Wednesday, July 24

    Independence boys win CVC title

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    MIDDLEFIELD—Independence’s boys’ cross country team outran the field in winning the 2023 Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title on Saturday.

    The Blue Devils finished with 46 points, eight points fewer than second-place Berkshire.

    “It means a lot because two years ago we were fourth in the conference and last year we were runners-up, so this summer we set the goal to try to win the division and all summer long and all through August, September, and right up to today, that was the goal and what we were training for,” said Independence coach Vern Blaze. “It worked out and all the hard work paid off.”

    Junior James Kitagawa paced the Blue Devils with a time of 18:12, good for third place overall and a spot on the CVC Valley Division first team.

    Sophomore Nathan Lu also earned first-team honors for finishing among the top eight. He placed sixth in 18:42.

    Seniors Brian Angyal, Carter Peters, and Dylan Wang earned second-team all-conference honors by placing between ninth and 16th.

    Angyal was 11th in 19:02.45, Peters finished 12th in 19:02.91, and Wang finished 14th in 19:08.

    Sophomore Tate McGovern and freshman Daniel Alrabady finished 22nd and 24th in 20:27 and 20:49, respectively. Senior Nathan Pawuk finished the race in 20:49, good for 25th place, and freshman William Stray placed 26th in 20:51.

    Independence’s girls’ team finished fourth with 98 points.

    Senior Alana Nowak and sophomore Gianna Carlucci ran to second-team All-CVC honors by placing ninth and 14th, respectively.

    Nowak finished in 22:34 while Carlucci crossed the finish line in 23:23.

    Sophomore MaryAnne LeRoy ran to a top 25 finish in 25:42, sophomore Kayla Hujarski placed 28th in 28:46, junior Sarah Luciano finished 32nd in 29:35, and senior Ellie Polter placed 35th in 30:56.

    Photo Galleries

    Boys Results

    Girls Results


    Jack Gillespie contributed to this story.


    Steve Hare
    Steve Hare
    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.

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