|Division III State Report:
Wow! What a race and what a finish! Minster's Sunni Olding and Barnesville's Jenny Morgan ran shoulder to shoulder almost the entire way and Olding, with a last second surge, crossed the line first in a photo finish.
The race developed as most would have expected. Olding took control right from the gun and led Morgan and Hopewell Loudon's Carime Reinhart through the stadium and through the mile in 5:35. Bluffton's Carrie Fett chased from behind and was shadowed by McDonald's Jen Wenhold and Fort Loramie's Mallory Albers. It was apparent that Reinhart didn't have it on this day and was running on pure guts by the mile mark. The pack developed with a group of Fort Loramie runners all together playing catch up as Minster got out strong behind Olding and Joanna Gruber. As they entered the stadium it continued to be Morgan sticking to Olding with Reinhart starting to fade.
On the north loop Olding threw in a surge to try and shake Morgan on the downhill, around the U and up the hill, but to no avail. Reinhart was visably struggling and trying desparately to hold off the pack. The Fort Loramie contingent was also moving up at this point and was making things very interesting between them and Minster.
Entering the stadium for the infield finish, Morgan and Olding remained shoulder to shoulder. Olding had the inside track and this may have been enough of a difference to make all the difference in the end. Morgan, running on the outside was kicking hard and Olding was holding her spot. With about 100 to go they were literally neck and neck. Finally with about 5 meters left Olding reached the line first with one last surge. The two were awarded identical times of 18:28 and were a full 24 seconds ahead of third place Reinhart (18:52).
The team race, as expected, came down to Minster and Fort Loramie. I wasn't paying perfect attention and up until it was announced I thought Minster may have done it. However, the large number of individuals in the top 25, 12 in all, negated any advantage Minster had gained through Olding and Gruber. Fort Loramie, behind frosh Mallory Albers (6th, 19:08), soph Megan Meinderding (15th, 19:39), frosh Amanda Subler (22nd, 19:55), junior Elizabeth Phlipot (27th, 19:58), senior Kiera Gottemoeller (31st, 20:02), senior Morgan Plattner (35th, 20:09), and senior Lauren Ernst (77th, 20;54) simply had too much for Minster to match. They were two seconds away from having 5 under 20! This is almost unheard of in d3. Minster fell off too much after Olding and Gruber to comptete as Loramie got in 6 in front of Minster's 3rd.
McDonald, behind the strength of senior sisters Jen (4th, 19:01) and Jess (11th, 19:33) Wenhold got up for 3rd. Hopewell Loudon followed Reinhart and senior Amy Jacobs (19:54) to fourth.
*Loramie will return its top 4 next year. And have many more waiting in the wings to take the leaving senior's places.
*Last year's champion, Spencerville's Angela Homan (now at Auburn, 17:12 in her last meet) was in attendance and near the awards stand to give Bearcat junior Rochelle Croft fashion advice for the All-State picture.
*In a dark, drab, overcast, cloudy day, Minster's Sunni Olding (aptly named) ran in sunglasses. There's an old saying in running circles. If you're gonna wear shades in a race, you better win....she did.
*7 of the 16 d3 teams were led by freshman, only 3 by seniors.
Full Divison III results can be found here...