Vinny DeFelice crossed the finish line at the annual Ohio Cardinal Conference meet with a personal best. He placed eighth, earning him All-OCC honors.
So why wasn’t he happy?
“I’m glad Vinny wants more, that he wants to get better and isn’t satisfied,” said West Holmes coach Kevin Beachy of his top runner. “He has that hunger to get better each time out.”
Going into the Saturday, Oct. 11 event at Orrville High School, Beachy figured his Knights would finish fourth should all the pieces fall into place.
The pieces did fall according to plan, and despite the middle-of-the-pack finish, what Beachy saw was a team performing at a nice level at this late juncture of the season.
The Knights got a great effort across the board, including from top runner Vinny DeFelice, who ran eighth in 16:19, set his own PR by two seconds and earned first-team all-OCC honors in the process.
Two teammates, Philip Schaffter (19th/17:29) and Danny Drummond (20th/17:30) both earned honorable mention all-OCC.
In addition, freshman Teddy Oliver ran an 18:01 to finish 25th in the 53-man race, Ethan Meyer placed 26th in 18:26, while Brent Wilson and Mark Raber placed 29th and 30th in 18:41.
“Overall we ran a pretty solid race,” said Beachy. “We continue to get better each week, which is what we want at this point in the season.”
Ashland won the Ohio Cardinal Conference meet, placing five runners in the top dozen spots and edging out a talented Lexington team 32-37. However, Wooster’s Kevin White was the day’s featured performer. Not surprisingly, White roared to victory, closing the deal with a Wooster school record time of 15:42. But he was pushed the whole way by Ashland’s Leif McFrederick, who finished right behind in a time of 15:44.
DeFelice came in with a PR, but wasn’t exactly thrilled with his effort.
“It was a two second PR for me, but I was hoping for a lot better,” said DeFelice. “I came out way too quickly at the start and didn’t have a lot left. I knew I would finish in the five to eight range, so my finish didn’t surprise me a whole lot. I just didn’t feel I ran that well.”
One runner who did run well was Ethan Meyer. The junior earned a PR, and for the first time this season saw his score count among the top five placers for the Knights.
“Ethan, that was the best race of his career,” said Beachy. “Ethan easily ran a PR and really looked good the entire race. He ran exactly how we talked abut running, and he didn’t panic early. He ran at his pace and ran smart.”
After the top two teams duked it out for first and second, Wooster finished third with 62 points, followed by the Knights (98), Orrville (170), Madison (180) and Mansfield Senior (183).