Boardman sophomore Mark Hadley became the first Spartan runner to qualify for the OHSAA State Championship since 2008 with his third place finish at last Saturday’s Regional Championship in a quagmire due to rain, snow, and mud at Boardman High School. The boys team finished tied with Mentor and closed their season with a final record of 146-33.
“Extremely thrilled for Mark,” said Spartan head coach John Phillips. “I am also extremely proud of our team, we ran tough and beat a lot of great teams today, and we may have been a bit short, but now we have a new goal for next year.”
Earlier in the week, the boys and their coaches displayed a symbolic bond of unity by shaving "Flying B’s" in their heads and were greeted Saturday morning with their homes toilet papered courtesy of the Center Middle School cross country team.
“It was a special week for our team, the guys really came together and had a lot of fun,” explained Phillips. “This past week is something they and I will never forget.”
The Spartan varsity squad is made up of junior Sam Sheronovich, sophomores Hadley, Alan Burns, Jacob Kelleck, Justin Maroni, and freshman Juan Santiago. Also on the varsity is senior Jacob Whitford, who ran his last race in a Boardman uniform on Saturday.
“Jacob is a great kid and a hard worker, he will definitely be missed next season,” said Phillips. “He is one of only two seniors from this graduating class that ran all four years and his improvement and dedication over that time period is an example for his younger teammates and future generations of runners to follow.”
Hadley will run at 3 p.m. Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron seeking to earn All-Ohio status.
“Mark will represent our program, school, and community very well on Saturday,” said Phillips.