By Anissa Krueger
BRADFORD—The Bradford cross country team is gaining momentum going into the second half of their season. Starting off at the Bob Schul Invitational in late August, runners set solid base times on the flat course with some fast competition.
For the second week, the team traveled to Covington for the Buccaneer FOE 3998 Invitational. Nearly half of the team’s runners set new season PR’s and Owen Canan finished 4th in the high school boy’s race. The third meet on their schedule was the Blackhawk Invite, held at Chenoweth Trails, west of Greenville. Seven teams tackled a challenging course through a wooded area with many hills and a stream. Both Jr. High girl runners made top 5 with Savannah Beachler coming in 3rd and Natalie Wood in 5th. Owen Canan earned a second-place medal and Stephan Stewart ran his season PR [26:02], taking nearly 30 seconds off his previous time.
Most recently the team of 16 runners made a trip to Troy for the Twilight Invitational. A cool evening, high energy crowd and a fast-paced course had nearly all runners’ times dropping.
Jr. High girls ran first, with Savannah Beachler finishing 19th [13:27.8] and Natalie Wood, 23rd [13:39.2], both career PRs. Not to be left out, Jr. High boys were next with Kyree Roberts [12:57], Brendan Hansen [13:48] and Zeb Lavy [16:09] all finishing with their career best times too. As the sun set on the levee, Bradford’s High School runners took to the course. The girls ran first in the Grey Division Race. Megan Wood [23:59] was the top runner for the team with her seasons best time. Emma Lavy [26:22], Isabella Hamilton [27:58], Daphne Lavy [32:11], and Kristen Skinner [35:41] all finished with season PR’s. Hayden Nicodemous [19:55] was first to finish for Bradford in the Boy’s Grey Division with his fastest time of the season. Owen Beachler [21:44], Dalton Reck [24:46], and Ethan Brogan [25:45] all finished the race with season PRs too. Last to run for the night was Owen Canan in the Red Division race. He missed breaking Bradford’s School record by one second, putting up a career PR of 17:26.
Athena Beachler took over as head coach last year after being the Jr. High coach for 3 years. “Our 2 seniors have been running since I started coaching. They’ve been leaders for strength and determination on the team. Cross country is a great sport to get individuals to see their strengths. The results from Troy really showed everyone’s potential. We’ve been pushing hard at practices and they see it paying off.”
Brandon Koverman is in his first year as Jr. High Coach, “This is a whole new world for me. I came in not knowing what to expect, but it’s fun to see the kids improve over the course of the season. Some of them have never ran until this year. The girls are establishing themselves as 2 of the top runners in not just the WOAC, but the surrounding counties as well. The boys are finding their own pace, taking anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes off their first race times. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds in store for them all.”
The Roaders are looking to keep their times dropping at the rest of their regular season meets. Versailles Tour de Sewer is next on Saturday, September 24th. A short three days later they’ll travel south to Tri-Village for an evening run at the Patriot Invite. After taking a week off, they’ll go north to Coldwater before the WOAC conference meet the following week hosted by Newton on October 16th.