|CG boys, Lady Beatcats, Lancer boys move on|
|Monday, October 22, 2012 1:20 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
TEXAS — It was a new course Saturday for Tri-County cross country runners at Widewater just outside of Texas for the Division III District race.
Spencerville’s girls and the Columbus Grove and Lincolnview boys were right at home, advancing as a team to Saturday’s Tiffin Regional race at Hedges-Boyer Park.
The top four teams and those that placed in the top 16 from both the District 1 and 2 races moved on to the Tiffin Regionals, while those that did so in the District 3 race are moving on to Boardman (boys) and Troy (girls).
In the District 2 boys race, Columbus Grove was first (31 points).
The Bulldogs went 1-2-3 with Jake Graham (16:01.44), Alex Shafer (16:18.40) and Colton Grothaus (16:24.49).
“I’m not only happy with that, I’m impressed. Those three ran very, very well on a swampy course,” Grove coach Terry Schnipke said. “The general concensus was that the course was short, though nobody would admit it. With those conditions — muddy and hilly — those were awfully good times. I was most impressed that we beat Coldwater so badly — 40 points. They moved ahead of us in the coaches’ poll after they beat Minster at the MAC meet and we were a bit fired up. We had something to prove and we did. We’ve been healthy all year — it’s a fine line between keeping your team in shape and yet healthy — and running well.”
The Lancers were third in the District 1 race behind Minster and St. Henry with 96 points.
“We ran very well; we have been running well lately, so I’m not surprised we ran as we did. We were told that it was a tough course with a lot of hills and it was muddy but it was an awfully fast course despite those conditions,” Langdon added. “Minster and St. Henry have also been running well and we knew they’d be tough to beat but I’m happy we were third as a team. It was one of the toughest district races I can remember.
“One reason I think we’re running better is that we’re healthy and staying there. We’ve backed off at practices lately to stay fresh and we’re peaking at the right time.”
Bayley Tow was the top Lancer finisher in eighth place (16:34.54) and Ben Bilimek was 16th (17:00.42).
In the girls District 1 race, Spencerville (68 points) was second.
Karri Purdy was the Lady Bearcats’ highest performer in fourth place (19:56.08) and Cierra Adams was 11th (20:16.54).
“The girls have been running better the last two weeks and will be one of several teams that have a solid shot at qualifying to the State Meet. They will again all have to have good races to have a chance of making it happen at the Tiffin Regional,” long-time Spencerville coach Brian McMichael explained. “Karri led the team and Cierra ran her best race of the year, taking 11th place in a new PR of 20:16. Kacie Mulholland had her best race in 15th place and a PR of 20:36. Tori Hardesty ran her best race of the year in 16th with 20:55. Jenny Burnett had a great race in 23rd place with a new PR of 21:32. Schyler Miller ran well in 29th place at 22:03 and Tesa Horton had her best race ever in 43rd place with a PR of 22:46.”
Kalida was fourth as a team in that same race, also clinching a berth at the Tiffin Regional.
The top three runners were Jessica Doepker in third (19:32.98), Jackie Gardner sixth (20:03.19) and Katelyn Siebeneck 12th (20:16.93).
”We came in with that goal, to make it to regionals. We did that two years ago but not last year,” LadyCat coach Scott Miller noted. “Those three have been doing it all year but for us to do what we wanted, we needed our fourth and fifth runners to do real well, which they did. Becca Brinkman — who was our number 5 all year — came in 46th with her personal record (22:57.65) and our usual number 4, Katie Schmitz, was not feeling well but gutted it out (49th at 23:07.95). We knew Spencerville and Fort Recovery (the third-place team) were ahead of us and we just tried to match them.”
Ottoville had two runners: Elizabeth Luersman in 56th (23:45.13) and Kara Hoersten 69th (26:20.01).
“We’re struggling with numbers right now for the girls. With no team, you focus on individual improvement, which both of the girls did,” veteran Lady Green mentor Bob Kaple began. “We are dealing with fewer girls in the same number of sports; some even try to run and play soccer. We have four girls running in junior high this fall but there’s no guarantee we’ll have them in high school.”
Lincolnview had four runners, not enough for a team score: Anna Gorman in 32nd (22:19.30), Taylor Miller was 51st (23:31.78), Mikinzie Dull 70th (26:31.17) and Maddie Enyart 73rd (27:52.63).
“Anna is a freshman and finished 32nd. She learned a lot this year about how to race at the high school level and she has three more years,” Lady Lancer coach Matt Langdon said. “Taylor is our lone senior and she finished 51st, a solid final race. She had her best year in the four high school years and I’m glad she did that. It’s always bittersweet for seniors: you want them to have a good year but to see them leave is always tough.”
In the District 2 girls race, junior Megan Joseph of St. John’s finished 13th (20:18.64) to also advance to Tiffin.
“We ran very well today with most of the kids setting PRs or running their best time of the year. We took it a little easier this week and it showed with fresher legs than we had last week at the MAC meet,” Blue Jay coach Steve Hellman noted. “Most important is that we qualified two for regionals. Also, I had two seniors run their last meets: Todd Rode, who fought shin splits all season but ran in most of the races even though he couldn’t practice; and Teresa Pohlman, who took over 5 minutes off her time since the first race of the year.”
Anna Mueller was 47th (22:41.07) and Teresa Pohlman ran her last race in 62nd (24:18.98).
In the boys District 3 race, St. John’s freshman Curtis Pohlman snuck into the Boardman Regional with a 16th-place time (17:47.28).
Aaron Hellman was 64th (19:49.01), Anthony Hale 77th (20:49.54) and Todd Rode 91st (26:34.40).
“Megan fought through a couple of early-season injuries to return to regional this year after missing last year due to an injury as a sophomore,” Hellman added. “She is finally getting her times back down to where she was as a freshman and will need to run a very good race to have a shot at state.
“Curtis is the first boys freshman to qualify since Scott Utrup in 1996 and the first boy since 2003 when we had two qualify. His time today was also the fastest since 2003. He will be in a very tough regional race (near Youngstown) but it will be a great experience for him.”
Columbus Grove’s sole girl to advance to the Troy Regional (District 3) was Alexis Ricker in 12th place (20:46.95).
Megan Langhals finished 21st (21:25.21) and Kayla Parlette was 32nd (22:16.33) as the Lady Bulldogs ended up fifth.
In District 2, the Bearcat boys were ninth and Ottoville 10th.
The Bearcats’ top runners were Joe Wisher in 37th (18:32.65) and Jacob Cook 49th (19:10.98).
“The team finished in ninth place but Joe’s 18:32 was his best time of the year,” McMichael added.
Luke Schimmoeller was 26th for the Big Green boys (17:59.34) and Ryan Kimmet was 58th (19:46.76).
“That was Luke’s first time under 18 minutes ever, a great race for him,” Kaple added. “We knew coming into the season that we weren’t that strong then, so we had to focus on individual improvement for us to have a chance. We did that; every one of our runners took between 30 seconds and a minute off their times from start to finish. We had several PRs today, so we ran well overall.”
In District 1, the Kalida boys were 11th: Grant Zeller was the top placer in 35th (17:54.60) and Alex vonderEbmbse was 60th (19:15.01).
“We did well despite having struggles with injuries all year and a lot of youth coming in,” Miller added. “Grant as a sophomore is our number 1 and ran very well; we had a couple others in the low 19s. We have a young nucleus that gained experience at this level.”
Races begin 11 a.m. Saturday.