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The "X" Factor
By Anthony Geraci, News Editor

"They're going the distance; they're going for speed." This phrase is all too familiar in the minds of our cross-country athletes. 3.1 miles of strenuous paths face these athletes every time they compete. The girls cross-country team this year consists of eight runners: Kit Skurek, Katy LaFavre, Courtney Cowper, Courtney Cikach, Angela Campanella, Amy Erzen, Rebecca Beers, and Becca DeMattan. Kit, the captain and only returning varsity runner on the team this year, has great hopes for her team. "We have a strong group of girls this year and some great underclassmen. Angela Campanella is headed for some real success." In comparison to last year's record, the girls are on their way. "Without a first place win last year or this year, were looking to make up our times to reach regional." said Kit.

Returning coach, Mr. Mike Taurasi, has a very positive outlook for the year. Taurasi has been working with the girls for two years now. The girls racked up many summer miles this year, training for the 03-04 season. "We've improved a lot more since last year. The girls are having great, competitive times versus the D II teams."

The schedule this year consists of mostly the same schools as last year. Taurasi is very glad about his team's improvement this early in the season. "For this soon in the season these girls are having good times in the low 22's." Freshman Courtney Cowper had a first place finish last week with a time of 22'10" at the Walsh Jesuit Invitational. On her win Cowper noted, "It's been a lot of hard work so far, but I'm sure it will pay off in the end." The upcoming schedule for the Lady Wolves includes NDCL on 9/30, the Medina Invitational on 10/04/03, and the CVC meet at Perry on 10/11/03.

Sorry ladies, but the male competition is a bit more fierce. The boy's cross-country team needs times of around 18 minutes (compared to the 22 minutes for the girls). That might not seem a lot, but every second counts.

Second year coach, Mr. John Boylan, is set on having his boys qualify as a team for regionals this year. "We've had a much deeper team this year, even though we lost 3 of the top 7 kids: even still were a stronger team." Captain Jordan Wright has been having a great season so far. He has put in a lot of effort, even though he also plays soccer."

The team this year consists of seniors Joel Bihary, Dominic Rocci, Jason Van Dress, and Jordan Wright, juniors Brian Delpra, Craig Markert, Jairus Murton, and Sammy Totino, sophomores Colin Glavic, Rex Poe, David Wilschek, and Wayne Walters, and freshman Dominic Cribari and Evan Moritz. Both freshman contenders, Dominic and Evan, have been putting forth great effort so far. They are a strong asset to the team Boylan said.

Concerning the meet at Walsh, the boys finished fourth out of eight teams. As the season goes on, each athlete is obtaining more and more PR's (personal records for cross-country neophytes). Looking for improvement seems to be the main focus for the season. Last year the boys finished sixth at districts and fifth at the conference. This year the boys hope to finish in the top three in the CVC.

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West Geauga High School | 13401 Chillicothe Road | Chesterland, OH 44026 | 440.729.5950