahan along with sophomore Carissa McClelland.
Firestone’s top five girls were sophomore Amelia McNutt, junior Kate Piscetta, senior Leah Struhsaker, senior Kat Mastro and sophomore Kaitlyn Brubaker.
Ellet senior Andrew Mason and East junior Matthew Waldsmith were in the boys top 10.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.