H.S. Cross Country: Avon girls, Amherst boys prevail at SWC meet

Paul Heyse
The Chronicle-Telegram

ELYRIA — Things were a bit crazy at times, but the Avon girls and Amherst boys persevered and took home titles Saturday at the 56th annual boys and 45th annual girls Southwestern Conference Cross Country meet.

The Avon girls, ranked fifth in the state, won their third SWC title in four years, outdistancing Amherst 40-51. It was the Eagles’ fifth invite win of the season.

The Amherst boys won their second SWC title in three years, as their depth helped them hold off Midview 52-72.

It wasn’t an easy task for the Eagles. The Avon girls had six of their top eight runners battling cold and flu symptoms all week. Junior Maddie Harrington, a 2021 Division I state qualifier and the team’s No. 2 runner, was held out of the lineup by coach Justin Carroll as her symptoms were especially rough the last couple of days.

Freshman Kaitlyn Reese led the Avon girls, finishing second overall in 19:51.23 to four-time winner Katie Clute of Olmsted Falls. Clute won in a conference-record 18:16.80, breaking the mark of 18:28.5 set in 1983 by Olmsted Falls’ Michelle Kalikin. Clute is the first SWC athlete to win four cross country titles.

“It was good,” said Reese, the 2021 Division III state middle school cross country champ competing for Open Door. “A lot of us were still dealing with sickness. I had to stay home from school on Wednesday. We had (Friday) off from school, too. That helped our recovery.

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