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    Oschmann leads Blue Devils at Billy Goat Challenge


    Independence senior P.J. Oschmann ran a strong race to finish in seventh place out of 172 runners at the Billy Goat Challenge on Saturday at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds.

    With Oschmann leading the way, the Blue Devils finished in ninth place as a team.

    “I can’t say I was satisfied with my time, which ended up being around 18:01,” Oschmann said. “Before the season ends, I’d like to see myself in the lower 17s. Currently, my goal time is around 17:30, although of course times vary from course to course. I wouldn’t say I’m upset with Saturday’s time, but I know it could be better.”

    The conditions certainly were better on Saturday than they were for the season-opening invitational last weekend.

    “Week 1 had some pretty horrible racing conditions,” Oschmann said. “The course was wet and sloppy, making many parts difficult to traverse. For this race, I opted to keep my eyes out for flatter, less sloppy surfaces, even if that meant not taking the shortest route and riding all the tangents. For Week 2, the course was flat, dry, and fast, with the only challenge being it was a little warm, but even then, I didn’t think it was that hot. For Week 2, I was able to run a normal race without any change in pacing, speed, or strategy.”

    Oschmann’s top 10 finish nearly met his expectations for himself early in his senior year.

    “At this point in the season, I was hoping to be sub-18 minutes, especially on a flat course, so I’m about two seconds off from that right now,” he said. “I hope to end the season at least in the lower 17-minute or even in the 16-minute range. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull that off, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to try. In terms of places, I’ve been able to earn top 10 for the past two races. I hope to keep doing that for the rest of the season and maybe start earning top 5 in the latter half of the season.”

    Collin Patton finished 20th with a time of 18:38 and Kyle McGovern also finished among the top 50 in 19:19.

    Freshman Alana Nowak again finished near the top of the leaderboard in the girls’ race as she clocked a time of 22:51, good for 15th.

    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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