September 30, 2010


Trojans get best of Purple Tigers

Cross CountryJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer Central and Cortland High girls hit the trails of Lime Hollow Nature Center Wednesday. Host Homer ran off with the OHSL Freedom Division cross country victory.

Homer Central boys used a little motivation, while the Trojan girls used their quicker pace, to sweep past Cortland High runners in Wednesday’s OHSL Freedom Division cross country meet held at the Lime Hollow Nature Center.
Under ideal running conditions, Jake Weber led a 1-2-3 finish for the Homer boys en route to a 20-35 victory over the visiting Purple Tigers.
“This was an emotional race for several of our senior runners,” Homer coach Jim Baldwin explained after after the boys improved to 2-1 on the season. “It hit them that this was the last home race of their careers. This motivated several to run their hearts out.”
In the girls’ race, Bori Tozser headed up a leading quartet of Trojans with a course record run while posting a 20-35 victory over the Purple Tigers. Homer remains undefeated at 3-0 in the Freedom Division, CHS dropping to 0-3.
— Seniors Weber (17:48) and Chris Handelmann (17:49) ran to the top two finishing spots and placed their names on the Trojans’ Top-25 Performance List for times at Lime Hollow.
Homer junior Tim Walsh ran a 17:52 to finish in third place and classmate Evan Alexander was fifth in 18:46. Rounding out the five scoring runners was sophomore Luke Tesoreiro, who was clocked in 19:19 to finish in ninth place.
“Overall the boys ran very strongly in perfect conditions.,” Baldwin said. “Tim Walsh and Evan Alexander both ran great races. Luke is having a fantastic first season running cross country and is adjusting well to the increased demands of cross country.
“The Cortland boys’ team is very well coached and ran very well this afternoon,” he added, the Purple Tigers now 0-3.
Alex Clark posted a fourth-place finish to lead Cortland, clocked in 18:22.
The next three Cortland runners finished in the sixth through eighth spots — Zach Forrester (18:57), Aaron Boyland (18:58) and Frank Davenport (19:16) that trio. Alec Edwards was the fifth Purple Tiger across the finish line as his time of 19:35 earned him 10th place.
“Although Cortland lost by a close margin to Homer, three of our guys had personal best times and as a team we had a pack time of a minute and a half,” said Purple Tiger coach Bob Vidulich. “All these guys will be back next year. Most of them are 10th graders,” he added. “Each team member, including the girls’ varsity, has been working at bringing the time down and it is happening each week. I was proud of their efforts.”
— Homer’s Tozser set a new course record with a her first place time of 19:14.
“She wanted to get sub-19, but came up a little short as she ran a 5:30 first mile and did not warm up enough before the gun went off,” said Baldwin.
The Trojans sealed their meet with the next three finishers. Abbey Gray was second with her time of 20:22. Jade Auchmoody (20:30) and Nikea Ulrich (22:10) grabbed third and fourth respectively.
Kelly McKenna rounded out the Homer scoring runners as she placed 10th in 26:17.
“Abbey Gray ran her best performance by over 20 seconds at home too,’ Baldwin said. “Jade Auchmoody and Nikea Ulrich both ran particularly strong against some stiff competition from Cortland. Kelly McKenna’s summer training has certainly paid off as she is improving with every race.”
Cortland’s girls ran as a pack and claimed the fifth through ninth spots. Holly McMahon (24:14) led the way. She was followed by Sam Spaulding (24:20), Jennifer Merckel (25:46), Danielle Gallagher (25:47) and Rochelle Foster (25:47).
Capping off the perfect day at Lime Hollow were the efforts of the Friends of Homer Runners.
“The friends of Homer Runners provided bottles of water, apples and granola bars for the athletes after their race” Baldwin said. “Many positive comments and thanks were offered by parents and athletes both. I know the Friends of Homer Runners were extremely pleased to offer the refreshments during this contest since it would benefit the Cortland-Homer community of runners. It speaks a lot of the importance we try to place on sportsmanship in Section III athletics.”
Homer and Cortland runners will return to action Saturday as they are scheduled to compete in the Tully Invitational.


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