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Cuyahoga Falls boys cross country team edges Firestone

by Frank Aceto Associate Sports Editor Published: August 28, 2016 12:00 AM

They don't have a front-runner who can dominate courses.

But the Black Tigers do have seven quality athletes who can sneak up on their opponents.

Such was the case for the Cuyahoga Falls boys cross country team in its season debut.

The Black Tigers earned a 27-31 victory over Firestone on a two-mile course Aug. 23 at Bolich Middle School. Although the Falcons took the first two spots, Falls had six runners place in the top nine.

"Our guys ran well," Black Tigers head coach Bob Koch said. "They ran together and came on strong at the end. They ran a much stronger second mile than Firestone did."

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Kyle Wilson led Falls with a third-place time of 11 minutes, 29 seconds. Not far behind Wilson were teammates Jack Wilcoxson (fourth, 11:36), a freshman, and Bronson Luksza (fifth, 11:42).

Rounding out the scoring for the Black Tigers were freshman Anthony Nichols (seventh, 11:44) and Jay Wilson (eighth, 11:52).

Also competing for Falls were freshman Tony Sondles (ninth, 12:05) and Tommy Hillyer (11th, 12:08).

"We had really good spacing," Koch said. "Our first and fifth man were only 23 seconds between each other and our first and seventh man were 39 seconds."

The meet with Firestone will be the Black Tigers' only two-mile race of the season.

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"We wanted to finish strong and we wanted the pack to stay together," Koch said. "It was basically a dress rehearsal for a 5K. We didn't want to change things for one race."

The home crowd certainly helped push the Black Tigers during the race.

"It's a very challenging course," Koch said. "We ran all the way to Newberry and then we came up the hills by the track. It's very spectator-friendly. The kids' parents and friends were yelling at the guys the whole way. We ran by the people at soccer and football practice and they were cheering them on."

Koch hopes to see a lot of black and gold in one spot throughout the season.

"They have got to run together," he said. "We need to stick more people in between other teams' second and fifth runners. We want our sixth and seventh guys pushing other teams' fifth man."

Falls was scheduled to compete at the Seneca Tiger Classic Aug. 27 at Seneca East High School in Attica. Results were not available at press time.

The Black Tigers are set to run at the Suburban League Super Duals Sept. 3 at Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton. Racing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

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