Dan Scourfield has been coaching distance runners for more than a decade.
But the veteran Cuyahoga Falls head girls cross country coach was at a loss for words when it came to his team's race Aug. 27.
"It was probably the most difficult conditions we've had in my 12 years," he said.
What was the problem?
The temperatures resembled lava from a volcano rather than temperatures in Ohio.
Fortunately, every Lady Black Tiger runner finished the race. More importantly, every Falls' runner finished the race in one piece.
As a result, Falls placed ninth with 223 points in the 15-team Black Division of the Seneca East Tiger Cross Country Classic in Attica.
Medina won the competition with 38 points and Lexington (52) and Lodi Cloverleaf (89) finished second and third, respectively.
"The heat index was close to 100 or possibly over it," Scourfield said. "We wanted to err on the side of caution. We made sure we were really conservative to start the race. It worked out. All the girls got through."
Lexington's Mackenna Curtis-Col placed first out of 235 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 22.84 seconds.
Kayla Huffman led Falls with a 14th-place clocking of 21:11.44.
"Kayla ran a really intelligent race," Scourfield said.
Emily Zimmerman was next for the Lady Black Tigers in 42nd (22:44.8).
Also scoring points for Falls were Chelsea Huffman (57th, 23:37.34), Valerie Deighton (65th, 23:44.45) and Melody Lewis (80th, 24:19.99).
"Chelsea and Valerie followed the race plan to a tee," Scourfield said. "They told me they were going to run the first mile in 7:30 and that's exactly what they did."
Rounding out the varsity squad were Madison Davis (81st, 24:20.93) and Alivia Hamric (88th, 24:38.7).
Also running for the Lady Black Tigers were Kristica Barnett, Payton Veto, Natalie Huryn, Sarah Jones, Zoe King, Elayn Huber, Mikayla Shaffer, Kearan Barnett, Samantha Lamer, Leila Wargowsky, Briannah Babbitt, Grace Ohler and Taylor Hillman.
"For a lot of the girls, this was their first 5K race, " Scourfield said. "On top of that, it was darn near 100 degrees. It was a difficult day whether you were a first-year runner or a veteran runner."
Falls was scheduled to run at the Suburban League Super Duals Sept. 3 at Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton. Results were not available at press time.
The Lady Black Tigers are set to compete at the Walsh Jesuit Tomahawk Run Sept. 10 at 9 a.m.