The Boardman boys cross country team finished second out of 38 Division I schools at the 28th annual Spartan Cross Country Invitational last Saturday. Senior Mark Hadley led the Spartans with a record-breaking first place finish out of 997 total varsity and junior varsity runners in a time of 15:07, edging Chardon's Nick Elswick by less than one second. Both runners were briefly ranked first and second in the nation with those times. Hadley was followed by classmate Alan Burns in 10th place with a time of 16:10. Senior Justin Maroni was next in a personal best time of 16:33 which was 20th overall and ranks Maroni 19th best in BHS history; he was followed by sophomore Nathan Hadley who was 32nd overall in a time of 16:44, and senior Jacob Kelleck was fifth for the Spartans finishing 91st overall in a time of 17:27.
"The finish of Mark's race may have been the best race in the history of this meet," said Spartan head coach John Phillips. "I knew how badly Mark wanted to win and leave a lasting impression on this invitational, but I never expected beating the record by 23 seconds."
"Finishing second as a team is a really great accomplishment," explained Phillips. "It gave us a chance to see most of the best runners and teams in our region and to run against Olentangy Liberty and North Allegheny will only make us better as the season goes along."
Junior Andrew Babik (1712) paced the Mooney boys with a time of 20:18.9.
Setting a personal best at the Spartan Invitational were seniors Hadley and Maroni as well as Ryan McKeown at 18:10, Kevin McNally at 20:28, Shawn Pregi at 19:35, and Trevor Leyden at 17:49. Junior Nick Long set a new personal record at 17:47 as did sophomores Ethan Schwendeman at 18:28, Tyler Kellam at 20:27, and Brett Brunko at 20:43. Freshmen setting new career bests were Chris Butler at 22:05, Nick DiGiacomo at 20:18, Dom Eorio at 19:59, Josh Jenkins at 20:50, Matt Maroni at 20:07, and Jack Swavel at 20:36. Also setting a new personal best was freshman Nathaniel Ams at 18:41. Ams's performance earned him this weeks BW3 Runner of the Week award.
The Spartan varsity improved their season record to 91-1 and will next compete on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Mahoning County Championship held at Austintown Township Park. The Spartans have won 11 straight titles, tied for most consecutive in school history with girls track, which won 11 in a row from 2000-2010.