Cross Country Dogs Back in Town


On Tuesday, September 10, Poland Seminary High School and Middle School’s Cross Country Team will be hosting their first home meet in approximately 25 years at Poland Township Park with the first race starting at 4:45 p.m. Also, senior night will be integrated into the event.

In the past, according to Coach Kim Grisdale, the previous course was flawed. It had three laps that went around the high school perimeter, and other extracurricular activities were simultaneously occurring in the same location.

As a result, meets were no longer hosted at Poland.

Coach Grisdale said that the last home meet was probably in the mid to late 1990’s. 

“In 2000, a parent of a family of runners, Jim Moran, started talking to Mike Heher of BFI services about building the soccer fields and a cross country course and formed a park board in 2002,” said Coach Grisdale.

From that point, it has been a 17 year process to create the course that the students will run on tonight.

Mr. Dwyer, a parent of a current runner, has been a main contributor to building the course, which expedited the process allowing the course to be present today.

According to senior Jet Bailey, “This was built really fast with help by the Dwyers.”

Coach Grisdale said, “I hope the team does well at home; it is really cool when you can perform well on your own course, especially one this difficult.” 

Along with Coach Grisdale, runners also have high aspirations for the first home meet. 

Bailey said, “I want to represent Poland well, and I don’t want any other schools on our home course to beat us out. I’m hoping our top five can get 1-5 at the meet and not let anyone interfere with that.”

Senior Geno Gallo shares Bailey’s optimism.

Gallo said, “I think we have an opportunity to win.”

Along with high expectations for the whole team, runners have personal goals for this home meet as well.

“My personal goals are to place in the top 3 and break 19 minute mark,” said senior Gianna Stanich.

Senior Sydney Norris said, “My personal goals for this meet are to run in the low 21’s.”

While students practice, many use personal music playlists, but during the meet, music is not permitted, which creates a need for a crowd tonight to cheer them on. 

In fact, Coach Grisdale states, “Nobody really comes to cross country meets, so I really hope kids can come to support.”

She added, “Whenever other sports teams make it to regionals, we have the whole community there, and the dog pound which I think is fantastic, and I hope that goes into cross country.”

For the future, Boardman is the location for regionals in just a few weeks, and our team has qualified for this event for the last eight years.

Let’s show our Bulldog support and pride tonight and cheer on our cross country team!

The location is Poland Township Park by the youth soccer fields. People can enter at Cowden Road which is a one way street.

This is an example of the course that integrates the names of the boys on the cross country team.