Strongsville Invitational Oct. 6th, 2001:
  
What a great day for a race, er, well, almost.  It was sunny most of the time and the temp hovered in the mid 40's.  The course was soft in some places and damp everywhere.  However, it was definitely an improvement over last years weather.
As for the race, Beaumont's Maggie Infeld used a strong kick to hold off Lakewood's Michelle Sikes for the title.  Magnificat's Kaitlyn Chambers was third.
The race started off at a relaxed pace with two Walsh runners actually heading to the front.  (They soon disappeared from site).  Shortly after that the race took form.  Infeld, Sikes, and Strongsville's Kelly Ardelean formed the lead pack with two Ashland runners, Lisa Nell and Erin Stauffer, Chambers, and Rachel Misture of SJA forming the immediate chase pack.  A step behind them would be Strongsville's Jama Bernard and Bridget Dalic and Minerva's Brandi Schoeppner. 
By the mile Infeld, Sikes, and Ardlean had a decent lead.  Shortly after that, Infeld ran on the wrong side of a cone and was forced to double back to go around the cone on the proper side.  By the time they popped out of the woods she had caught back up.  The race held like that for a while.  Then, heading into the woods the second time, Infeld and Sikes had left Ardelean behind and Ardelean was fighting to hold off the oncoming Ashland runners and Chambers. 
With a half mile to go, it was all Infeld and Sikes.  Coming down the stretch Infeld pulled away for a 3 second victory and a meet record 18:15.  Sikes got second and Chambers got up for 3rd with Ardelean falling to 5th, splitting the Ashland girls.  The top 10 looked like this:

1.  18:15  Infeld
2.  18:18  Sikes
3.  18:54  Chambers
4.  18:57  Nell
5.  18:58  Ardelean
6.  19:06  Stauffer
7.  19:14  Mistur
8.  19:18  Schoeppner
9.  19:26  Bernard
10.  19:32  Dalic

Teamwise the race wasn't as close.  SJA ran 7, 11, 14, 20, 34 to win with 86.  Strongsville got second with 100 and Ashland 3rd with 106.  The top 10 teams looked like this.

1.  86  SJA
2. 100  Strongsville
3. 106  Ashland
4. 107 Beaumont
5. 132 Lakewood
6. 137 Magnificat
7. 208 Mentor
8. 219 Hudson
9. 236 North Canton
10. 248 Massilon Perry

Where you may ask was Walsh?  Weren't they in the race?  Well, their top runner finished 46th!!!  They rung up a whopping 299 points to finsih in 12th, barely edging Strongsville's B team.  Guess we answered the question of whether or not it was a good idea to run fast races early in the year, didn't we now.....

The following was the best I could do without the benefit of results.  The team breakdowns for SJA, Beaumont, Mags, and Strongsville looked like this:

             SJA       Beaumont    Mags    Strongs
1.        19:14          18:15         18:54    18:58
2.        19:33          20:13         20:04    19:26
3.        19:53          20:16         20:14    19:32
4.        20:10          20:21         20:16    20:15
5.        20:26          20:23         21:15    20:41
6.        20:29          20:47         21:24    20:48
7.        21:18          21:05         21:38    21:13  

If any coaches have corrections or want to add their teams times, e-mail me at [email protected]
Anyways, we can see that SJA is looking tough, and Beaumont ran a solid race today.  Mags looked better and Strongsville still had a whopping 1:09 gap between their 3rd and 5th runners. 

Highs and lows today:
Highs: Jama Bernard ran a great race for Strongsville, actually besting teammate Bridget Dalic.... Michelle Sikes appears to be coming back into form....SJA is looking tough and Mistur is developing into a possible leader...Chambers has the potential to be top 20 at state....It was good to see so many fast times even though the course is a speedy one.
Lows: Kelly Ardelean just couldn't hang with Sikes and Infeld, but tried gallantly....Walsh doesn't have it.  You cannot qualify to state if your top runner finished 46th at a small meet, they have lots of work to do, I guess they know that....And finally, I sware that this is true:  A reporter from a certain newspaper that shall remain nameless was actually heard at the half way point asking who was in the lead!!!  Um, can you not recognize Sikes and Infeld!!  And if not, why are you the reporter!?!?!  An astounded parent took it upon himself to inform the reporter of who the top 8-10 runners were. I think he just couldn't believe that a reporter was that clueless!!! Kudos to that parent, whoever you are!  Thanks everybody! 
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