CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — State your name and your position, please.
“Hi, I’m Hunter Spaid. I finished first today.”
That was Cambridge Springs sophomore Hunter Spaid. And he was indeed the first finisher in Tuesday’s Region 3 tri-meet with Conneaut Area and Franklin at Cambridge Springs High School.
Yet Spaid, who finished in a time of 18:53, was by no means lonely on his 3.1-mile journey.
The Spa boys finished 1-2-3-4, while their fifth runner took seventh.
The Spa boys defeated Conneaut Area 16-39, and Franklin by the same score.
“It’s fun,” Spaid said. “It’s fun running in a pack and knowing that you’re going to be successful.”
o o o
Your name please?
Kline is another member of that Blue Devils’ lead pack. Yesterday he finished second in 18:59.
“Going into the season, having that strong pack,” said Kline, “you’ve just got to keep working on it, keep pushing each other and our times keep dropping.”
Kline was one of three Cambridge Springs runners who qualified for states last season. And all three — Spaid, Kline and Bobby Moats, who was seventh (20:04) at yesterday’s meet — were due back this season. So, everyone was thinking big things for the team just with those three. But things go even deeper for the Blue Devils.
“Me, Hunter and Bobby made it last year,” said Kline. “Alec (Bidwell) was out with an injury but came back this year. And we picked up Eli (Mamula) again. Hopefully we’ll be able to get everyone to states as a team.”
o o o
Introduce yourself please.
“Hi, my name is Alec Bidwell,” said Alec Bidwell.
How did it go today?
“It felt great today. But it was really hot. As soon as you get up on the dirt road up there the sun just beats down on you,” he answered. “Every time we have a Tuesday meet it seems to get hotter and hotter.”
Bidwell is in his senior season. He was a state qualifier as a freshman and sophomore, but missed out on most of his junior year with a stress fracture.
He’s healthy this year and is already pushing that lead group. Yesterday he was third with a time of 19:09.
He was followed by ...
o o o
Your name and your occupation, please.
“I’m Elijah Mamula,” said Elijah Mamula. “And, uh, I’m a runner with the Cambridge Springs team.”
Last fall season, Mamula’s answer would have been different. When he was a freshman he ran cross country, and just barely missed a trip to states. But in his sophomore year he tried a different sport.
“I ended up playing soccer,” he said. “But they were having trouble finding a coach and I didn’t want to be left without a sport. So I decided to join back with cross country.”
He was fourth for the Devils yesterday, finishing in 19:18.
“We really just mesh right now,” said Mamula. “We’re really strong. We’ve been doing pretty well this season. We’re hoping to go to states as a team. And if we really push we think we can make it.”
o o o
It could happen. In the two invitationals that Cambridge has competed in this season — McDowell on Aug. 31 and West Middlesex on Sept. 7 — the Spa was the top Class 1A team competing, taking sixth at McDowell and fourth at Middlesex.
It all has Devils head coach Cathy Shader excited for what this team can do this year.
“I’ve never been in this position where I’ve had such a fantastic team,” she said. “I’ve been working toward this since 2013 with these seniors were in 7th grade. I knew I had a really special group of boys coming up through the ranks. I could just tell when all those kiddos were 7th grade I saw something super special.
“So now here we are.”
o o o
Other top finishers in the boys race were CASH’s Nathaniel Turner in fifth in 19:47; Franklin’s Cael Zigler in sixth in 19:52; and then Conneaut runners in eighth through 11th place — Simeon Hunter (20:11), Jordan Kullen (20:33), Dylan Fletcher (20:52) and Evan Alsdorf (20:57).
o o o
The top finisher in the girls race was Conneaut Area junior Meaera Shannon, who ran the course in 20:03. That time was seventh fastest on the day — either boys or girls.
“Hot day today,” Shannon said afterward. “I’ve been running through the summer, so I’m pretty acclimated to the heat. But it still sucks.”
The Franklin girls ended up with the sweep, but just barely. The Lady Knights defeated host Cambridge 26-29 and Conneaut 26-29.
Cambridge only just edged CASH 27-28.
The Blue Devils’ were led by Elizabeth Kline, who was second in 22:17, while Lauren Klapthor was fourth in 25:50, Paige Gill was 10th in 27:22 and Laura Bidwell was 11th in 27:38.
For Conneaut, Natalie Humes was sixth in 26:19 and Chloe Fields was seventh in 26:21.