Blue Devils post fast times at Gilmour

Emily Skoczen

Four out of six Independence girls posted personal records at the Gilmour Academy Paul Primeau Invitational on Friday.

“It was surprising,” said Independence coach Craig Polman. “The girls, across the board, our team and the girls from the other teams, ran pretty fast times for this course. I don’t know why the girls’ times were so much faster than the boys.”

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Freshman Makenna McGhee solidified her spot on Independence’s all-time leaders board as she ran a personal best 19:44 to finish in 11th place overall.

She remained third behind Jen Wisniewski (19:10) and Dana Zaccardelli (19:11) as the fastest Independence runners in school history.

“She moved into third last week with her time at Cardinal and she improved this week, but she’s still in third,” Polman said. “She’s closing in on it. The surprising thing is, as fast as she ran, she was still 11th in the small school race.”

Sophomore Emily Skoczen tied a personal best with a 20:47, good for 23rd overall.

Sophomores Josie Lee (23:12) and Izabell McGreevy (23:59) and junior Erica Esper (23:14) all ran personal best times and junior Emma Wensink continued to push through some lingering injuries to post a solid 25:38.

“Josie ran a season-best and Erica was right behind her, so they were back-to-back,” Polman said. “Izabell McGreevy ran a season-best, significantly. Her best going into the meet was 25:01, so she improved a lot. Emma has been running strong the first two miles of the race but she has been falling off in the last mile. She’s trying to get there but she’s still bothered by some of the problems that she’s had, so it’s been a struggle for her so far.”

Independence’s boys’ team also was plagued by injuries as only three healthy runners competed.

Freshman P.J. Oschmann finished 58th with a time of 19:03 and sophomores Thorin Chappel (23:14) and Gregory Adams (24:27) also competed.

“P.J. and Thorin got out a little bit slow for the open race,” Polman said. “They’re used to running in the varsity race but since we didn’t have a full squad we had to run in the open race and they got out a little slow. They battled the pack the whole time. It was two different races. The girls seemed to run very, very well and the boys struggled.”

The Blue Devils return to action next weekend in the Legends Meet at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds.

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The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.