BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — As soon as the state cross country meet wrapped up last year, this season wasn’t far from Maumee senior Eric Board’s mind – and neither was the training and work he needed to do to make it back.
If this season so far is any indication, Board’s work won’t go unnoticed in the fast-approaching postseason meets. Board has not placed outside the top five in any meet this season and he’s brought home three individual titles from the Old Fort Invitational, Dave’s Invitational in Toledo and the Norm Bray Invitational in Fremont.
“I think I’ve definitely met my expectations, but I have more to go because now we’re just getting into the postseason,” Board said. “I started off the season with a win (at the Norm Bray) and a good opening time and then I notched down my time from there.”
Board placed 46th in a time of 16:52 last year at The Fortress in Obetz, Ohio.
Now that he’s dipped his toes in the water, Panthers coach Karen Brebberman said Board is ready to see what he can do against the top competition in Ohio.
“He made it to state last year, but he’s there to compete this year,” Brebberman said. “He’s got the experience and he’s just getting better and better every year. You don’t always see that.”
Next up for Board is the Northern Lakes League championships on Saturday at Whiteford Valley Country Club in Ottawa Lake, Mich.
Board finished seventh at the meet last year and with the fastest time in the league so far this season, he figures to be the favorite to take the top spot this year.
From there, Board is gunning for district and regional titles and a good showing at the state meet.
Not only has he set the pace individually, but Board is also serving in his third year as the team captain. Maumee has picked up on what its captain is doing by having a standout team season as well.
“Eric supports every team member,” Brebber-man said. “That keeps this going every year. We’ve got the Nick (Johnstones) or the Vaughn Guggers, who’s not too far behind as a sophomore. He sees that success and those teammates know how he works. They want to be a success like that.”
Board had his own runners to shoot for and guide him in older brother Michael, who is a junior runner at Wright State University, and sister Sarah, who ran track at the University of the South.
“We’re definitely competitive,” Board said of his older brother. “He’s definitely paved the way. He set the tone for us and he led me through it. He supports me a lot.”
Now, Eric will be the third Board sibling to run collegiately. He’s going to wait until after the season to make a decision, but there are plenty of NCAA Division I schools that have contacted him.
“He’s just right where he needs to be. The improvement is where he needs to be,” Brebberman said. “I can’t wait to see him over the next four years. I know what he can accomplish with a full-time coach and training.
“To me, he will be right up there on the collegiate level.”