LIMA — For Perry’s Brady Yingst, winning a race is special.
However, winning the Allen County Invitational is near the top of his list.
Yingst, a junior, notched his third Allen County title Tuesday night.
Yingst got out to a good lead and pulled away for a winning time of 16 minutes, 47.6 seconds, on a very hilly 5,000-meter course at Faurot Park. Shawnee’s Isaiah Johns finished second in 17:43.7.
Shawnee’s Noah Williams was third (17:46.7), while Allen East’s Hunter Sidle (17:54.2) and Shawnee’s Carter Cleaves (18:36) rounded out the top five runners in the boys race.
Shawnee notched the boys team title with 22 points. Elida finished second (74). Delphos St. John’s (93), Allen East (113), Lima Senior (114), Bath (131) and Lima Central Catholic (168) rounded out the field of full teams.
Yingst looks forward to competing at the Allen County Invite every year.
“This is one of the races that I mark on the calendar. … It’s the Allen County Meet,” Yingst said. “It’s really cool to call yourself the Allen County champion. Now (winning) for the third year in a row – it’s pretty awesome.”
Yingst, as he normally does, got out to a fast start. Johns kept Yingst in sight for a while.
However, after the first mile, Yingst began to gap Johns and the rest of the field of runners.
“Isaiah (Johns) is usually on my tail the first mile,” Yingst said. “We usually go out pretty hard. The first mile in this race was a little slow. It was around 5:05. I usually go out at 4:55.
“After the first 800 (meters), I couldn’t really feel him (Johns) behind me anymore. So, I really didn’t know where he was at, until I went around some curves. Then I could see him.”
Besides the top three runners Shawnee placed in the top five overall spots, its other two scorers finished close behind. Cole Lewis (eighth, 19:02) and Trevor Bowers (ninth, 19:04.1) were Shawnee’s other two scorers on Tuesday.
For second-place Elida, Sean Dancs led the way with an 11th-place finish (19:18.8). Teammate Connor Broshes was close behind in 13th (19:35.6). Zachary Wagner (14th, 19:44.3), Gabe Harvey (21st, 20:36.6) and Logan Develvis (30th, 21:07.8) rounded out Elida’s top five runners. There were 75 runners in the boys race.
Other runners finishing in the top 10 in the boys race were Lima Senior’s Anthony Lutz (sixth, 18:53.5), Allen East’s Mason Hutchinson (seventh, 18:53.6) and Marcus Freewalt (10th, 19:04.8) from Delphos St. John’s.
On the girls side, Shawnee’s Molly Stump took over the race in the final mile, and went on to win in a time of 21:15.5. Teammate Alaina Williams finished second (21:28.2).
Spencerville’s Lillee Stewart finished third (21:59.2). Ava Milligan (22:11.7) and Rylee Pohlman (22:19), both from Delphos St. John’s, placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Allen County girls team title came down to the sixth-runner tiebreaker, as St. John’s got the winning nod over Shawnee. Both teams scored 33 points.
Spencerville (82) and Lima Senior (92) rounded out the other two full girls teams that figured into the scoring.
Stump, a sophomore, took over the race late and pulled away for the victory.
For a good part of the last mile, Stump was unaware of how substantial her lead was.
“I wasn’t quite sure, because it wasn’t until about the two-mile (mark) when I passed them,” Stump said. “I could tell by the cheering that I was pulling ahead. But I wasn’t quite sure until I got back around the pond, looked back and saw it was a pretty good lead.”
Besides Milligan and Pohlman, St. John’s placed its next three runners in the top 12 spots. Kambrynn Rohr (sixth, 22:28.2), Elayna Will (ninth, 23:08.5) and Alex Kessen (12th, 24:06.2) rounded out the scorers for St. John’s.
Other runners placing in the top 10 in the girls race were Shawnee’s Hannah Watt (seventh, 22:53.5), Elida’s Ninzi Sackinger (eighth, 23:07.7) and Shawnee’s Katie Curl (10th, 23:50.2).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.