HEBRON — Coming into this Saturday’s OHSAA Cross Country State Championships, the Minster girls program led the state with 12 titles.
Now, make it 13.
Minster won its fourth consecutive state title Saturday as it notched another Division III state crown at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
Minster edged out West Liberty-Salem for the state title Saturday, 79-89.
Longtime Minster girls head coach Jessie Magoto was elated about her team’s performance.
“I’m so proud of my girls. They feed off each other. They just love to compete. They’re just great kids,” she said. “There’s so many stories behind each team and each season. No matter what, I don’t want them to be judged on just winning. They’re always champions, no matter what.
“The kids get a lot of pressure to go out there and win. I want them to go after it and leave it all out there. … They’re champions, no matter what.”
Minster’s pack of runners made it difficult for the competition to crack.
Junior Ella Boate led Minster, as she finished 10th in 18 minutes, 58.4 seconds on the 5,000-meter course.
“It was so exciting – to come here and be able to do what we did,” Boate said. “Every year is different, especially this year, since this is the first time that we’ve won four (state titles) in a row. It’s so fun to come here with my best friends and all the people I enjoy being around. It’s such an honor to stand up there (on the awards podium) one year, let alone four years – even though I’ve only been up there three times (being a junior).”
The rest of Minster’s pack included Taylor Roth (17th, 19:09.9), Mason Pohl (37th, 19:41.6), Mackenzie Bohman (38th, 19:43.8), Cameo Cedarleaf (54th, 20:14.0), Rachel Kitzmiller (76th, 20:32) and Emma Meyer (101st, 21:10.1).
“We have young ones,” Magoto said with a smile. “I literally have to say, ‘Don’t look at the butterflies.’ I know that might not go with a state championship quote, but that’s where we’re really at. They’re just great kids that love to get out there and run. But I have to say, ‘Don’t look at those butterflies. … Just focus and run.’”
Magoto said this year’s squad displayed the necessary traits for becoming a state championship team.
“The consistency in the training, and the mindset,” she said. “They’re strong, tough girls, physically and mentally. They’re not afraid to go out there and take risks.”
The Minster boys team placed 16th Saturday in Division III. Alex Albers led Minster with a 10th-place finish (16:24.1).
is state runner-up
Defiance senior Mhalicki Bronson finished second in Saturday’s D-II race in 15:13.2. Shelby’s Caleb Brown won the race in 15:05.
As a team, the Defiance boys squad placed fifth.
“I knew he (Brown) was going to be tough,” Bronson said. “I still don’t think he’s out of my reach, but he definitely out-toughed me today. There are some things I will need to work on for my next competition (Nike Midwest Regional on Nov. 16).
“Occasionally, I saw him fall off pace (Saturday), and I started to close. But as soon as we hit a turn or something, he got right back on it.”
On the girls side, Defiance’s Shay Soukup finished 86th (20:11.5).
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