BROOKFIELD – Vincent Mauri came across the finish line at Brookfield High School and did something runners from many other schools could not accomplish – win an individual Trumbull County boys cross country championship.
On Tuesday, the Howland sophomore became only the third runner from a school not named Maplewood or McDonald to win he county meet since 2000. Only Lakeview’s Tyler Ames, in 2008, and Girard’s Matt Penza (2000) previously accomplished that feat.
Mauri came through the finish line in a time of 16:58.0.
He was the first male Howland distance runner to win the event since at least 1992, when the event started to rotate to courses at Brookfield, Niles, McDonald and Maplewood.
Morgan Buckley (2011) and Taylor Craigo (2012) claimed victories on the girls side for the Tigers.
“It’s pretty big, but it would be a little bit bigger if we won as a team,” said Mauri, whose team was edged by four-time county champion Maplewood, 32-46. “We came in here knowing that we had to chase the blue.
“We just had to give it all we got.”
Badger senior Ty Reeher wasn’t too far behind Mauri, running 17:18.6.
This isn’t Reeher’s first time in the top five. One of the area’s best Division III runners, Reeher has claimed top-five finishes at the Boardman Invitational and the Suburban League meet.
He’s looking to compete at this year’s state meet.
“It helps me mentally to see that I’m doing well compared to my past seasons,” Reeher said. “I’m just looking for improvement.”
He and freshman Miranda Stanhope dominated the course once again – arguably the best male and female runners from one county school.
“We just like to compete and race,” Reeher said. “We just like to have competition to race against. We’re just trying to do our best.”
“We both have been putting in a lot of miles, making sure we can do everything we can to stay healthy during the season, stretching, hydration,” Stanhope said. “We’ve been setting goals for each meet as the season goes on and see what we can do.”
Stanhope, who claimed her second victory in as many weeks, wrapped up the girls title in 19:24.0. She was followed by a host of McDonald runners – Malina Mitchell, Anna Guerra, Bella Wolford and Sela Jones to claim to the top five.
Stanhope won the Suburban League title last week and became the first Badger runner to win the county crown since Samantha Bonar did so in 2003 and ’04.
The Badger freshman had a seemingly flawless transition from the 2-mile race in junior high to a 3.1-mile course in high school. She’s also been working on improving her finishes.
“This race felt like one of the best ones I’ve run,” Stanhope said.
She was able to even her running despite changing from a steep incline on the three-tiered hill and going to quick downhills.
“I just try to keep the same effort going up the hills,” Stanhope said. “It’s not as much about keeping the same pace. It’s more about maintaining my effort on the uphills and taking advantage of the downhills.”
Maplewood’s Ethan Sparks (17:25.4), McDonald’s Carson Fortune (17:31.4) and Howland’s Tyler Harigan (17:31.5) rounded out the top five on the boys side.