OTTAWA – Every summer, area high school cross country runners log many miles in hopes of going far in the postseason tournament.
At Saturday’s district tournament at Ottawa, area Division II and Division III runners began their trek for the state cross country meet.
In Division II, Van Wert had the best local performance as the Cougars finished second in both the girls’ and boys’ races.
In the boys’ race, it was a rematch of last week’s Western Buckeye League Championships as Defiance and Van Wert once again battled for the top spot.
And just like last week when Defiance slipped past Van Wert for the league title, Defiance edged out Van Wert for the district title on Saturday. Defiance scored 37 points, compared to Van Wert’s 49. Eastwood finished third (68), while Celina nabbed fourth place (86). There were 13 full teams in the boys race.
The top four teams and the top 16 individual finishers, advance to next week’s regional meet at Tiffin.
Connor Holliday led Van Wert, finishing third in 16 minutes, 36 seconds. Defiance’s Alex Barrientos won the race in 16:29.8, just edging out Ottawa-Glandorf’s Matias Trampe-Kindt, who finished second in 16:33.8. O-G did not qualify for next week’s regional meet at Tiffin, as it finished sixth as a team. However, Trampe-Kindt’s finish qualified him for regionals.
Rounding out Van Wert’s scorers were Connor Shaffer (ninth, 17:07.7); Jordan Butler (11th, 17:22.9); Cade Fleming (12th, 17:23.2) and Daniel Perry (14th, 17:24.7).
In the girls’ Division II race, Eastwood slipped past Van Wert 51-56 to win the district title. St. Marys was third (85) and Celina was fourth (101). There were 11 teams figured into the team scoring.
St. Marys’ Kristen Dammeyer was the top local runner, finishing third in 20:07.8.
Andi Foster led the Van Wert contingent, finishing fifth in 20:34.2. Rounding out the remaining scorers for the Cougars were Schealissa Williams (ninth, 20:47.5); Chloee Gamble (10th, 20:50.2); Amanda Clay (13th, 21:06.5) and Natalie Riethman (19th, 21:34.1).
“It was a solid day for both guys and girls,” Van Wert coach Brendon Moody said. “The main thing was to get out of here unscathed and with no injuries. The course was sloppy and the times were not very good today for us, but it’s all about competing and moving on. We’re just happy being in the top four.”
Individually, Elida’s Alyssa Turrentine (sixth, 20:41.1) and Maddy Cohorn (eighth, 20:42.6) qualified for regionals. Shawnee placed sixth and Elida was seventh in the final team standings.
In Division III district competition at Ottawa on Saturday, there were two separate district meets.
In District 1 for the boys, Minster slipped past Lincolnview for the team title, 62-66. Crestview finished third (77) and Carey nabbed the fourth and final qualifying spot (115). Lima Central Catholic finished a close fifth (122) and did not advance as a team.
However, individually, LCC will send Alex Rigg (second, 16:55.3) and Sean Currens (12th, 17:56.6) to the regional meet. Other area runners making it out individually were New Knoxville’s Isaac Kuntz (eighth, 17:26.8) and Jacob Shaw (18:08.8); and Delphos St. John’s Curtis Pohlman (13th, 18:07.1).
Minster’s Dominic Slonkosky won the Division III District 1 race in 16:52.8.
In the Division III girls’ race in District 1, Minster nearly pulled off a perfect score (15 points), finishing the meet with 17 points. The Wildcats placed its five scorers in the top six spots. Minster’s Morgan Pohl won the race in 20:09.6.
Fort Recovery finished a distant second to Minster with 85 points. Marion Local was third (105) and Spencerville came in fourth (105). Marion Local earned the third-place finish over Spencerville, based on the sixth-runner performance. There were 10 teams figured into the team scoring.
Heading into next week’s regional meet at Tiffin, longtime Minster coach Jessie Magoto is focusing more on the details.
“The physical work is pretty much done,” Magoto said. “It’s just the mental work now. (We need to) just keep building the confidence, getting rest and tweaking a few things.”
Individually for the girls in District 1, Kalida’s Katelyn Siebeneck finished fourth (20:33.8); Delphos St. John’s Megan Joseph came in 11th (21:23.9) and Marion Local’s Courtney Albers was 15th (22:06.5) to advance.
In the Division III boys’ race in District 2, Columbus Grove’s pack was solid. The Bulldogs placed four runners in the top 10, en route to the district title. Columbus Grove defeated second-place New Bremen 45-65 to nab the crown. St. Henry and Coldwater finished third and fourth, respectively. There were 13 teams in the race.
Coldwater’s Jon Wenning won the District 2 race in 16:44.4. Columbus Grove’s Colton Grothaus finished third in 17:06.5.
Rounding out Columbus Grove’s scorers were Jerry Kesselmeyer (seventh, 17:39.6); Logan Douglas (eighth, 17:40.8); Lee Altenburger (ninth, 17:50.7) and Bryce Sharrits (18th, 18:10.1).
In the Division III girls’ race in District 2, Coldwater ran away from second-place St. Henry 29-61. Holgate finished third (91), while Pandora-Gilboa was fourth (94). There were 11 teams.
Coldwater’s Sarah Kanney won the race in 18:57.6. Teammate Christina Seas was second in 19:44.4.
“In all reality, I didn’t say a whole lot to them today, because I knew they were focused and ready to go,” Coldwater coach Marty Schoenherr said. “You could just tell that they were ready.”
Wapakoneta competed at the Division I meet at Oregon Clay on Saturday.
For the Wapakoneta girls, freshman Allie Zofkie finished sixth in 19:48.30 to advance to the Tiffin regional. As a team, the Redskins placed ninth (In District 2).
The Wapakoneta boys’ team finished ninth. The top runner for the Redskins was Sam Harrod (28th, 17:37.10).