LIMA — Nothing beats a tight pack of runners.
Shawnee’s boys cross country team demonstrated this in Tuesday’s Allen County Meet at Faurot Park as it ran away with the team title, defeating second-place Lima Central Catholic 20-50. Allen East finished third (100); Elida fourth (112); Bath fifth (131) and Lima Senior sixth (141).
On the girls side, Spencerville’s pack was solid as the Bearcats slipped past Shawnee 35-48. Bluffton was third (76); LCC fourth (96); Elida fifth (117) and Bath sixth (166).
The Shawnee boys team placed eight runners in the top 10 to come away with the victory.
LCC’s Alex Rigg pulled away from Shawnee’s Brandon Sevitz in the final 800 meters of the race to notch the win. Rigg’s winning time on the soggy course was 17 minutes, 54.30 seconds. Sevitz finished in 18:00.50.
“I separated from him (Sevitz) with about a half mile to go,” Rigg said. “I felt pretty good, so I just tried to hold him off for the remainder of the race. I knew he had a better sprint than me, so I had to get ahead of him.”
Last year, the tables were turned at the Allen County Meet.
“Last year at this meet, he beat me. …I got second and he got first,” said Rigg. “I wanted to get back at him. I was a little smarter this year. I didn’t go out too fast. I hung around him and then tried to get around him in the end.”
Shawnee’s Maddy Cohorn took a different approach in her race as she gapped the pack early on and never looked back, en route to a winning time of 20:51. Teammate Molly Scott was second in 21:23.60.
“I’m always afraid there is someone coming up behind me, so I don’t want to get too confident,” said Cohorn. “It’s always good to get out fast, because if you don’t, it’s sometimes hard to get back up there.”
Shawnee coach Russ Holly was pleased at his boys’ performance. However, the longtime coach admitted his team has some work to do before the postseason tournament.
“When you pack it up that tight, then that’s good. But the pack has to be faster for later on (in the season). But, if you get that many guys close together, then that’s what you’re looking for,” Holly said.
Spencerville coach Brian McMichael said his girls team overcame both the tough competition and sloppy running conditions.
“It was a little soft today and we had a little rain during the race. And we didn’t get out to the greatest start. But, the kids responded and ran a great race the last mile-and-a-half. Overall, they ran a really good race,” McMichael said.