SPENCERVILLE — For Perry senior Brady Yingst, there’s just one goal.
And that’s to win a state title.
Yingst has competed at the state meet in cross country and track.
However, the ultimate goal of winning a state title has eluded him.
This cross-country season, Yingst has come out of the gate in dominating fashion. He has not been beaten, or even seriously challenged as of yet.
At Saturday’s Spencerville Bearcat Invitational in the Red Division (small schools), Yingst raced out to a large lead early, and cruised to the victory on the 5,000-meter course on Spencerville’s campus in a stellar time of 16 minutes, 1.5 seconds. The nearest competitor was Jackson Center’s Kellen Reichert (16:54.1).
“Every race, I like to get out hard,” Yingst said. “I like to set the tempo early on and see who will stick around toward the end of the race. It was a solid start (on Saturday). It was about where I wanted to be (first mile), about 4:54. So, after the first mile, I just had to put the second and third mile together.”
Last fall, Yingst placed ninth (16:08.2) in Division III at the state cross country meet. He realizes that he has an opportunity to be in the mix for a state title in his last year of high school.
“This is my last chance (to win a state title in cross country),” Yingst said. “My goal is to get down there and run my best race. My goal is to take home that state championship at some point – whether it is cross country or track. I just have to keep working for it. I have the experience – a couple times in track and a couple times in cross country. I was able to watch my sister (Madison Yingst) win a (track) state title (300-meter hurdles in 2017) when she was in high school (Temple Christian). So, that’s my goal as well. I just have to keep working for it.”
In the boys final team standings in the Red Division on Saturday, Botkins won the team title, as it outscored second-place Covington 29-75. Russia finished a close third (89), while Delphos St. John’s (146) and Triad (158) rounded out the top five squads out of 10 full teams. Perry had three runners, so it did not record a team score Saturday.
On the girls side in the Red Division, Waynesfield-Goshen’s Taylor Spencer notched the individual title with a winning time of 19:21.1. Botkins’ Brittany Arnold was close behind in 19:30.5.
Botkins garnered the team title Saturday, as it outscored Delphos St. John’s 32-69. St. Henry finished third (76), while Russia (104) and Covington (137) rounded out the top five spots in the eight-team field.
In the boys Black Division (large schools), Shawnee senior Isaiah Johns edged out his teammate, sophomore Noah Williams, for the individual title. Johns’ winning time was 16:57.6, while Williams crossed the finish line in 17:14.2.
Shawnee’s pack of runners helped pave the way for the team title. Shawnee registered a stellar score of 24 points, while Parkway was the next closest team with 86 points. Bluffton (128), Bath (133) and Van Buren (139) filled out the rest of the top five squads in the 12-team field.
The remainder of the top 10 teams were Wapakoneta (145), Hicksville (146), Elida (211), Benjamin Logan (220) and South Adams, Indiana (221).
Johns said he felt strong for most of Saturday’s race.
“I felt alright, the first two miles, especially,” Johns said. “Coming around the third mile, I started to struggle. … I kind of dialed back. That’s what I need to work on – to get that third mile a little faster.”
Johns wants to close out his high school cross country career on a strong note.
“Last year I got 41st (16:47.9) at state (Division II),” Johns said. “So, this year, I’m hoping a top 15 (finish), top 10 (finish). That would be a dream for sure. That’s always been something I’ve looked forward to. It’s going to be fun down the road.”
Behind Johns and Williams, Shawnee’s pack was made up of Carter Cleaves (sixth, 17:55.8), Trevor Bowers (seventh, 18:03.2), Justin Altenbach (eighth, 18:12.4), Thomas Cover (18th, 19:12.1) and Cole Lewis (29th, 19:37.9).
In the girls Black Division, Parkway won the team title, as it edged out South Adams for the team crown, 71-73. Van Buren (92), Benjamin Logan (98) and Shawnee (99) rounded out the top five teams. There were nine full teams in the girls Black Division.
South Adams’ McKenzie Sturwold won the individual title in the Black Division, clocking a winning time of 19:53.3. Shawnee’s Alaina Williams was the top area finisher (third, 20:22.8).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.