CELINA — The first week of the cross country season seems to always bring hot, humid weather conditions.
Saturday’s Celina Rotary Cross Country Invitational at the Wright State University – Lake Campus wasn’t any different than previous years.
There were two different divisions at Saturday’s invite. For three of the four races, teams from Indiana notched first-place honors.
In the Green Division (Division I-II) boys race, Decatur Bellmont (Indiana) won with a stellar score of 26 points. New Haven (Indiana) finished second (78), Celina was third (81), St. Marys was fourth (141), Coldwater was fifth (149) and Elida was sixth (157) in the 11-team field.
Celina’s Adrian Hurley pulled away to notch the win on the 5,000-meter course in a time of 17 minutes, 48.30 seconds. Bellmont’s pack was solid as it placed its five scorers in the top 11 overall spots.
“My goal was to hang back in the first mile of the race to see what everyone else was doing, and try to work my way up to first place,” Hurley said. “After the (first) mile I noticed it was really slow. That’s when I thought I could probably win this.”
Other local runners finishing in the top 10 spots included Coldwater’s Andrew Schoen (seventh, 18:53), Lima Senior’s Kyius Simpson (eighth, 18:57.50) and Elida’s Aidan Kruse (10th, 19:01.20).
In the girls Green Division race, Bellmont defeated second-place St. Marys, 39-48. Celina finished third (51), Kenton was fourth (102), while Bryan came in fifth (103).
St. Marys’ Kelly Wilker pulled away from the pack to win the Green Division race in 20:18.50. Bryan’s Audrey Zimmerman finished second (20:51.70). Celina’s Lauren McDonough, who was second for most of the race, finished fifth (21:30.20).
“The goal of our team today – obviously, with the rivalry of St. Marys and Celina – we just wanted to beat Celina,” Wilker said. “I knew I had to score as low as possible for our team to beat them. So, I knew I had to win the race. I just kept a good distance from her (McDonough) and kept her off of me the whole time.”
With the hot, humid weather conditions, Wilker was pleased at the outcome of Saturday’s race.
“I’m happy with it,” Wilker said. “I ran a race on Tuesday and it’s a little hotter today. So, I’m just happy with my effort. I didn’t give up, and I’ve struggled with that in the past.”
St. Marys’ Morgan Henschen came in sixth (21:45.60). Celina’s Sawyer Weitzel was eighth (22:47.30), while St. Marys’ Laura Wilker rounded out the top 10 area runners (22:50).
In the boys White Division (Division III), Fort Loramie won the team title, defeating Parkway 37-65. St. Henry finished a close third (68), South Adams was fourth (112), while Grandview Heights was fifth (137). There were eight teams in the race.
South Adams’ Bailey McIntire pulled away early, en route to a winning time of 16:16.80.
In the girls White Division race, South Adams took first place in the final team scores, defeating St. Henry 32-43. Fort Loramie finished third (110), Coldwater was fourth 123), while Fort Recovery came in fifth (129). There were nine teams in the race.
Blue Jay Invitational
DELPHOS — Anna won the boys team title Saturday at Stadium Park, defeating Van Wert 59-64. Lincolnview finished third (77), Columbus Grove was fourth (141) and Liberty-Benton was fifth (190).
Ottoville’s Brendan Siefker won the boys race in 16:02. Anna’s Lucas Huber was a distant second (17:07), while Van Wert’s Cal Wolfrum was a close third (17:19).
Other area runners finishing in the top 10 included Columbus Grove’s Preston Brubaker (fourth, 17:33), Lincolnview’s Karter Tow (fifth, 17:38) and Austin Elick (eighth, 18:02), Kalida’s Adam von der Embse (ninth, 18:06) and Van Wert’s Holden Reichert (10th, 18:12).
On the girls side, Columbus Grove packed it up, placing all five scorers in the top 15 overall spots, en route to a first-place finish over Liberty-Benton, 37-55. Van Wert finished third (97), New Bremen was fourth (105) and Lincolnview rounded out the top five teams (149). There were 11 teams in the race.
Lima Central Catholic’s Emily Sreenan ran away from the pack for the victory in 19:05.
Columbus Grove’s Taylor Ellerbrock (fourth, 20:19), Alyssa Ellerbrock (fifth, 20:20), Leah Myerholtz (eighth, 21:25) and Macy McCluer (ninth, 21:27), all finished in the top 10. New Bremen’s Bailey Brockema (sixth, 20:41), Kalida’s Taylor Lucke (seventh, 21:10) and Van Wert’s Julia Springer (10th, 21:32) also finished in the top 10.
Defiance Early Bird Open
DEFIANCE — Defiance won the boys team event with 18 points. Paulding (176) was fourth and Ottawa-Glandorf (202) finished fifth. O-G’s Le’on Palomo led area runners with a 21st-place finish. St. Ursula Academy (72) won the girls event. O-G (289) was 10th and Paulding (408) 17th.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0468.