Well the 2017 Fighting Irish journey begins in just a couple of weeks. I would like to welcome all of the new and returning runners back. I am thrilled at the number of initial sign ups. We currently have 29 males and 26 ladies on the roster. My main goal will be to keep all of you engaged in advancing your running ability. The theme for this year’s program will be “Envision the Highest Peak”. Piggybacking off of Dr. Leo Kormanick’s presentation from a couple of weeks ago, I want to capture and paraphrase  one central concept Doc had – ” you have to condition your brain as well as your body and it starts on day one”.

As I stated at the meeting I will be introducing two methods to success in order to assist each and everyone of you in your quest to becoming the best runner you can be. The first method will be for all beginners or those that do not initially see themselves as top elite runners – yet.

The second method is going to be for all of those runners who have aspirations of standing atop the podium in November. Together with a core of new and returning coaches, it will be our objective to guide all of you towards this highest peak.

The Saturday locations will be posted on the calendar in short time. Also, please don’t forget to sign up for the various food/drink categories. Remember, mark your calendar for Monday June 19th at 7:00 pm at Firestone Metro Park.


Hello Everyone,

It’s been awhile since I posted and apologize for this delay. We are well under way in track and field for the 2017 journey that prayerfully will end in Columbus. It has been an interesting cut up season so far due to all of the disruptions to the school schedule. However, despite this unconventional start to the season, the Fighting Irish Men and Women’s team show very promising potential to reach the state final in various events.

The highlights so far is the emergence of Junior Sara Foster in the 300 low hurdles. Sara is currently running times that she ran at the state finals where she finished in 7th place. Also, worth noting are the guys speed relays as well as the 4 x 800 relay team. The guys 4×200 actually started the season off by winning the indoor state championship. Since then, they have clocked state caliber times in the 4×100 as well. The guys 4×800 is also on pace to a repeat trip to Columbus. Last but certainly not least is the development of 3200 meter runner Leah Lisle who is clocking very impressive times so far.

Now that Easter break is upon us, it is a great time for the athletes to “recommit” to the total development of their given events. Once we get back from break, there is only 4 weeks to the post season. This break is a great opportunity to go into meditation and prayer and decide their own fate. For the seniors, this task is the most daunting. Trying to remain focused while the traditional format of school has concluded puts all of the seniors in more of a college role preparing for the NCAA than it does the typical high school athlete. However, the end result of a trip to the big dance awaits if this once in a lifetime commitment is present.

Once again, thanks to the brilliant photos by Mr. Christian Lisle, I will be submitting links of photos from several of our invitationals.

St. Joes Invite

Bill Barry Invite

The New Era was written with Success!

alex phillip.jpg

Congratulations to both men and women’s team. Remember back at Mohican in July, the main objective was for BOTH teams to make it to state. Through very hard work, dedication to God and most importantly staying positive throughout some rough times, YOU all accomplished this goal!

I know the bar for our program had been set very high over the years. However, please take note that it is NOT failure if you come up short on the higher – more lofty goal. Review each and every race you ran this season. Critique your workouts. Determine where improvement can be made. This is what I do after every season – even when we win a state championship or have an individual win a state title. God blesses each of you with your gifts. They are never to become complacent. So, there is always room to improve.

I want to thank the seniors, Mia, Michaela, Allison, Katie, Lana, Connor, Luke and Shane for your hard work throughout these four years of our journey. You all are now “owners” of the Fighting Irish XC program. To all of the rest of you, I also thank you for being open-minded and patient with me as we transition this year towards this New Chapter(s) in the story of the Fighting Irish XC teams.

Please do not forget the banquet on Monday November 21st at 7 pm.

I am attaching the link for the state finals as well as the Regional finals.

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AlMMInR3s6uQh4ZcIB3QMUJlvPotyA (state championship)

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AlMMInR3s6uQh4UrVKRRsQF2abxmpw (regional finals)



Malone District – Mountain conquered!

alex phillip.jpg

Sophomore Alex Phillips won the District title and helped guide the men’s team to a runner up finish. The other finishers all in the top 15 were: Matt Sollenberger, Shane Kelliher, Patrick White, Connor McIntyre, Colin Scahill and Sean O’Brien.

district title.jpg

The Lady Irish captured their 10th consecutive District title! The women had all 5 runners in the top 15 to help win the Malone District. The ladies representing the Irish victory were: Nina Zraik, Leah Lisle, Isabella Ceepo, Elaina Mendiola, Mia Brady, Mikaela Leeser and Natalie Tobin.


To see more photos of the district, please click on the following link:



Time to start peaking!



Congratulations to both the men and women’s team for their past performance at the Legends Race this past weekend. As I mentioned at the outset of the season back in June, the key to succeed in competitive cross country is to time your peak performance for the right time of year. All of the ladies and most of the men ran their personal best time of the year in this race.

For those that have made the post season line up, their is still another peaking cycle to come. Be patient and positive. The key to advance will come to those that remain faithful in their God-given ability and simply run on instinct. There is no more thinking/strategizing  that needs to be done. Run with “Angels wings” and you will be fine.

I am attaching the link for both the legends race as well as the Midwest race (I forgot to post last week – I apologize).

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AlMMInR3s6uQh4BFym9QDRcnrtvEYQ (the legends race)

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AlMMInR3s6uQhv01eODpryHZHjtHqQ (the Midwest race)





All Catholic Invitational



It’s never too early to start with a future Irish cross country star! That is our future star Aria Stire (she turned 3 on Saturday) warming up with our ladies before Friday’s workout.

Congratulations to both the men’s and women’s team for a very strong team performance this past weekend. The Men took 2nd in the small division, only losing to Carroll by 4 points. Alex Phillip capped the performance with an impressive top 10 finish. The ladies won the small school division by once again packing in our top 5 runners.




Boardman Invitational


As you all can tell by the photos (fabulously taken by Mr. Lisle), this invite was a mad house! Over 500 runners in each race. Strategies for all runners were thrown out the window. I want to congratulate our runners for their efforts. I know many of them do not feel satisfied in the results. The final standings showed as much. However, I still give credit for the perseverance and courage. For the record, the guys team should have finished in 6th place. We were incorrectly penalized with the disqualification of Alex Phillip. He finished in 7th out of 502 runners! However, an official incorrectly “selected” him out of all of the runners as the one who cut the course. Alex was “unofficially” informed by another official later that he wasn’t the one. It is very unfortunate for Alex that this happened since he ran so well.

The Ladies team were once again led by Nina Zraik with a 32 finish out of 505 runner. Isabella Ceepo and Mia Brady also ran very well.

We have now reached the halfway point of the season. Time to bond together as a family as we begin our journey South. I ask all of the runners to remain focused and positive. Find that positive element everyday. This weekend travel should be a great opportunity to rejuvenate and discover who you are as a runner and team member


Tiffin Invitational


Congratulations to the Fighting Irish Ladies team as they came in 2nd place out of 53 teams. The key to their success once again was the tightness of the group. All 5 runners were separated by only 31 seconds. Once again, it was Nina Zraik, Leah Lisle, Isabella Ceepo, Elaina Mendiola and Mia Brady leading the way. Also, Maddie Mellinger and Natalie Tobin had great performances for the Lady Irish.

Alex Phillip finished in  7th place out of 352 runners to help the men’s team finish in 8th place out of 55 teams.

Check out more photos by clicking on the following link:


I would like everyone to know that we all owe Christian Lisle a huge debt of gratitude for these fantastic pictures week in and week out.


Avon Lake – Mountain 2 conquered!


Congratulations to the mens and womens team for this past weekend’s performance. Both teams dominated the field on their way to capturing the titles. The men had all 5 runners finish in the top 15. They were lead by Alex Phillips who won the race in a time of 16:47. He was followed by Matt Sollenberger finished in 5th; Conner McIntyer in 6th: Patrick White in 9th and Sean O’Brien in 14th place. Also worth noting was the mens team had 19 runners go 20:00 flat or better!

The ladies had an even more impressive finish as they too won the title. The ladies almost swept the event! They were lead by first place winner Nina Zraik. She was followed in 2nd place by Isabella Ceepo; 3rd place by Elaina Mendiola; 5th place by Leah Lisle and 6th place with Mia Brady.

All of you should enjoy the moment! This race showed great determination and desire by all of you.

Now the journey gets a little more challenging. The Tiffin invite coming up will be a mini state meet. I am convinced all of you are ready for the challenge. Remember stay determined and focused. But mostly, stay POSITIVE! Enjoy this time with all your teammates.


Glen Oak – The first mountain


Well despite the torching hot conditions the Fighting Irish were represented well at the Glen Oak Invitational.

Congratulations to the Lady Irish who won the Division II-III championship on a tie-breaker over Gilmour Academy. This was a huge statement considering we were not able to beat them at all last year. The Irish were led by Isabella Ceepo, Mia Brady, Elaina Mendiola, Leah Lisle, Nina Zraik, Maddie Mellinger and Natalie TobinFighting IRISH LADIES READY FOR THE CHALLENGE.IMG_8569_DxO

The guys team finished in 3rd place behind Tuslaw and Smithville. They were led by a strong 9th place overall finish by Alex Phillip. He was followed by Chris Flohr, Sean O’Brien, Conner McIntyre and Patrick White.

Thanks to Mr. Lisle, you can see photos of the race at the link above.