North junior Jessica Gotti finished 11th at the 2019 Western Reserve Conference cross country meet at Kenston in a brisk day on Saturday to earn second-team all-conference honors.
“Knowing that I am in the top 11 of the WRC makes me feel very proud of myself and my hard work this season,” Gotti said. “The conditions today were not terrible but they were still not the best. It was a bit cold, but I personally like running in the cold better.”
Gotti kicked off the postseason with a personal best time of 20:36.
“My first race of the postseason was very successful in my eyes,” she said. “I set a PR of 20:36, which I am very happy about.”
Gotti hopes to use her big day on Saturday as momentum heading into next weekend’s district meet.
“I am very excited for districts next weekend,” she said. “I am looking forward to competing with a lot of talented girls.”
With Gotti finishing 11th, the Rangers placed sixth as a team.
Rachael Vojtush (32nd, 21:52), Kyra Kiessling (41st, 22:45), Jillian Ayres (43rd, 22:48) and Olivia Godshall (48th, 22:58) also placed among the top 50 runners for the Rangers.
Vojtush and Kiessling both earned honorable mention All-WRC honors.
Junior Jason Reik paced the Rangers’ boys’ team to a seventh-place finish.
Reik ran a time of 17:47 to finish 34th overall. He missed his PR by just 10 seconds.
“I am very satisfied with my time today,” Reik said. “It was a tougher course that included a couple hills that made the course a little tougher than some of our previous ones, but I set the bar high for myself and I finished very close to my PR.”
Like Gotti, Reik hopes to use his strong performance at the WRC meet as the inspiration for next week’s district meet.
“Now that I kicked off the postseason, I am beyond ready and very excited for districts next week,” he said. “I believe I can improve a decent amount from my best time but I have to stay focused and keep continuing to try my hardest so I can reach that goal.”
North’s Finn Sullivan (54th, 18:40), Thomas Okerwall (68th, 19:07), David Vaiksnoras (69th, 19:10) and John Keough (70th, 19:10) also finished among the top 70 out of 155 runners.
Reik and Sullivan both were named honorable mention all-league.