OTTAWA — The sport of cross country is all about developing a pack of frontrunners.
Spencerville’s pack took another step in the right direction when it finished second in the girls Gold Division at Saturday’s Ottawa-Glandorf Blue/Gold Invitational.
The Bearcats placed three in the top 10 overall as they finished runner-up to a very strong Tinora squad. The Bearcats scored 71 points, compared to Tinora’s 50. St. Henry finished third (97), Gibsonburg was fourth (140) and Bluffton came in fifth (162) in a 13-team field.
Cierra Adams led Spencerville with a fourth-place finish in 20 minutes, 54.40 seconds. Teammate Karri Purdy was fifth (20:58.66) and Kacie Mulholland came in seventh (20:59.14). The final two Spencerville scorers included Jennifer Burnett (22:32.49) and Tori Hardesty (22:46.36).
“We had two or three girls step up and run really good today,” said longtime Spencerville coach Brian McMichael. “We just have to get everyone running together. We have to get the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh girls to pack up with the first three. But the first three did a real nice job. We just have to move up a little farther.”
McMichael said his girls team has been consistent this season. However, he feels the pack can get a little better as the postseason grows nearer.
“The last two or three weeks they have been in the same spots. So, now it’s time to move up toward the front and see if they can do maybe a little faster first mile and push those leaders a little bit better,” McMichael said.
Ayersville’s Hannah McKibben won the Gold Division race in 19:57.24.
In the boys Gold Division, St. Henry edged Lincolnview to claim first place, 46-79. There were 18 teams in the Gold Division.
St. Henry’s Aaren Hemmelgarn won in 16:14.55. Spencer Schulze was the second St. Henry runner (16:45.77), while teammate Clayton Bruggeman was ninth (17:12.98).
Lincolnview was led by Bayley Tow’s sixth-place finish (16:56.84).
Bryan won the boys Blue Division, defeating Archbold 76-80. Lima Central Catholic had the best local finish, coming in fifth (167). There were 17 teams in the Blue Division. O-G’s Matias Trampe-Kindt had the best local performance, finishing ninth (17:03.76).
In the girls Blue Division, Napoleon ran away with first place. The Wildcats scored 23 points. O-G had the best local performance, coming in fourth (109). There were 13 squads in the Blue Division.
GROVE LEADS LOCALS AT GALION
Columbus Grove finished second in Division III at Saturday’s Galion Cross Country Festival. Seneca East won with a score of 52, while Grove recorded 67 points. There were 21 teams in the Division III boys race.
Columbus Grove’s Jake Graham won the race in an impressive time of 15:49.7. Teammates Alex Shafer and Colton Grothaus were close behind in 16:25.1 and 16:49.6, respectively. Grant Schroeder was Grove’s fourth runner (16:57.6), while Jerry Kesselmeyer was the final scorer for the Bulldogs (17:31.3).
The Columbus Grove girls squad came in 11th out of 14 teams. Alexis Ricker was the first Grove finisher (23rd, 21:31.6).
In Division II, the Van Wert boys finished fourth, while Shawnee was eighth in the 28-team field. Kase Schalois led Van Wert with a third-place finish (16:04.1). The rest of Van Wert’s scorers were Nick Keber (17:12.5); Connor Shaffer (17:22.4); Jordan Butler (17:24.5) and Cade Fleming (17:26.6).
For Shawnee, Brandon Sevitz led the Indians with a time of 17:01. The rest of the scorers were Trace Plaugher (17:11.3); Andrew Bryan (17:38.7); Sam Way (17:39.9) and Derek Kuhlman (17:47.1).
In the girls Division II race, Van Wert finished seventh and Shawnee was eighth out of 25 teams. Van Wert’s Andrea Foster was the top local runner, finishing fourth (19:40). The rest of the Van Wert scorers included Schelissa Williams (21:13.3); Meghan Barnhart (21:43); Allisha Danylchchuck (22:15.6) and Kelsey Wagner (22:39.7).
Maddy Cohorn was the top Shawnee runner, coming in ninth (19:51.2). The remaining scorers for the Indians were Jamie Kuhlman (21:05.9); Molly Scott (21:27.8); Alaina Ciminillo (22:45) and Sarah Miller (22:58.4).