Ainsley Borthwick and Sylvia Vosicky both finished among the top 20 out of 206 runners to lead Kirtland to a fifth-place finish at the 2023 Spartan Invitational in Boardman on Saturday.
Borthwick placed eight in 20:37 while Vosicky was 20th in 21:30.
“I was very pleased with my race,” Borthwick said. “My strategy was to just go out strong and try and stay strong as far into the race as possible, and I think I executed that fairly well. I didn’t want to put any expectations on myself going into the race, because the course is not the fastest. But I am very happy with the way everything laid out.”
Borthwick has enough experience on the Boardman course to know targeting a personal record probably isn’t the best strategy.
She finished nearly a minute slower than her normal PR, but at Boardman, she’ll take it.
“Whenever someone asks how I want to run that course I tell them I’d be pleased with two minutes slower than my PR,” she said.
Borthwick stuck to the hip of the faster girls in the race and made her move when she saw an opening.
“For the physical part of the race, I just tried to stick along with the top couple girls and really just took anything and everything that I could to my advantage,” she said. “The mental part was probably the hardest part for me because I didn’t feel strong during the race, but towards the end, I just tried to stick it out, ignore all the negative thoughts, and come through with a good place and time.”
Vosicky used better-than-normal conditions in Boardman to run her fastest time on the course.
“I was happy with the results of my race,” she said. “Due to the weather, I ran the best time I ever have there this past weekend. Every time I’ve raced at Boardman it’s either been too muddy or too hot, but this weather was perfect. The time itself wasn’t great but given the elevation on the course, I’m pleased.”
The packed field inspired Vosicky to compete at a high level.
“For me, the more runners in a race, the easier it is,” she said. “More runners gives me so much more competition and opportunity to pass people, which is what keeps me in the races mentally. You’re much more likely to find yourself in a pack, which makes the race much easier than being alone. The downhills and large crowds kept me going during the races and I made sure to take advantage of those. (Coach J.P.) Moran made us all aware that results on Saturday would give us a good idea of our placing at regionals, which definitely enhanced our entire team’s performance and gave us a mental edge.”
Izzie Copeland ran a time of 21:46 to place 26th. Stephanie Drazetic posted a top-60 time of 23:31. Grace Mastrangelo (23:52), Megan Urbanick (23:56), Jessica Jackson (25:16), Kaitlyn D’Amato (27:03), Mikaila Stephenson (27:34), Claire Dumstorff (27:38), and Lauren Iacobucci (29:42) also competed for the Hornets.
Kirtland’s boys’ team didn’t field enough runners to score as a team, but Joey Ciavarelli led the Hornets with a time of 20:21, good for 110th place.
Luke Emlaw (23:55), Sean Kats (24:10), and Andrew Kostelnik (33:23) also ran for the Hornets.