|Weekly Update - September 21, 2001:
I must say, this has been a most interesting week. We saw Medina beat Strongsville at Boardman. We saw Britney Cerankosky's status come to question. (I still don't know what's up with that, so don't ask) We saw Beaumont run their best team race of the year at Hilliard. We saw some insanely fast times put up all over the state. We saw Avon Lake take it to Walsh, while SJA took an off week.
In Division one, Jackson has emerged as the team to beat. Their biggest question mark is Ashley Hmiel. She has not looked good this season at all. Her dedication has been questioned and it has been wondered aloud whether she is keyed into cross country or whether she is spending too much time on other things. With a rededicated Hmiel, Jackson would have a great shot at a State Title. Without her, they are good, but I don't think that good. She has proven in the past to be a good big-meet runner. We shall see. The other big news in D1 is that Medina pulled a supposed upset over Strongsville. It is clear that Medina has some crazy depth this year and if they can continue to lower their times, they will be tough to contend with. Strongsville needs Bridget Dalic to run more to the front and for Bernard to join her and Ardelean. SJA is consistently improving and with the return of Forgac, they will be made even stronger. Rachel Mistur is showing signs of finally taking control of some races. After pacing Forgac for the first two miles at McDonough, she almost ran down Megan McGuire of Avon Lake who had a big lead at the two mile point.
In Division two, we saw the first running of the full Beaumont team at Hilliard. The addition of Aimee Dobrowski made them that much deeper. With an up to this point dominant Maggie Infeld, they will be tough. Speaking of Infeld, her main NEO competition, Amy Arnold of CVCA is also posting some impressive times. She's essentially run by herself up to this point in the season. The Walsh girls also appear to be rounding into shape and may yet be a contender for NEO supremecy.
In Division three, McDonald, South Range, and Pymatuming Valley all looked to be regaining there form. They all still have a long way to go to catch St. Thomas Aquinas however. I would have to say that Aquinas, led by Kristen Proach is the top D3 team in the NEO. One Nemergut is not enough at South Range, and PV is missing the Grammars.
Around the State: My preseason pick for D1 champion, Emily King of Dublin Coffman remained undefeated with an 18:08 victory at Galion. Now, keep in mind that Galion is indeed a fast course. However, King took a wrong turn in the race and after regrouping, still almost broke 18. Down around Columbus as well, Watterson's Elaine Binkley won the Central Ohio Invite in 18:55. Another good D1 time. In D2, Pemberville Eastwood appears to be arising as a top challenger to Beaumont and the rest of the NEO contenders. They have good balance and are showing some signs of early success. In D3, I'm sticking with Minster. They are flat out tough, end of story.
This week brings Malone, Cloverleaf, and more. Best of Luck to all.