COLUMBUS GROVE — There was a sea of white running through the cross country course at Columbus Grove on Saturday.
The Columbus Grove program notched team titles for the boys and girls.
There were two Division III districts that competed at Columbus Grove on Saturday.
On the boys side, Columbus Grove won the District 1 title in convincing fashion.
The Bulldogs defeated second-place Waynesfield-Goshen 23-106. Bluffton nabbed the third spot (107).
Columbus Grove placed runners in the top four overall spots to notch the win.
Leading the way for Grove was Carson Closson, who won the race in 16:37.6 on the 5,000-meter course.
Teammates Caleb Stechschulte (second, 16:42.5), Breece Pingle (third, 17:02.3), Trent Koch (fourth, 17:05.2) and Roy Langhals (13th, 17:39.9) rounded out the top five runners for the Bulldogs.
“It was quite a day for the Bulldogs, that’s for sure,” Columbus Grove boys coach Terry Schnipke said. “There was a lot of white up front.”
With just two seniors in the top seven for Columbus Grove, Schnipke is pleased at how they have progressed this season.
“I certainly had some expectations, but these guys have exceeded them,” he said.
The top three teams and 12 individuals in each race Saturday advance to the Tiffin regional.
Area runners who qualified for regionals, individually, included Ottoville’s Nolan German (fifth, 17:06.7) and Kyle Looser (17:35.3), Upper Scioto Valley’s Joe Parker (sixth, 17:19.1) and Zack Britton (eighth, 17:20.2), Kalida’s Ryan Lucke (seventh, 17:20) and Will Zeller (10th, 17:30.4), Riverdale’s Eli Weber (ninth, 17:22.3) and Bluffton’s Erik Nygaard (11th, 17:35.2).
In the girls District 2 race, Columbus Grove’s Alyssa Ellerbrock led the way with a winning time of 18 minutes, 49.4 seconds. Ellerbrock’s nearest competitor was one of her teammates, Erin Downing, who finished second in 20:04.3.
The rest of Columbus Grove’s scorers included Leanndra Price (fourth, 20:10.2), Ellie Keehn (10th, 21:10.5) and Addison Schafer (11th, 21:16.5).
Columbus Grove defeated second-place St. Henry 24-52. Fort Recovery finished third (83) to nab the final qualifying spot for next Saturday’s Division III regional at Tiffin.
“It worked out the way I was hoping it would,” Columbus Grove girls coach Jason Jay said. “They stepped up when it really counted. Erin (Downing) and Leanndra (Price) ran their best times of the season. Addie (Addison) Schafer and Ellie Keehn, both ran their personal bests. So, they really stepped it up today.”
Area runners who advanced individually were Marion Local’s Kelsey Broering (third, 20:07.4), Spencerville’s Lillee Stewart (fifth, 20:21.9), Riverdale’s Juleigha Collier (sixth, 20:30) and Ottoville’s Paige Hoersten (eighth, 20:33.2).
In the girls District 1 race, Minster dominated, defeating second-place Delphos St. John’s 26-62. Coldwater placed third (73).
Waynesfield-Goshen’s Taylor Spencer won the race in 18:30.1.
In the boys District 2 race, Minster won with 40 points. Parkway (76) and Marion Local (106) finished second and third, respectively.
Minster’s Alex Albers won the race in 16:12.7. Perry’s Braden Yingst was second (16:29.7).
Area runners qualifying as individuals along with Yingst were Coldwater’s Isaac Schoen (fourth, 16:45.9), Lima Central Catholic’s Quentin Potempa (sixth, 17:09.1), Hardin Northern’s Aiden Gatchel (seventh, 17:13.4) and Allen East’s Hunter Sidle (12th, 17:55.6).
In Saturday’s Division III district races at Ottawa, Archbold won the girls team title. Archbold scored 65 points, while second-place Crestview recorded 95 points. Pettisville (115), Edgerton (125) and Lincolnview (164) notched third, fourth and fifth respectively, to advance to the Division III regional at Tiffin.
The top five teams in the girls race advance to Tiffin. The top 20 runners not on a qualifying team also advance to Tiffin.
The top area placer for the girls was Crestview’s Ragen Harting, who placed sixth (20:05). Teammate Emily Greulach came in 16th (21:15.4).
Leipsic’s Whitney Langhals (15th, 21:09.1) qualified for regionals as an individual.
On the boys side, the defending Division III state champion, Ayersville senior Noah Fisher, ran away for a convincing win in 15:46.4. Fairview’s Treyvon Hastings was Fisher’s closest competitor (16:48.1).
Holgate won the district team title Saturday, defeating Tinora 54-74. Fairview (82), Lincolnview (98), Edgerton (159) and Ayersville (165) rounded out the top six teams. The top six teams in Saturday’s boys race advance to Tiffin. Leading the way for Lincolnview was Devon Bill (15th, 17:42.9).
Individually, the top 24 runners not on a qualifying team Saturday advance to Tiffin.
There were no area runners Saturday in the top 24 that were not on a qualifying team.
FINDLAY — Wapakoneta’s Paige Schneider advanced as an individual with an eighth place finish in 20:12 in District 2 behind race winner Emma Steingass (18:51) from Sylvania Northview at Owens Community College. Wapak’s Lauren Doll finished 17th in 20:57. The top three teams and individuals not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 12 advanced to regionals at Tiffin. Wapak finished seventh. No area boys teams or individuals advanced to regionals with Wapak finishing ninth and Lima Senior 10th. Wapak’s Nate Metzger finished 24th overall in 17:41.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.