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by Steve Batko | Correspondent
It wasn't quite what head coach Tyler Bunch had wanted, but he will take the performance by his Streetsboro boys cross country team in its season-opening full-length meet Aug. 23.
The Rockets placed 11th out of 13 teams in the Billy Goat Challenge at Woodland Park in McDonald.
"We were not quite where we had hoped to be, but still, not a bad start to the season in what was the first 5K race," Bunch said.
Sugarcreek Garaway won the team crown 49-63 over Crestwood and Peninsula Woodridge (73), Ohio's 21st-ranked team in Division II.
The Billy Goat race included three of the top four ranked teams in the Division III preseason. They were top-ranked McDonald, second-ranked Cortland Maplewood and fourth-ranked Garaway.
McDonald placed fourth (83), just in front of Maplewood (115).
"This invitational always has exceptional talent, so we're not dwelling too much on our place," Bunch said.
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Ryan Adams defeated 178 other runners to win the race in a time of 17 minutes, 1 second.
Sophomores Jake Suttell and Alec Bindus paced Streetsboro.
Suttell ran 41st overall with a time of 19 minutes, 45.7 seconds. Bindus crossed next in 42nd with a clocking of 19:47.9.
"Jake Suttell and Alec Bindus both ran very gutsy races," Bunch said.
Senior Jake Gould placed third (63rd, 20:55.2) for the Rockets.
Freshman Bailey Deevers made his varsity debut and was 65th overall in 21:05.6, just in front of senior Tyler Garman (21:06.7 for 66th).
"Also running well were our freshmen, Bailey Deevers and Tommy Duncan," Bunch said. "This was their first 5K at the high school level and it was a great starting point for them.
"Although the competition is tough, this is an invitational we love running because of how scenic the course is."
Streetsboro opened the regular season in the 3K Dick Malloy Invitational, hosted by Akron Archbishop Hoban Aug. 20 at Goodyear Heights Metro Park in Akron.
The Rockets finished sixth with 131 points in the nine-team Gold Division. Alliance Marlington won the event with 40 points.
Marlington's Ty Raybuck won the 50-person race with a time of 9:52.
Suttell ran 16th overall in 10:43, followed by Bindus (21st at 10:49), Gould (26th in 11:12), Deevers (30th with a 11:27) and Duncan (38th in 11:52).
Streetsboro is scheduled to compete at the East Canton Invitational Aug. 27 at 5 p.m.
The Rockets are set to compete at the Ashley White Stump Memorial Invitational Aug. 30 at Marlington High School. The race is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.