Tribune Chronicle: McDonald boys remain undefeated at Legends

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The following article was originally posted in the Oct. 5, 2008 edition of the Warren Tribune Chronicle by John Vargo (

BAZETTA - McDonald's boys cross country team hasn't lost a race this season.

Saturday at the second annual The Legends race at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds, the Blue Devils' streak stayed intact as McDonald held off Maplewood in the Division III boys race, 43-61.

"We had some guys that ran some solid races. It's neat to see their progression," McDonald coach Chris Rupe said. "They've definitely been hitting a lot of good training. We've been waiting for a flatter course, faster course. Today, it was really nice that a lot of our guys - all of our guys - had some fast times today."

Maplewood's Eric Rupe finished second to Trinity's Nick Glihac, 16 minutes, 35 seconds to 16:40. Rupe beat Glihac more than a week ago at the Gilmour Invitational.

McDonald's Lance Ronghi (16:51), Maplewood's Tom Bottorff (16:54) and Gilmour Academy's Bart Merkel (16:55) round out Saturday's top five.

"I raced him last week and beat him by 3 seconds," Rupe said. "He beat me by 5 seconds this week. Hopefully at regionals and state I get to race him again and we'll have another good race."

Even though there has been some rain the past couple of weeks, the course wasn't affected too much.

"The course, after all the mud and everything, turned out to be a nice course," Chris Rupe said.

With the regular season winding down, McDonald is gearing itself for the postseason. But there's no magical formula to the team's success.

"With our training and all, we're going to have some guys hit a good race and we'll have some guys that didn't feel so good," Rupe said. "We're hitting an awful lot of hard training. There's not a science to predicting who is going to feel good on an given day because some guys are going to have a good day and some guys are pretty beat up.

"Everyone else is training awfully hard, so we're hitting some good things. Tough thing is keep them from feeling discouraged because they're not feeling as well as they like to."

Maplewood's girls team is feeling well after it finished second to Gilmour Academy, 46-90, in the Division III girls race. The Rockets' boys team isn't too bad either.

"I was more happy with the team," Eric Rupe said. "Our second and third guy ran really good. It was the first time all year we had five under 18 (minutes). I'm really looking forward to the end of the season. It will be excited to get into the mix."

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