Hudson senior Kyle Mau is aiming for a title and a record in the Division I state boys cross country championship meet Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
Bob Mau, Kyle’s father, holds the state record in Division I for completing a state 3.1-mile course (5,000 meters) in 14:58.6 in 1982.
Bob ran at Rocky River High School and then at Northwestern University.
Kyle Mau, an Indiana University recruit, will be in action at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
“He wants me to beat his record,” Mau said. “He is rooting for me all the way. I think it would be really cool to keep that record in the family. It would be nice to pass it from father to son. That is the goal for this season. I want to win state and beat that record.”
Kyle started running competitively in seventh grade. He also played soccer, golf and tennis as a kid. He placed third at state last year in 15:21.93, and chose Indiana over Iowa State, Akron, North Carolina and Virginia.
“Kyle brings the attitude that I want,” Hudson coach Mark McConnell said. “He doesn’t shy away from the competition and he doesn’t let it get to his head. He races to win and he races hard every single day. He doesn’t let people that shouldn’t beat him, beat him.”
Mau is not the only area athlete in the running for a state title.
Wooster senior Kevin White and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy senior Ryan Adams and several others are legitimate candidates to win a state title.
“It has been a real privilege to coach Kevin,” Wooster coach Doug Bennett said. “He is a special kid. Not only is he a gifted athlete, but he is an amazing person. He possesses empathy that is usually not present in teenage boys.
“He loves his teammates, he loves competition and he loves to get to know his competitors. He enjoys this like I think many people just don’t. He is a tough competitor, but he also keeps it in perspective and likes to get to know the guys that are doing what he is doing. He shares in the enthusiasm with them.”
CVCA senior Sammy Bockoven and St. Thomas Aquinas junior Athena Welsh are just two of many runners to watch among the girls.
White will be in the Division I boys race. Adams and Bockoven will in the Division II boys and girls races, respectively. Welsh is entered in the Division III girls race.
Adams placed seventh in Division II last year. He is considering running at Kentucky, Butler, North Carolina State and Arkansas.
“What I like about the way Ryan is running is that he hasn’t been challenged a lot,” CVCA coach Rick Lyons said. “There have been races where guys will be with him for the first or second mile, but he has always pushed through that third mile. We are dealing with a lot of hard-working guys who are humble and doing the best for their team, and that is how Ryan has been all year. It hasn’t been about self. He has been focused on his team up to this point.”
Lake, Jackson and Hudson are boys teams to watch in Division I, along with the GlenOak and Nordonia girls teams. St. Vincent-St. Mary and Woodridge will continue their rivalry in the Division II boys and girls races, and Aquinas is a player in Division III.
Woodridge coach Jeff Howard is guiding the Bulldogs girls and boys teams to Hebron for the Division II state meet. He will also get the opportunity to coach his oldest daughter, freshman Molly Howard.
“It’s really fun to run with my dad as coach,” Molly said. “It is nice having him at home to talk to. My dad has given me a lot of advice over the years.”
Molly Howard has been a competitive runner since third grade.
“It’s fun,” Jeff Howard said. “What’s neat is that when Molly was younger she would watch our girls teams and she would say, ‘Dad, I hope the girls are that nice when I get to high school.’ The culture of our girls and boys programs is phenomenal. We have had great leaders over the years.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.