BOSTON TWP.: Twinsburg junior Garrett Crichlow smiled and savored the moment of individual success Saturday.
Then he turned his attention to a fallen teammate.
Crichlow crossed the finish line first in a time of 17 minutes and 17.8 seconds to win the boys side of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Invitational hosted by Woodridge at Pine Hollow-Kendall Hills.
His teammate, senior Ryan Scanlon, wasn’t as fortunate as he was unable to finish after tripping on an opponent and falling during the race.
Crichlow, Twinsburg coach Sarah Kmet and the rest of the Tigers rushed to check on Scanlon after the race.
“I did really well,” Crichlow said. “We were going for the team title, but we came up short. Our No. 2 guy [junior Nick Schank] was held out and our No. 3 guy [Scanlon] fell. We will be OK though.”
The Woodridge boys scored 62 points to win the team title in a field of 31. Eastlake North (141), Bay Village Bay (147), Nordonia (150) and Chardon (186) rounded out the top five teams.
Woodridge placed three seniors in the top nine, with Matt Wojcik finishing second in 17:32.6. Alex Frederick and Sam Scourfield were fourth and ninth. Juniors John Harry and Tim Faiken also scored for the Bulldogs.
“Our seniors ran well,” Woodridge coach Jeff Howard said. “It’s very exciting when your seniors can run well at home. This is our only home meet and they wanted to win.”
The conditions were ideal Saturday for running with the sun shining and comfortable temperatures. Last year’s CVNPI featured heavy rain and lots of mud covering the grass.
Libby Rogenski of Poland Seminary won the girls race Saturday in a time of 20:36.5.
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy scored 60 points to win the girls team title in a field of 27. Woodridge (96), Crestwood (106), Poland Seminary (141) and Kent Roosevelt (195) rounded out the top five teams.
Sophomore Sammy Bockoven paced CVCA with a second-place finish in 20:56.7.
“It was hard, but I’m happy with how I ran,” Bockoven said. “I walked up two of the hills. I ran hard the rest of the way though.
“I just want to get better each week.”
Royals senior Mallory Myers was seventh, senior Mia Yeager finished ninth and sophomore Natalie Pasicznyk took 11th. Junior Kelli Janus also scored for CVCA.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” CVCA coach George Hallis said of the team victory. “Sammy is not 100 percent. I’d say she’s about 70 percent. She’s battled some medical issues.
“We’ve been struggling all year. …We are not hitting on all cylinders. We are just not flowing. We have had some girls who have been on some meets and off during other meets.”
Nordonia’s Leah Vasarhelyi and Kent Roosevelt’s Kaylie Murray were third and fourth, respectively. Woodridge’s Madison Spreitzer placed eight and Ravenna’s Olivia Chinn took 10th.
Crichlow took the lead right after the race started and maintained it through the finish line.
“This is the most challenging course we run all year,” Kmet said. “The plan was for Garrett to get a win and not have to go all out, and that is exactly what he did.”
Tallmadge’s Patrick Ferguson was third. Nordonia’s Zack Thaxton and Jacob Karnow were sixth and 10th.
Twinsburg freshman Josh Gogan and junior Matt Andrews were seventh and eighth.
“This was a pretty good field, but some schools did not run all of their top guys,” Howard said. “It’s a great event for our program to have the middle school and high school parents together. We had a lot of parents come out and help, and a lot of alumni came out to help and to provide support.
“We also had the program’s founder, Stan Stammen, leading every race on the four-wheeler. He does a lot for this school and this community.”
Stammen, 71, said he started the Woodridge cross country program in 1967 and served as coach until 1998 when Howard took over. Stammen, a Peninsula resident, also started the Bulldogs track and field and wrestling teams.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.