Wednesday, May 22

    Kirtland’s Ainsley Borthwick punches ticket to state meet

    - Advertisment -

    Motivated by a near miss last fall, Kirtland junior Ainsely Borthwick accomplished her season goal by qualifying to run in the 2023 OHSAA state cross country championships on Saturday at Fortress Obetz.

    Borthwick placed 14th in 19:51.80 at the Division III regional meet at Boardman High School on Saturday to earn her spot in the state championships.

    “It’s such a relief,” Borthwick said. “It’s so exciting. It’s been my biggest goal, so I’m really excited to finally be there and be where I want to be.”

    Last fall, Borthwick placed 17th at the regional in 20:51.50. Only the top 16 placers advanced to the state meet. She missed 16th place by fewer than six seconds.

    “That’s definitely been my biggest piece of motivation,” Borthwick said. “It’s been in the back of my mind. Everything I do, every day, if I don’t want to run or every workout I don’t want to put much effort into, I just think back to that night and just remind myself that it’s all towards trying to go to states and it’s all for a reason.”

    While Borthwick is pleased she ran fast enough at the regional meet on Saturday, she knows she’ll have to finish even quicker to earn a spot on the podium at the state meet.

    “I was happy with my time, but I think I could have done better,” she said. “I was hoping to place better. Obviously, I still needed to qualify, but I was hoping I could push myself harder, but I hit a wall at mile three and I kind of just broke down. I’m glad I stuck it out and got through it so I could make it to states.”

    Saturday wasn’t a perfect day for Borthwick as the Hornets finished sixth as a team. Only the top four teams advanced to the state meet.

    “It’s so sad,” Borthwick said. “We were really hoping we could do it. (Coach J.P.) Moran was giving us motivation and we were so excited. Just like last year, I think this is just going to be motivation for next year, and I think we might be able to make it next year.”

    Borthwick will continue to work hard this week in preparation for the state meet, but she’ll be a bit more aggressive than normal on the big stage.

    “I’m so excited,” she said. “I think I’m going to go out slow at the beginning and be more conservative because at regionals, I went out hard and I think that was my mistake. I think I went out too hard, and then I kind of was just struggling to keep the pace for the rest of the race. I think I’m going to go out with that in mind and kind of just stick to a certain pace that will get me to where I want to be at the end of the race.”



    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.

    Most Read

    Independence adds three to Hall of Fame

    Independence on Friday will announce the three most recent additions to its Athletics Hall of Fame.