The colorful leaves were falling like snowflakes Saturday as the Lions hosted their annual Coldwater Cross Country Invitational at Memorial Park. The leaves weren’t the only thing falling as the flat course with cooler October temperatures made the perfect ingredients for some of the lowest running times of the season.
In the high school boy’s race, Shawnee defeated Van Wert by the razor thin margin of 61 to 62. Minster was third, followed by Lincolnview and Covington. Crestview finished 8th, Parkway 12th and Delphos St. Johns 13th in the 19 team field.
The Van Wert boys placed 4 runners in the top 20 to fuel their runner-up finish lead by Hunter Sherer’s 16:35 for second place. Fellow Cougar Asanke Steyer ran side-by-side with Sherer for the first 3 miles of the contest and finished 4th in 16:39.18 behind Shawnee’s Isaiah Johns (3rd, 16:39.03) and Alex Albers (1st, 16:28) from Minister. Gage Wannemacher (9th, 17:18) and Gage Springer (14th, 17:36) completed the top 4 finishers for the Cougars.
The top placer for the Crestview boys was freshman Maddaux Cunningham with a 31st place showing in 18:10. Junior Hayden Tomlinson (46th, 18:34), Dayton Schuerman (49th, 18:40), Jayden Renner (51st, 18:40), and Isaiah Watts (65th, 19:15) rounded out the top 5 for the Knights.
Lincolnview, who placed 4th, had a pair of harriers in the top 20 and one just outside as Daegan Hatfield (17th, 17:40), Brandon Renner (19th, 17:47), Jackson Robinson (22nd,17:52) blistered the 5000 meter course. Conner Baldauf (47th, 18:38), Ethan Scaggs (61st, 19:10), Koen Cox (64th, 19:15), and Keagan Farris (71st, 19:27) all broke the 20 minute mark on the notoriously fast course.
Blake Strickler once again led Parkway with a speedy time of 17:34 to cross the finish line in 12th. Colby Bentz (59th, 19:00, and Riley Samples (60th, 19:02) finished back to back for the Panthers. Tyler Rowen (72nd, 19:28), Carter Hellwarth (21:22), Cade Schoenlenben (21:36), and Bryce Steams (25:31) also competed for Parkway.
Marcus Freewalt (18:23) and Drew Palte (19:22) both lit up the colorful park in under 20 minutes for Delphos St. Johns. Freshman Aaron Bockey set a personal best time of 20:11:78 as he kept pace with classmate Andrew Bockey (21:11:78) for the entire route. Logan Tolliver (21:05) and Zane Stevenson (23:25) completed the Blue Jays boys line-up.
The top finishers in the girl’s race resembled the fall colors on the trees and a preview of the Midwest Athletic Conference Meet that will be held next Saturday on the same course as the orange of Minster surprised no one winning the team title with only 25 points. Purple Ft. Recovery was a distant second with 125 points, then the red of St. Henry (129), Versailles (133), and New Bremen (172) as the M.A.C. took the top 5 spots. St. Johns finished the day in 8th place, Van Wert (9th), Crestview (11th),Parkway (12th), and Lincolnview (14th) in the highly competitive 20 girl’s team field.
Minster’s win was so dominating that they placed their top 5 runners in the first 8 slots led by Ella Boate who won the individual title in 19:07. Lincolnview’s Madison Langdon closed the gap built by Boate in the final mile to finish in 19:36 to place second.
Other area female runners in the top 20 dominated by M.A.C. schools included Van Wert’s Kyra Welch placing 16th clocking in at 20:52. Ava Milligan from St. Johns continued her climb up the list of fastest female runners in school history clocking another personal best of 20:52 to place 17th. Crestview junior Emily Greulach also made the top 20 logging a 20:55 time.
In addition to Welch for the Lady Cougars, Rachel Spath completed the 5000 meter scenic route in 21:44 to finish 41st. Carly Smith (22:04), Tayler Carter (22:30), Kristen Dunning (22:34), Alyssa Knittle (22:56), and Lyrissa Hammons all competed for Van Wert.
Just ahead of Van Wert in the final team standings was St. Johns. Senior Kambrynn Rohr was the second fastest Blue Jay on Saturday clocking in at 21:37 to place 37th. In addition to Milligan and Rohr, other speedsters for St. Johns included Elayna Will (21:41), Rylee Pohlman (21:45), Adara Fuerst (22:54), Alex Kessen (22:59), Kitty Kopack (23:21), Aubrey Milligan (23:38) ,and Ella Wilson (28:34).
Parkway’s Katie Trisel (44th, 21:53), Lexie Berry (22:02), Morgan Hunter (23:34), Sydney Waters (24:36) and Emily Jackson (26:46) all hung tough against their conference competitors.
The Crestview ladies second runner to cross the finish line was Lauren Wells with a time of 22:42. Adalynn Longstreth (22:57), Megan Mosier (23:43) and Baylee Miller (24:41) finished out the scorers for the Lady Knights.
The regular season for cross country will wrap up next weekend as area teams compete in their league championships. The Northwest Conference Championships will be hosted by Columbus Grove next Saturday at Clymer Stadium. Van Wert will travel to Elida for the Western Buckeye League and Delphos St. Johns along with Parkway return to Coldwater for the M.A.C. championships.
Original Article Courtesy of Times Bulletin