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Cuyahoga Falls girls distance runners fare well at two invitationals

by Frank Aceto Associate Sports Editor Published: October 9, 2016 12:00 AM

He took his top five girls to Gates Mills and then he joined the rest of the team in Columbiana.

Let's just say Cuyahoga Falls head girls cross country coach Dan Scourfield enjoyed both trips.

Lady Black Tiger standouts Emily Zimmerman, Kayla Huffman, Chelsea Huffman, Anna Johnston and Valerie Deighton competed in the Gray Division at the Paul Primeau Cross Country Invitational Sept. 30 at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills.

The rest of the team finished third with 64 points at the seven-team Columbiana Clipper Invitational Oct. 1.

"Gilmour was great," Scourfield said. "I was really pleased with how they ran at Clipper. The girls ran really well."

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At Gilmour, Falls only had four runners officially complete the race. Therefore, the Lady Black Tigers did not factor in the team scoring.

"Valerie Deighton lost her shoe," Scourfield said. "She had the presence of mind to pick up her shoe, but since she carried it instead of putting it back on her foot, her time didn't register."

Cleveland St. Joseph Academy's Annie Allen placed first out of 116 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 31.3 seconds.

Senior Emily Zimmerman led Falls with a seventh-place time of 20:36.3.

"Emily got stuck in a turn that slowed her down," Scourfield said. "It ended up being beneficial. She methodically moved her way up."

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Junior Kayla Huffman was next in 28th (21:18.9) and freshman Chelsea Huffman finished 38th (21:58.9).

"I think Kayla and Emily have alternated every meet," Scourfield said. "If you're not on, people are going to run by you. They're both high-quality runners."

Finishing fourth for the Lady Black Tigers was sophomore Anna Johnston (44th, 22:21.6).

Scourfield wasn't particularly worried about the times due to the wet conditions.

"I wasn't looking for anything fast," Scourfield said. "It's a naturally slow course anyway. We ran against some good competition."

At the Clipper Invitational, Beaver Local won the competition with 34 points and Akron Springfield was the runner-up with 56 points.

Berlin Center Western Reserve's Ashleigh Rowley won the 79-member race with a meet-record time of 20:25.3.

Melody Lewis led the Lady Black Tigers with a time of 22:56.6.

"Melody ran tremendously well," Scourfield said. "She started 25th during the first mile. She proceeded to run through the field. She definitely got faster as the race went on. She ran a very intelligent race."

Meredith Gallagher captured 12th (23:35.2) and teammate Alivia Hamric was next in 17th (24:09.2).

"In the second to third mile, Meredith and Alivia moved through the field," Scourfield said. "That was nice to see."

Finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, for Falls were Zoe King (25th, 25:12.4) and Payton Veto (27th, 25:21.3).

"Zoe ran a good race," Scourfield said. "She's learning to go out harder than what she normally does."

Kearan Barnett (31st, 25:52.1) and Sarah Jones (34th, 26:16.6) rounded out the Lady Black Tigers' top seven.

Falls was scheduled to compete at the Andrews Osborne Academy Invitational Oct. 8 in Willoughby. Results were not available at press time.

The Lady Black Tigers are set to run at the Suburban League Meet Oct. 15 at Goodyear Metro Park in Akron. Racing is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

"Goodyear is our kind of course," Scourfield said. "We are mudders and plodders. They like the challenging courses."

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

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