Both cross country teams will be competing at the State Meet in Columbus this Saturday, November 3.
Location: Scioto Downs in Columbus.
Admission is $8.00 per person.
Google Map to Scioto Downs.
11:05 A.M. Division III Girls
11:50 A.M. Division II Girls
12:35 P.M. Division I Girls
1:20 P.M. Division III Boys
2:05 P.M. Division II Boys
2:50 P.M. Division I Boys
Check back early next week for a recap of the accomplishements from the last few weeks that brought the Spartans to the State meet.
Ask any of Turpin’s top six male runners about last weekend’s District Championship, and the response will invariably be the same: it was just another day at the office. The race that, just a few years ago, was “The Race” for Turpin guys is now just a steppingstone. Ask any of the runners about what matters during this postseason, and you’ll hear phrases like “just keep advancing” and “stay fresh for Columbus.”
Columbus? When Head Coach Jim Gossett first came to Turpin, the idea of Scioto Downs in November seemed as far-off as the World Series or Super Bowl. The State race never even crossed the minds of Turpin runners in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The biggest race, the culmination of any season was the District Championship. Sure, if people ran really well, maybe Turpin would have a shot at fourth. Maybe. Just a few PR’s would have been nice.
Now, it’s 2007, and those days seem like ancient history. The Spartan men are District Champions, and to them…well, it’s not a huge deal. The title is the first in Division 1 in the history of the men’s program (the Spartans won a Division 2 district title in 1990).
In the old days, a Turpin runner would only dream of finishing in the top 16 and advancing individually to the Regional meet. Four finished in the top 16 on Saturday. Four. Yikes.
The focus with which this men’s team operates is incredible. The only thing that matters is advancing and succeeding in Columbus. Does each of the runners want a PR? Yes. Do they want to place well individually? Yes. But if you speak with any of them after a race and ask how it went, the immediate response is, without fail, how the team placed, and how the team felt about its performance.
I spoke on the phone with senior captain Kyle Rewick last Saturday night after the District race. Rewick was fresh off a third place finish at VOA, right in front of sophomore phenom Nicholas El-Khoury, who was fourth. Since Gossett’s arrival, Turpin has never had one runner, much less two, finish that well in a District race. Rewick, while appreciative when I mentioned this distinction that he’d just earned, shrugged it off. It was just another step. He was more concerned with getting Drew DiSabatino back and healthy for the Regional race.
This is the attitude that the Turpin men have taken on, and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s everything that a coach, a fan base, or in my case, a proud alum could ever ask for.
Lest we forget that Turpin owns the girls’ individual District Champion as well, in senior Sam Patty. Amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding Turpin’s exciting men’s team, Patty quietly has set herself up for a run at the school’s first individual Regional title since the legendary Carolyn Rauen did it in 2001. Junior Kaitlin Price is coming on at the right time, and if the supporting cast continues to step up, who knows what could happen?
For Turpin cross country, the “glory days” no longer have to be the seasons of Carolyn Rauen, Melanie Price and Corey Randall; the glory days are now. While I love the focused attitude of the Turpin athletes, we as fans need to take time to smell the roses.
So enjoy this postseason. Runners, parents, fans and friends should appreciate how far the men’s program has come. Sure, the District race may have just been an obstacle along the Spartans’ run towards Scioto Downs, but we should remember how much a District title would mean to so many teams. You never know when it will happen again.
Both Turpin cross country teams passed the first post-season test at District race at Voice of America Park. With the top four teams from each race advancing on to the Regional meet in Troy next Saturday, every runner knew the stakes at hand. Rain late in the week brought back memories of last year’s wet, muddy, and slow course, however, the course was ready to go for this important race. The only challenge facing the runners was a fairly strong wind that slowed overall times about fifteen seconds. Although both Turpin teams were expected to qualify to the regional meet, they proved that they are still two of the strongest teams in Cincinnati.
Racing in the first race of the day and the first of three girls qualifying races, the Turpin girls looked to set the tone for the later races. Senior standout Sam Patty took an early lead and only increased the distance between her and second place finisher Alanah Sontag of Mason. Despite the wind, Sam ran a one second PR winning the race in 18:25. Turpin’s other front-runner, Kaitlin Price, ran behind Sontag for much of the race but was also passed by Colerain’s first runner placing fourth in 19:17. Lauren Young ran the best race of her career thus far running under twenty minutes for the first time placing sixth in 19:43. Megan Plichta and Jillian Jaworek were the fourth and fifth Turpin scorers running respectable times of 20:36 and 20:50. Alexia Yun finished right behind Jillian placing twenty-first in 20:51 and Lauren Keene was the final Turpin runner finishing in 21:09. Despite several strong individual races the Turpin girls finished second behind Colerain.
As the favored team to win in the second of two boys’ qualifiers, the Turpin guys did not disappoint expectations. Even without the number five runner, Drew Disabatino who did not run because of a foot injury, the team ran well winning the meet. Kyle Rewick finished third overall in 16:24, one second behind second place finisher Jordan Parayil of West Chester. Nick El-Khoury was not far behind placing fourth in 16:31. Dave Rodriguez was twelfth in 16:52; Rob DiMartino was sixteenth in 16:57; and Ben Wagner edged out both an Elder and Mason runner finishing twenty-third in 17:14. Turpin’s sixth and seventh runners, Mark Hamerstadt and Zach Smith ran respective times of 18:16 and 18:39. Overall, Turpin won the race with 58 points ahead of surprise second place finisher, Mason. Had the two qualifying races been combined and all times were the same, Turpin would have finished second behind St. Xavier.
Location: Voice Of America Park
Admission is $6
Take the Tylersville Road exit off of I-75 North. Turn right and go for
approximately 1 mile. Park is on the left side of road.
Division I Girls
Girls Race A 10:00 AM (qualify to Troy) - Turpin girls race
Girls Race B 10:35 AM (qualify to Pickerington)
Girls Race C 11:10 AM (qualify to Troy)
Division I Boys
Boys Race A 11:45 AM (qualify to Troy)
Boys Race B 12:15 PM (qualify to Troy) - Turpin boys race
After last year’s historic victory with both boys and girls conference bringing titles back to Turpin for the first time since 1981, expectations were high for a repeat victory again this year. Racing against a weaker Kings team, the Turpin boys were able to cruise through the race nearly sweeping the Cardinal division with sixteen points. Despite a slower start to the season, the Turpin girl’s team had found success in recent weeks with a victory at St. Xavier and second place at last week’s Centerville Stampede. However, the girls were not able to carry this success to FAVC, falling to last year’s runner-up, Kings.
In the boy’s race, all of Turpin’s varsity runners ran well in a race they were expected to win with ease. The boys nearly swept the Cardinal division taking places one – four and sixth. Kyle Rewick and Nick El-Khoury ran with the Buckeye division’s Matt Belliston of Milford for much of the race. Early in the third mile Nick passed Kyle but could not catch Belliston, the race’s overall winner. Nick finished first in 16:17 and Kyle placed second in 16:25. Dave Rodriguez was not far behind placing third with a PR time of 16:33. Rob DiMartino finished fourth in 16:56 and Drew DiSabatino was the final Turpin scorer finishing sixth and matching his PR with a 17:04. Ben Wagner finished in 17:11 and Andrew Steller, running in place of Mark Hamerstadt and an injured Zach Smith, finished with a PR time of 18:12. The Spartans won the Cardinal division with sixteen points ahead of Kings’ forty-nine. Congratulations to Coach Gossett for winning Coach of the Year honors.
Following the guy’s success, the girls also looked to winning the FAVC conference title. Turpin’s two front-runners Sam Patty and Kaitlin Price both had outstanding races. Sam continued her season long success winning the race in 18:31. Next, Kaitlin broke the nineteen-minute barrier for the first time running a 26 second PR finishing in second with a very impressive 18:52. However, four Kings’ runners finished before Lauren Young crossed the line placing seventh in 20:18. The fifth Kings runner finished in ninth, one place ahead of Megan Plichta, effectively sealing the win for Kings. Alexia Yun and Jillian Jaworek finished back-to-back with respective times of 21:31 and 21:32. Cassie Bacon was the final Turpin runner finishing nineteenth in 21:49. The Turpin girls scored 35 points behind Kings’ 27 points.
Weather pending, both junior varsity teams will next race at the District Reserve race on Thursday. The meet is at Voice of America Park. Boys run at 4:20 and girls at 5:00. The varsity teams race on Saturday at the District race, also at VOA. Click for pasta dinner assignments and meet information.