Stow-Munroe Falls cross country took one of the longest road trips in school history Oct. 1, as the Bulldogs travelled to Rochester, N.Y., to compete in the McQuaid Invitational.
McQuaid Jesuit, which has competed at the Stow Bulldog Invitational in recent years, proved to be gracious hosts for the Bulldogs on the three-mile course at Genesee Valley Park.
Despite having only six runners finish the race, the Stow girls finished eighth in the girls seeded varsity AAA race with 225 points. Corning, N.Y., won the girls race with 96 points.
Running in the boys unseeded varsity AAA-2 race, the Bulldog boys brought home a fifth-place finish with 158 points. Churchville-Chili from Churchville, N.Y., won the team title with 83 points.
Times were skewed to the quick side, due to the New York-based race being 100 meters shorter than an Ohio course.
Stow coach John Roseman wasn't complaining, however, as every member of the girls team broke the 20-minute barrier.
"Even with the conversions, we had some really good times out there," Roseman said. "That's very promising for the coming weeks. I was happy overall with the whole trip. I thought that was the best team race by the boys we had all year.
"It doesn't seem like a fast course, but it is for some reason. When we walked the course, we were kind of iffy about it. After the first half-mile, there are no tight turns."
There was one big issue for the Stow girls in Rochester: For the second straight week, ankle issues forced top runner Sophie Perez to not finish the race.
"Something is up with her ankle," Roseman said. "I know it's frustrating her and I know it's frustrating me. I don't know what's wrong. The only reason I didn't put her in the JV race was, during the week, she was saying it was fine."
Sophomore Mackenzie Cassiday ran a blazing fast time to lead the Bulldogs. Cassiday finished in 18:29.9.
"She's running well. She's got a lot of potential and talent," Roseman said.
Junior Tessa Pitcovich continues to come on strong, as she finished 22nd in a 18:41.2.
"She's probably back. I can almost say she's back after that meet," Roseman said.
Freshman Jocelyn Shatraw came home 51st in 19:42.2, while senior Kayla Valente (64th, 19:51.7) and senior Annaleigh Koch (72nd, 19:57.6) rounded out the scoring runs.
Junior Shelby Gluth (73rd, 19:59.3) also ran the varsity race for Stow.
In the boys race, senior Jonathan Holtz looked to be back on track. He finished third in a time of 15:42.9. Churchville-Chili's Payton Gleason won the boys race in 15:17.7.
"I felt like he ran a much smarter race than he did at Cloverleaf," Roseman said. "Even in an unseeded race, that's a good result."
Stow also got a solid run from sophomore Cole Shawala (22nd, 16:28.7), while sophomore Jason Anzaldi may have run his best race of the year, taking 25th place in 16:32.3.
"I've been waiting for that from [Anzaldi]. He showed me he's ready," Roseman said.
Sophomore Patrick Bunnell (47th, 16:53.8) and junior Matthew Rohde (70th, 17:22.3) rounded out the scoring runs for Stow.
Junior Ben Johnson-Bowers (85th, 17:35.3) and junior Connor Jenkins (104th, 18:00.5) also ran in the varsity race.
Stow was set to host the Stow Bulldog Invitational Oct. 8 at Silver Springs Park, but results were not available at press time.
The Bulldogs will close at the regular season by running at the Suburban League Championship Meet Oct. 15 Goodyear Metro Park in Akron. The National Conference boys race will be at 11 a.m. with the National Conference girls race at noon.