STOW: Twinsburg senior Garrett Crichlow and Walsh Jesuit senior Melinda Renuart showed just how elite they are in cross country Saturday.
Crichlow set a course record and Renuart posted an impressive time on the side to win an “Elite Varsity Race” in the Stow Bulldogs Invitational at Silver Springs Park.
Crichlow crossed the finish line in 15:40.0, shattering the previous course record by 13 seconds. His time also included a wrong turn that cost him between five and six seconds.
“I was thinking ‘Crap,’ ” Crichlow said of the mishap. “I had to get on my horse.”
Hudson junior Kyle Mau (15:42.0) and Rochester McQuaid Jesuit junior Nick Ciolkowski (15:44.8) placed second and third.
“I felt good,” Crichlow said. “Mau pushed me a lot and so did the McQuaid kid. I knew I could go in surges, [and I was thinking] don’t go too crazy and work my butt off … I kept a strong push, throwing surges in, dodging mud and went the wrong way.”
Mau temporarily took the lead, but Crichlow recovered from the wrong turn.
“Once I got around the final turn I kicked as hard as I could,” Crichlow said.
Twinsburg won the 10-team boys field with 64 points. Mentor (79), GlenOak (87), Hudson (90) and Chardon (121) rounded out the top five.
Senior Nick Schank (fourth), sophomore Josh Gogan (sixth), senior Matt Andrews (ninth) and junior Gordon Weiss (44th) also scored for the Tigers.
“It panned out very well for us,” Twinsburg coach Sarah Kmet said. “We were definitely looking at beating certain team’s Nos. 2 and 3, and our guys put themselves in the right spots early. They ran phenomenal. … Our Nos. 3, 4 and 5 ran personal best times.”
Crichlow missed his best time by seven seconds.
“I told him before the race what the course record was,” Kmet said. “He likes to know that. He was going after that. I know he doesn’t like losing, especially to neighbors like Mau. When he made that final turn to the finish I knew he was going to be good. He has that 800-meter speed.”
Renuart won the girls title in 19:07.4. Boardman junior Jordan Grantonic (19:12.9) and Chardon junior Samantha Stansbury (19:16.0) were second and third.
“It feels good to get the win,” Renuart said. “We were not even in elite last year, and we were in it this year and we got second [as a team]. We beat GlenOak, and they tied with us at the [Walsh Jesuit] Tomahawk Run behind Gilmour. It felt good to beat them because they tied with us, but they got second place because of sixth-runner [tiebreaker].”
Woodridge won the girls team title Saturday with 75 points. Walsh (87), GlenOak (90), Bay Village Bay (125) and Hudson (135) rounded out the top five.
Woodridge’s top five were senior Madison Spreitzer (eighth), senior Allison Dryer (14th), junior Julia Moore (16th), freshman Clare Willett (18th) and senior Erin Kiley (19th).
“We have great kids and they run together,” Woodridge coach Jeff Howard said. “They packed it up nice. Our seniors brought our freshmen along. We have three seniors, three freshmen and a junior. They all kept it tight. Everybody ran their best time of the season.”
On the boys side, Hudson sophomore Gavin Gaynor placed fifth in 16:21.1. GlenOak had four runners in the top 20: seniors Tommy DeShon and Josh Busken and juniors Josh Duffie and Grant Holland.
GlenOak junior Hannah Thompson, Walsh sophomore Molly Onders and Hudson junior Sarah Wolanske placed sixth, seventh and 10th in the girls race. GlenOak freshmen Grace Werren and Hannah Werren also placed in the top 20 with Walsh sophomore Abby Lenz.