The Boardman Spartan cross country team finished fifth overall out of 10 teams with 114 points at the highly competitive Bulldog Invitational Varsity Elite Race held at Silver Springs Park last Saturday in Stow. Walsh Jesuit won the meet with 84 points, followed by Twinsburg with 94, and Mentor with 101. The Spartans finished ahead of Federal League rival GlenOak, which came in eighth with 153. There were no other local teams in the elite race.
The Spartans placed four runners in the top 40, with junior Mark Hadley leading the team with a fourth place finish in a time of 16:17. He was followed by classmate Alan Burns who was seventh overall in a time of 16:37. Next for Boardman was freshman Nathan Hadley, who finished the race in 27th place with a time of 17:24 and junior Justin Maroni in 34th in a time of 17:32.
"We really enjoy coming to Stow," explained Spartan head coach John Phillips, "the competition here really prepares us for the Federal League championship and District Championship meets that we have ahead of us the next two weeks."
The course at Stow was not in the best of shape due to rain Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning, however, one Spartan was able to earn a new personal record. Junior Jeff Bean improved his season best by :47 and earned this weeks BW3 Runner of the Week Award.
Next up for the Spartans is the Federal League championship held at Massillon Perry on Saturday, where the team will seek its first-ever Federal League title, the highest the Spartans have ever finished is third on two occasions since joining the league in 2001.