The Western Reserve Academy boys cross country squad had a dominant season in 2013, posting a record of 79-12 and earning six top-three finishes out of their seven meets.
Following an appearance at the season-opening University School Invitational that the team uses as a warm-up meet, the Pioneers went on a string of performances that saw the team finish third at the McDonough Invitational; second at the Avon Lake Early Bird, Sandy Valley Invitational, Woodridge Invitational and Sim Earich Invitational; and in the top spot at the Dover Invitational.
"We had a good bunch of kids this year," said Jim Fraser, who has coached the team for 42 years.
"We added three good freshmen to a nice group of returning runners, and [senior] Alex Wheaton was a good captain and a key contributor."
Junior Colin Horgan, a Hudson resident, repeated as the team's Most Valuable Runner.
"Colin ran more than 275 miles this past summer and arrived at our early practices determined to compete with the big boys," Fraser said.
"Colin had an outstanding personal best time of 16:51 at the Sim Earich Invitational, was our top runner in every meet, and will be our captain next season."
Wheaton earned Most Improved Runner honors at the banquet.
"Alex is a highly talented and gifted your man, one who has shown a great deal of initiative and spunk," Fraser said.
"This season, he lowered his personal-best time by 42 seconds to an excellent 17:56. It gives me great pleasure to present this award to our team leader, Alex."
The Coaches Award was presented to freshman Daniel Mylott.
"Daniel is a bright, talented and hard-working young man who was among our top five runners in every meet -- an almost impossible task for a freshman on a highly competitive team," Fraser said.
"In his final meet of the season, on a soft and wet course at Walsh [Jesuit] High School, Daniel clocked our second fastest time.
"For someone as young as he is, Daniel is a mature and efficient runner."
With several runners returning next season, including sophomores Joseph Mylott, Patrick Mylott, the squad's No. 2 runner before he was injured, and Peter Thewissen, who was a top-seven runner in almost every meet in his first year of cross country, Fraser expects another solid season.
"We can be good next year," he said. "If the returning members of the team run over the summer, we can start next season performing as well as we did at the end of this season."