Finishing right behind Hadley in second place was classmate Alan Burns in a personal best time of 17:06. He was followed by junior Sam Sheronovich who also set a new personal best time of 17:41 which was good enough for sixth place overall out of 110 runners. Also setting a new personal best was sophomore Justin Maroni who was ninth overall in a time of 17:51.
“Our top four guys all ran extremely well. They each set a new personal record and Mark setting a new course record is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Boardman head coach John Phillips.
Scoring high for Boardman was junior Pete Stafford in 11th place in a time of 18:16. He was followed by classmates Ryan Key and Colton Jenkins who finished together in personal best times of 19:01 which was good enough for 25th and 26th overall.
“We got a tremendous challenge from an improved Howland team and stepped up our performance in order to repeat as invitational champions,” said Phillips. “You never know how a team is going to respond in the first contest of the season, but our guys did what they had to in order to come out on top.”
Setting personal records at Salem were senior Mike Moxley at 19:51, juniors Sheronovich, Key, Jenkins, Rick Henneman at 20:12, and Matt Scott at 22:08. Sophomores setting new marks were Hadley, Burns, Maroni, Carmen Marinucci at 20:57, Johnny Metzger at 24:56, and Devin DiPiero at 29:54. Freshmen setting new marks were Zach Fryda at 19:35, Juan Santiago at 19:41, Josh Botak at 21:20, Brandon Rigelsky at 23:46, and Andrew Cessna at 24:02.
Also setting a personal record was freshman Nick Long whose time of 19:15 in his very first high school race. That performance earned Long the season’s first Runner of the Week honors for 2011.
Next up for Boardman is this year’s Suburban League opener on Tuesday at East Palestine. Boardman has won the league regular season title eight consecutive seasons.
Boardman cross country runner Alan Burns came in second at the Salem Early Bird Invitational championship on Saturday after turning in his personal best time of 17:41.