LIMA — Perry sophomore Braden Yingst knew what was in store for him at Tuesday’s Allen County Meet.
Yingst knew he had to battle the high temperatures, along with the very hilly cross country course at Faurot Park.
Then add into the mix, Shawnee sophomore Isaiah Johns.
Yingst, the returning Allen County champion, had his share of battles with Johns this season.
Tuesday was no different.
It was a two-man race, as Yingst and Johns quickly separated from the pack, early on.
Yingst made a move later in the race, took the lead and never relinquished it, en route to a winning time of 17 minutes, 33.5 seconds. Johns finished in 17:45.2. Lima Central Catholic’s Quentin Potempa came in third (18:17.9) in a field of 69 runners on the very hilly 5,000-meter course.
Yingst made his move about midway through the race.
“It was about a mile-and-a-half in,” Yingst said. “I knew I had to step on it a little bit and get a gap on him.
“I just knew I had to attack the hills today. I wanted to get up them fast and then drive off of them. It was a hard race. I knew it was a hilly course. I knew, coming in, that I wouldn’t have a great time. But I knew I had to attack those hills and then gap him after I got over them.”
In the final team scores for the boys, Shawnee defeated second-place Elida 31-76. Bath came in third (104), while Allen East was fourth (112). There were nine teams.
Shawnee also took first place in the girls race. The Indians recorded a final score of 28 points while Delphos St. John’s had 47. Bath came in third (73) in the nine-team field.
Leading the way for the Shawnee girls was freshman Alaina Williams, who pulled away from the pack and went on to cross the finish line in 21:51.1.
Teammate Molly Stump was a distant second to Williams, finishing in 22:35.8. Spencerville’s Lillee Stewart was a close third (22:41.7). There were 44 runners in the girls race.
Last year, as an eighth-grader, Williams won the middle school race at the Allen County Meet.
Tuesday, Williams began her high school career at the Allen County Meet with another title.
“When I was running, a couple people were telling me, ‘There is nobody behind you’. But I wasn’t sure,” Williams said with a smile. “So, I kept going. About midway through the second mile, I knew I was good.”
With the challenging course and high temperatures on Tuesday, Williams wasn’t focused on breaking any personal records.
“I went with, place matters, not times,” she said. “So, I just wanted to place as well as I could. I knew I wouldn’t PR. So, it was just running to get that first place (trophy) for the team.”
Longtime Shawnee coach Russ Holly was pleased with his team’s performance Tuesday.
For Holly and his program, it’s all about getting ready for the Western Buckeye League Championships on Oct. 12 at Defiance.
“In our league (WBL), there’s only one trophy,” Holly said with a grin. “Everybody is chasing Defiance. … So, that’s what we are going to do.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.