For the Nordonia High School boys and girls cross country teams, participation in the Suburban League Championships this past weekend meant preparation for the upcoming district, regional, and state meets.
However, for some Knights and Lady Knights, it also meant the end of their scholastic running careers, and they made the most of their opportunity to compete.
The Suburban League Championships took place Oct. 15, at Goodyear Metro Park in Akron. The Nordonia girls squad finished in fourth place with a total of 131 points.
Twinsburg finished first in the eight-team National Conference scuffle, accounting for 34 points. Hudson was second with 43 points, and Stow-Munroe Falls placed third with 70 points.
Hannah Hover led the way for the Lady Knights, finishing 21st overall with a time of 21:09. In addition, Kayla Vasarhelyi was 24th with an effort of 21:13 and Gina Eterovich placed 28th in 21:19.
Completing the scoring for Nordonia were co-captains Caroline Lohm and Kendra Lippincott, who finished 30th and 31st with times of 21:23 and 21:24, respectively.
A number of other Lady Knights also competed in the varsity race. Abby Rice placed 35th (21:30), Ava Gravino was 50th (22:20), and Elise Jurkovich finished 52nd (22:26). Other Nordonia runners included Claire Parker (60th in 22:55) and Morgan Harvey (68th in 23:40).
Amanda Westbrooks paced Nordonia in the open race, finishing with a time of 23:33.
"Seniors Amie Miller and Payton Keys ran in their last cross country meet for Nordonia," said head coach Mike Martin. "Their hard work and leadership will be missed."
The Nordonia boys squad, meanwhile, placed seventh in the National Conference at the Suburban League Championships, tallying 171 points. Wadsworth won the meet with 42 points, Hudson finished in second place with 55 points, and Brecksville-Broadview Heights was third with 71 points.
Tommy Masteller led the Knights with a 21st-place finish, posting a time of 17:20 in the process. Behind Masteller were Matt Korodi (17:33) and Nick Orzescowski (18:09), who finished 29th and 39th, respectively.
In addition, Jayden Wimbush placed 40th with a time of 18:10 and Brett White was 42nd with an effort of 18:13. Others competing in the varsity race for Nordonia were Tyler Mosher (47th in 18:28), Andrew Wahl (53rd in 19:02), Jeff Sajovie (63rd in 19:21), Larry Jenson (65th in 19:34), and Matthew Gerhart (19:48).
Also providing strong efforts for Nordonia in the open race were James Hayes (18:58), Aiden Wells (19:53), and Daniel Moore (19:53). Walid Abuhashim and Tom Koperna, both seniors, competed in their last race for the Knights.
Up next for Nordonia is the Division I district Meet, which will be Oct 22 at Willoughby South High School. The top four teams and the top four individuals not part of a qualifying squad will advance to the regional round of competition.
"Both teams will need to show marked improvement to advance to the regional meet the following week at Boardman High School," said Martin.