CROSS COUNTRY: End of the road for Phoenix runners

By Erik Andrews - For the News-Tribune

Despite notable individual finishes, Oberlin’s cross country runners will not advance to the regional meet.

At the Division 3 district meet in Medina, the boys team finished 12th of 17 participating schools. On the girls side, Oberlin didn’t generate a team score due to an insufficient number of runners.

However, for both the boys and girls, there were some personal accomplishments worthy of praise. Sophomore Megan Dobos (23:38, 46th) was Oberlin’s top girls finisher. Junior Janae Johnson (24:04, 54th), after competing in a pair of grueling tournament soccer games earlier in the week, nearly ran a personal best.

For the boys, senior Jeremy Burnside (18:42, 31st) paced the Phoenix runners. All the Phoenix boys finished in the top 100 — a remarkable achievement for the young team.

On Burnside’s heels were Mattias Fritz (20:58, 72nd), Nik Vayda (21:16, 73rd), Cannon Byron-Dixon (22:40, 81st), Ewan Ingles (23:02, 82nd), and Asher Capinko (23:4, 85th).

Despite the heat, Byron-Dixon’s time was his best of the season by more than three seconds; likewise, Vayda brought his season best clocking down by nearly seven seconds. Running personal bests were Fritz (by one second) and Asher (two seconds).

Concerned that the heat of the midday could fatigue his runners early, coach David Hathaway was pleased at how poised the team was.

“They all ran with great strength, heart, and determination, particularly gutting it all the way to the finish,” he said.

With only two seniors and several middle school runners poised to break into the high school ranks, Hathaway is optimistic about next year.

“Two hundred and seventy days till official training camp begins. The off-season training and lifting will begin soon in coordination with the indoor and outdoor track seasons. We’re all excited for next year. “

By Erik Andrews

For the News-Tribune