A Page -- Aug. 17, 2011

Gruskiewicz gals and guys ready for greater challenges; both Avon cross country teams moving up to Division I/welcoming the formidable EC to WSC

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


AVON – As all the other Student/Athletic teams here at the high school have been moving up to Division I, so to will boys and girls cross country starting this fall.

Avon High has had quite a success trail since Tara Gruskiewicz took over as the head coach of both teams here six years ago when it was an entrenched Division II program. Now Gruskiewicz is ready to take her gals and guys to the next plateau.


“We raced a few races in Div. I last year to give the team some confidence and experience racing the bigger schools,” Gruskiewicz said. “This change isn’t going to affect how we train, or our ability to reach our goals.  We will continue to work hard each day and take things one week at a time.”

The Eagles did run in the always tough Tiffin Carnival, in the D-II race, in 2010 and fared quite well, but now will get even greater challenges that the coach appears to have the S/As poised to tackle with grace.


After just missing the WSC Championship last year by two points, one of our goals this year is to bring home that Championship title.  Elyria Catholic joins the conference this year which will make things interesting along with the usual other contenders, Bay High and Rocky River

After the success of last season, the boys’ team has its eyes set on finding a way to get to Columbus/Hebron 

We have a solid 1-3 that can run up front but we need to improve our 4th and 5th runners in order to have a chance to do well at big meets as well as garner post-season successes,” Gruskiewicz said. “We will take things one week at a time and hope that some of our younger runners are ready to step up and make an impact.”


Elyria Catholic beat the Eagle girls by a few points at Districts last year but also graduated its #1 who was a front runner (Alexa Rick). 

“The girls would like to finish 2nd at the WSC Championship even though it won’t be easy to achieve,” Coach Gruskiewicz said. “I believe that it is a realistic goal by the end of the season. River will dominate and Bay is going to be solid as well.”

Things are starting to formulate properly for the Avon gals as they reportedly are showing progress every week and have a solid pack of 8 runners that are within 30 seconds of one another.

“The girls’ team has lots of potential but needs to remain patient and not get frustrated as a group at the beginning of the season,” the coach said. “With the closeness they are running at now, it will make for some great training if they are determined to improve they will need to push one another every day.”

Amanda Ramsey and Ali Kahl are newcomers who have moved up to the front very quickly.

“Hopefully that will be the catalyst that we need to make some improvements,” Coach G. said. 

Gruskiewicz, now in her seventh season with the purple and gold, during her S/A years ran at Baldwin Wallace College and Pymatuning Valley High School. 

Her assistant, Matt Nortz, was an S/A runner at John Carroll University, St. Edward High School and the now defunct St. Clement Grade School. He is in his sixth season assisting Coach G.

Former RedHawk Huling Selected to Team USA

Dan Huling to compete for the U.S. at the World Championships in the steeplechase

 INDIANAPOLIS – Former Miami track standout Dan Huling continues to make a name for himself on the international level, as he was named to the U.S. Track & Field Team that will compete at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Huling was one of 66 men to make Team USA’s roster for the biennial meet, as he will compete in his second straight IAAF World Championships, which runs from Aug. 27 to Sep. 4.

Huling is one of three athletes who will run the 3000m steeplechase for the U.S. along with Ben Bruce and Bill Nelson. He will run in the prelims on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 9:40 p.m. ET, which is Monday, Aug. 29 at 10:40 a.m. in Daegu, and if he advances, will run in the 3K steeplechase final on Thursday, Sep. 1 at 7:25 a.m. ET (8:25 p.m. in Daegu).

In June, Huling was the runner-up in the steeplechase at the 2011 Outdoor Track & Field National Championships held in Eugene, Ore., clocking 8:29.27, as he finished less than a second behind Nelson. He holds the fourth-best U.S. time in the steeplechase this year, clocking 8:25.95 on June 4 at the Prefontaine Classic, where he was the top American finisher.

Huling won the U.S. steeplechase national championship in 2010 in Des Moines, Iowa with a time of 8:27.87 to become the first RedHawk to win a track national title in 40 years. The Geneva, Ill., native also posted his personal-best time in 2010, clocking 8:13.29, which was the fastest time by an American that year.

At the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, Huling was the top American finisher in the steeplechase, placing 12th in the prelims. He was also named the 2009 North American Steeplechase Runner of the Year by All-Athletics.com after placing second at the U.S. National Championships.

 Huling certainly left his mark at Miami as well, as he still owns four Miami indoor records (1,500m, the mile run, 3,000m and 5,000m) and the Miami 3K steeplechase outdoor record of 8:27.41 he set as a senior in 2006. 

He was a two-time All-American as a RedHawk, earning the honor in outdoor track in 2006 by placing sixth at the NCAA Championships in the 5,000m and in the 2005 cross country season by placing 26th at the NCAA Championship meet. Huling won three MAC championships in 2006 in the steeplechase, the 5,000m and the 10,000m, while winning the 2005 MAC title in the 5,000m as well. As a senior in 2005, he was also the MAC individual champion in cross country.





The many frosh and sophomores running up last year makes this Gilmour boys’ cross country team a seasoned and cohesive one

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


GATES MILLS – After running several freshmen and sophomores on the varsity squad in 2010, Gilmour’s boys’ cross country team will still be relatively young but at least more experienced for the challenges that await them.

“Our boys team has a lot of depth with some seasoned leaders in the front with big meet experience,” said 15th year head coach Matt Lindley. “While we won’t have a strong front runner, we will beat teams with our four through seven runners.  We have two excellent captains, senior Ben Radcliffe and junior Tommy Hollis, who lead by example.”

The Lancers return five of the seven varsity S/As from last year, so there will be newcomers cracking the lineup, making it fun for anyone able to get around the bushes to watch who steps up this season.


Among those who ran varsity last year with Hollis as sophomores were Charlie Hoge and Austin Oberfeld.

“We had a young team last year, with many freshmen and sophomores running varsity,” said Lindley. “Now that they’re older and more experienced, I expect the team to step up to the next level.  We would like to return to the state meet and the boys are working hard towards that goal.”

The throng of ’10 freshmen who are now sophomores and who could stack up anywhere in those 3 to 7 slots include John Brett, Brendan Coyne, Conner Davis, Tom DeSilvio, Max Gubanc, Matt Lohiser, Michael Palumbo, Paul-Henry Schoenhagen, Alex Ulatowski.

“For a D-III team, our depth is excellent,” said Lindley of the Lancers who have a roster of 19 runners.  Our goals for this season are to have fun, do the best we can and become better runners and citizens who represent our school community with pride.”

Incoming runners include freshmen Colin Driggs, Brandon Phillips, Kevin Pryatel, and Ryan Rowell, and sophomore Alex Clapacs. Another senior who could aid Hollis and Radcliffe with the leadership-by-age duties is senior Nathaniel Klein

“My expectations are strong. The boys have been running together all summer in preparation for the season,” said Lindley.

Since beginning in 1997, his boys’ squads have made two trips to the OHSAA Division III State Meet, finishing eighth in 2001 and 14th in 2005.

Lindley has earned much recognition for his efforts; since inheriting the program, he has have turned a small group of 10 runners into a highly-competitive squad of nearly 50 Student/Athletes. 

He has been named coach of the year four times by various area terrestrial newspapers.

Sarah Giachetti, Kaitlin Rose leading Jaguars after first week of high school golf

In the first week of high school golf action, St. Joseph Academy was able to get in four events, taking fourth and 18th in its two big meets, while having two different team medalists emerge in the four openings.

Sarah Giachetti and Kaitlin Rose each had low score for the Jaguars twice during the week.


Giachetti shot a 50 in a tri-match with Padua and Laurel and also had a team low of 96 in the Edison Invitational in Milan, where the Jaguars took 18th.

Weekly Roundup

Rose earned team-best honors in the North Olmsted Invitational, shooting a 47 to lead the Jaguars to a fourth-place team finish.

Alex Mills and Lindsey Keefe also had some decent scores. Mills shot a 52 at North Olmsted and 56 v. Padua/Mags, while Keefe shot a 53 at North Olmsted, 51 against Padua/Laurel, 52 against Padua/Mags and 100 at Edison.

“We had a good practice at Mallard at the end of the week,” Jaguars Assistant Coach Maureen Adler said. “We worked on putting and set goals to average 18 putts or fewer per 9 holes. Each Student/Athlete set individual goals for the season.”



Blue Streaks varsity B tennis team starts off 

season 2-0 with wins over Kenston and 


 Magnificat’s varsity B tennis team started off the season with two straight wins by identical scores of 3-2, Monday over Twinsburg and tonight (Tuesday) over Kenston.

Two different Blue Streaks won at first singles, Anne Gacad doing so against Kenston’s Sarah Wilkes and Mirana Manimbo leading into that won with a win over Meghan Doherty of the Tigers.

Coach Jeff Mannies also had two different gals win at third singles, Katie McCabe taking the Bombers’ Maddie Kusner and Sophie Wood emerging victorious over the Tigers’ Ashley Lesko.

The Streaks are now 2-0.

Magnificat (3) def. Kenston (2)

Magnificat Varsity B season record: 2 and 0


1. Anne Gacad (M) def. Sarah Wilkes (K) 6-1, 6-3

2. Kelsey Doran (K) def. Hayley Lawless (M) 6-2, 6-1

3. Katie McCabe (M) def. Maddie Kusner (K) 6-1, 7-6 (7-1)


1. Katie Marks/Lauren Fuhr (K) def. Kennedy Nock/Mary Grace Brandt (M) 6-4, 7-5

2. Rachelle Abdelnoir/Erin Coyne (M) def. Sarah Coughlin/Laurn Martin (K) 6-1, 6-1

3. Miranda Manimbo/Sarah Oskowski (M) def. Molly Reeb/Emily Riderday (K) 8-1

4. Deeya Basu/Sarah Oskowski (M) def. Kara Sawayda/Claire Kasvich (K) 8-0

5. Sophie Wood/Erin Coyne (M) def. Sarah Goodridge/Kaitlyn Edwards (K) 8-3

Magnificat HS Varsity B (3) v. Twinsburg HS (2)

Magnificat season record: 1 and 0


1. Miranda Manimbo (M) def. Meghan Doherty (T) 6-4, 6-1

2. Jessica Baver (T) def. Hayley Lawless (M) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5

3. Sophie Wood (M) def. Ashley Lesko (T) 6-0, 6-0


1. Rachelle Abdelnoir/ Miranda Farinacci (M) def. Rachel Lesko/Divya Naik (T) 6-2, 6-1

2. Sarah Sakian/Sonja Cuello (T) def. Deeya Basu/Sarah Oskowski (M) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4