|Division I State Report:
What a wet, overcast, sloppy race. But what a great one at that! With the course nice and soggy from a night of rain and torn to shreds from 5 previous races, Hilliard Davidson needed Turpin to lose their #4 to hold them off for the victory. . Turpin packed 3 runners in before HD's number one and was rolling until losing Jacqui Jaworek during the race. Not sure exactly what happened, but she has DNF'd some other races this year as well, but not for lack of effort, she looked good at the mile, then disappeared. Without this, the overall race could have shaped up very differently.
As it was, the race broke apart in the stadium as the lead pack began to pull away in the first 800. The lead pack consisted of Michelle Sikes of Lakewood, Angela Bizzarri of Mason, and Carolyn Rauen of Turpin at the mile with Emily King of Dublin Coffman trailing. Behind her was Corey Randall of Turpin, Casey Keefer of Lakota East, Catilyn Chambers of Magnficat and Rachel Beakas of Anthony Wayne. The leaders went through in about 5:35 with King about 2 seconds back and the rest trailing. Davidson's pack was a bit splintered and trailing. Turpin had total control at this point. Coming off the south loop and back into the stadium things stayed pretty much the same as Bizzarri and Sikes started to pull away. HD started to move up and the SJA pack became visable.
Exiting for the north loop Sikes maintained the lead and began to try to run away from Bizzarri. Coming down the hill Bizzarri stuck to Sikes and shadowed her after the u-turn and up the hill back towards the stadium. Rauen was the next chaser followed by King and the pack. On the downhill before the stadium Bizzarri threw in a surge and broke Sikes. Bizzarri then went on to the infield and kicked her way to the only sub-18 (17:47) of the day on the sloppiest course. The next big kick came from Rauen as she smoked the last 400 to get past Sikes and claim second in 18:01. Sikes came home 3rd in 18:09 with King still chasing in 18:19.
In the team race, Turpin looked strong and Davidson looked tired. But, as it was, Turpin lost their #4 and Davidson had enough left to hold them off. Davidson went 18:56 (Mia Fiegelist), 19:00(Melissa Hornor), 19:01(Lindsay Helge), 19:15(Kellie Crook), 19:27(Dannielle Durzo), 19:37(Ashley Ziniel), 20:09(Jessica Schmidt) in perfect pack style and this balance gave them the advantage. Turpin clearly had the better top 3 as Rauen went 18:01, Randall 18:31, and Melanie Price 18:50. But, without Jaworek, they fell off to 19:30(Olivia Jaworek), 20:07(Ellen Nienhaus) and 20:52(Ashley Cruse) after that. The mystery of HD's two freshman last week was solved as well as Ziniel had the spot and Blaire Wickham was taking Schmidt's place. Schmidt has a broken foot, but ran through it at the State meet after having last week off and still almost broke 20.
The surprise to me was Coffman running so strong and Lakota East finishing 5th with 3 freshman and two sophomores for their top five! Coffman, led by King and Kendra Churchill (16th, 18:56) got great support from a surprise 19:33 from sophomore Brittany Kuehl and a strong 19:40 from senior Lori Kwiatkowski and a 19:50 from sophomore Kelcie Eberhart. East was led by two freshman. Casey Keefer (18:25, 5th) and Elise Bascom (19:34). After that came sophomore Shannon Mersch (19:41), frosh Megan Bradley (19:45) and soph Hannah Hindle (20:19). This clearly makes East the best young team in the state in my opinion.
SJA ran a good team race, but they lacked the firepower to counter the top 3 teams. They finished fourth with a pack that ran within 14 seconds for the top 4 runners and 47 seconds for one through five. Strongsville suffered from an off day from Senior Bridget Dalic, but still managed to put 5 under 20 to claim sixth.
All in all, it was a great meet and Angela Bizzarri and Hilliard Davidson came away all smiles as they went home champions and HD could celebrate with their boys team who also won the Division I championship.
*The Big and Small of it - HD is one of the biggest schools in Ohio and Turpin is one of the smallest d1 schools. Proof that size isn't everything.
*There were only 3 frosh in the top 25 - Bizzarri (1st), Keefer (5th), and Kelly Schwieterman of Springboro (22nd). 8 were seniors, 8 were juniors, and 6 were sophs.
*Anthony Wayne sophomore Rachel Beakas came out of nowhere (okay she came from the soccer fields...again) to claim 10th overall. Beakas was nowhere to be found during the regular season with very few sub-20's and finished 3rd at the Tiffin Regional. Talk about stepping it up when it counts.
*Bizzarri, Rauen, Jenny Homan of Anderson, Emily Thompson of Taylor (the individual d2 Champion) and Lisa Uible (3rd in d2) and more that I'm probably forgetting all got their start at the same track club, the Cincinnati Spirit Track Club.
Full Divison I results can be found here...