Tribune Chronicle: Yoder paces Rockets in win

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The following article was originally posted in the Sept. 24, 2008 edition of the Warren Tribune Chronicle by John Vargo (

BROOKFIELD - Maplewood girls and McDonald boys cross country teams have been steadily improving this season.

Both teams showed their mettle in route to winning respective team titles at Tuesday's Trumbull County Meet at Brookfield Community Park.

Maplewood beat McDonald for the girls team title, 33-56. Howland took third with 102 points.

"We've put in some hard workouts. It's been paying off," said Maplewood senior Lissa Yoder, who won the individual race in a time of 21 minutes, 22 seconds. "We just hope to end the season well."

Sarah Bonar of Badger (21:36), Girard's Ashley Mylar (21:44), Maplewood's Crystal Williams (21:50) and Maplewood's Becca Eschman (21:54) rounded out the top five.

McDonald, the top-ranked boys team in the latest Division III Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches poll, beat Lakeview for the team title, 35-53. Maplewood took third with 62 points.

The Blue Devils were led by Lance Ronghi's third-place finish (17:07).

"We knew Maplewood was a good team. That was our goal, to beat them and Lakeview," Ronghi said.

Lakeview's Tyler Ames (16:46) and Heath Harris (16:56) took first and second, respectively. Howland's Aaron Sutton (17:12) was fourth, while McDonald's Jerry Dugan (17:20) took fifth.

"I was just dead last week. I was sick," Ronghi said. "We're training real well right now."

Maplewood's girls have improved its training as well.

"Our workouts have improved, working hills and speed. It's a good combination for us," Yoder said.

So far, McDonald is exuding its No. 1 ranking.

"They're all working hard and feeling it. They're a bunch of hard workers," Ronghi said.

This hard work pushed Yoder to Tuesday's title.

"Each race pushed me harder and keeps me going. It means a lot," she said. "... I've wanted it since seventh grade. It feels pretty good."


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