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"We've taken the attitude we're going to look at ourselves and being as good as a team that we can be at a particular day and a particular time," McDonald coach Chris Rupe said. "We really can't control what other teams do. We can control what we do. I think it would surprise people how little our focus is on Maplewood and how much our focus is on McDonald."
"It says a lot for them, the work they've put in, that they are ranked so high. We know that from the type of races they've put in, some of those bigger meets. I know it gives them confidence, but they still know they have to go out and do the work during the race."
"We're looking for some of our guys, guys in the top five, to have some good races and get our confidence up for state. It's always important to have some good races, have a lot of confidence. We're going to go in, shoot for our best and see what happens."
"We're not looking at them," Maplewood coach Dave Deeter said. "Chris takes the same philosophy. If you look at one team and you put your whole race on one team, that team runs great, you're not going to run as well. You just have an average day. Whoever runs great that day wins. That's the way it works. Their top two people (Patrick Kunkel and Bobby Johnson) run great.
all season pointing toward this and to look back toward our record for this year. In a lot of ways, we've taken some hits along the way. It's been a little bit different year than last year. Last year, after the first meet, we pretty much won all the rest.
Maplewood senior Wyatt Hartman said not running in a do or die situation makes it nicer.
"This year, for a few different reasons, we've taken a little different approach. Plus, Maplewood has been a better team locally this year compared to last year. Plus, Boardman is a strong team this year. We haven't won quite as much as they have. We've spent a lot of time trying to get to be as good of a team as we can be these last few weeks. That at sometimes, have confused people why we haven't had people not race or gone to certain races. It's about pointing toward ourselves, having ourselves ready as possible as we can be right now." Omega Seamaster James Bond 50th Anniversary
"In the last two weeks, we've hit some of the most amazing training that I've ever coached a team through," Rupe said. "It's just been essentially a string of really, really good workouts."
Both Maplewood's and McDonald's teams are seeking a trip back to the state meet on Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
"They're pretty much even teams. If you look at everybody in the same race, they're about equal."
"I think we have to run well," Rupe said. "We've been Omega Speedmaster Chronograph 38mm
"The goal is still make it to state this year," Deeter said. "That's still the primary goal and you have goals beyond that.
history hasn't been that even for either team.
realize it's going to be tough to make it out.
Maplewood made it back to state last season after breaking a streak of 20 straight years making it to state two seasons ago.
"Usually when we go to Boardman, we're fighting and clawing to get out," Hartman said. "This year, it's not like we have to run our absolute best to make it out. There's a little leeway there, which is nice going in, but at the same time we Omega Seamaster Chronograph Gmt
For McDonald, it's been a solid couple of weeks leading up to regionals where the top four teams and top 16 in each race advance to state. Besides Maplewood and McDonald, Rupe said Berkshire, Gilmour Academy, New London and Independence are the teams to watch.
That's been a highlight for a McDonald team that has endured some setbacks this season.
Division III girls: Badger: Katelyn Bevilacqua, Iliana Garcia, Maranda Helmick, Jennilyn Krumpe, Kelsey Mislai, Shelby Niessner, Dana Yeater; Bristol: Becca Merlino; Grand Valley: Jessica Finley; Maplewood: Erin Pavick, Alanna Shamrock; McDonald: Abby D'Amore, Yasmeen Elnobani, Heidi Hoffman, Sarah Jones, Bobbi Oakes, Rachel Perry, Brenna Rupe; Mineral Ridge: Tatum Flesch; South Range: Danielle Buzzacco, Matti Dunham, Emily Fromel, Lauren Herubin, Madelyn Kimpel, Monica Patrick, Mollie Pierson.
Division I girls: Austintown Fitch: Carissa Jenkins; Boardman: Daisy Corso, Trista Cunningham, Brandi Gatte, Jordan Grantonic, Elly Larrier, Julia Lewis, Emma Schwendeman; Howland: Taylor Craigo.
Before the top two ranked teams in the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches can advance, they'll have to take on the Boardman High School course Saturday.
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