On Saturday, September 15, Boardman welcomed an estimated 20,000 spectators to the area-- all here for the 33rd Annual Spartan Cross Country Invitational on the High School campus. This athletic event is one of the largest meets, not only in Ohio but the entire Midwest.
The numbers are staggering: some 440 teams from approximately 175 different school districts from all over Ohio and neighboring states are registered. More than 6,500 runners will compete. There were races throughout the day, with the first race set for 9:00 a.m. and the last at 4:30 p.m.
The Spartan Invitational is an athletically charged event, that many say is also a spark plug to the local economy. “Through the day, we will interact with approximately 250-300 buses, and nearly 4,000 spectator vehicles,” said Meet Manager Dave Pavlansky. “Once again, this year, we are partnering with Akron Children's Hospital, who will provide sports med physicians and athletic trainers to man our medical facilities. The community support is amazing!”
Boardman Athletic Director Denise Gorski agrees, and also thanks corporate sponsors Merrill Lynch, Second Sole and Nike. “Some of the best runners from the region will be on our course, and the energy of the spectators is amazing. The Spartan Invitational has a rich history of great runners participating. State Champions, All Americans, Olympians, we have seen them all come through Boardman over the years,” said Gorski.