|Ohio State Meet:
Div. III -
The D3 race came out almost as I had predicted. Spencerville's Angela Homan (1st-17:53) took home the individual title and Minster (77) won the team title by a mere 7 pts over Fort Laramie (84). Told you it would be closer than expected! In third place was Seneca East (136), also as predicted. I ran into a little trouble on the individual's side though. Carime Reinhart (2nd-17:59) soundly beat Sunni Olding (3rd-18:34) to claim second place.
Homan, Reinhart, and Olding went through the mile mark together in about 5:30. This was about 10 seconds slower than they went through last year. By the time they had reached the two mile mark, Olding was struggling and Homan and Reinhart began to pull away. On the back loop Homan put in a surge and Reinhart chased gamely. Olding came by about 15 seconds later looking oddly disinterested. I guess it was just one of those days for Olding. As they entered the stadium, Homan held onto her lead and could not be reeled in by Reinhart. The surprise of the day however, has to go to the Spencerville Girls Team. Lead by Homan and sophomre Emily Reindel (26th-19:50), the Bearcats managed to get fourth place in the team standings.
The mystery is Jessica Ordway of Holgate. On the back loop she was up to sixth place only to disappear by the time the stadium came. I tried to find out what had happened, but nobody knew.
Jennifer McKellar from Xenia Christain Academy took 4th in 18:52 and McDonald's Jen Wenhold took 5th in 18:55. These were the only 5 girls in D3 to break 19 minutes. I was expecting a much faster race, but the heat took a little bit out of some people.
Under instructions from her coach, Homan went out between 5:25 and 5:30 to avoid any incidents similar to last year. Hopefully, now that the postseason for her is just beginning, she is planning to run in the Senior Midwest Meet of Champions next weekend and then the Foot Locker Regionals in Wisconsin Thanksgiving weekend, we will be able to see her really open it up for one more high school XC race before heading off to Auburn University on a Track/XC Scholarship next fall.
Div. II -
Beaumont turned in a merely average performance, but it was enough to win over second place Cincinnati McNicholas, 103-136. Pemberville Eastwood got up for third with 153. The next two teams, in fourth and fifth had to be considered surprises considering the cirumstances. Perry (166) managed to take fourth with frosh Andrea Fickenscher leading the Perry girls with a 9th place finish. However, the normal number two runner for Perry, Andrea's older sister Johanna, had a really bad day finishing 71st in 20:37 after running 20:18 last year and consistently faster throughout this season. CVCA (170) got an off day from Carrie Lawver, their usual #2 runner all year as she ran 20:38 to finish 74th. She had run 20:22 last year and had been running well this fall coming off a breakthrough track season last spring. With better days from either of those two runners the teams would have possibly been able to move into third and maybe even second. But, as it was, they would have to be considered great performances on both team's parts as they were ready for the State meet and ran their best as a team when it counted.
Individually, the big three: Amy Arnold of CVCA, Maggie Infeld of Beaumont, and Abbey Reeser of Circleville broke away from the pack almost immediately and cruised through the mile in about 5:35. The three ran together until the back loop where Arnold and Infeld began to pull away from Reeser who was fading fast. With about a half mile to go in almost a repeat of last weekends Regional meet, Arnold surged and Infeld couldn't quite keep up. Arnold kept the pressure on all the way to the finish to win in 18:21 with Infeld second in 18:27 and Reeser coming home in 18:48. Reeser's teammate, sophomore Katy Ankrom fought her way up to 5th in 18:59, just losing to Sara Wiseman of Gallipolis Gallia Academy (18:58). Those were the only 5 girls to run under 19 for the D2 race. Their times were fairly comparable to last year.
The biggest slipper this year had to be Val Zajac of Cardinal Mooney. After finishing 5th last year in 18:52, Zajac was 34th this year in 19:55. Lisa Davies of West Branch also fell from 4th to 11th this year. Revere's Meghan Hillebrand also fell from 15th in 19:18 last year to 47th in 20:06 this year.
As for my picks. I nailed the individual's and had the teams right except for McNicholas taking second, not Indian Lake.
Div. I -
Michelle Sikes of Lakewood took all the fun out of the supposed showdown between her and Emily King of Dublin Coffman by taking off at the two mile and pulling away for a big 17:49 to 18:07 victory. I do believe it is safe to say that the Sikes of old is back. She ran almost an indentical time to that which she ran last year in better conditions and while being pulled by Lindsay Zinn of Lakota East. Hopefully she will be able to repeat qualify to FootLocker Nationals and improve on her finish of last year. King ran gallantly up to the two mile and then held off Celina's Kris Roth who got 3rd in 18:15. King ran 18:29 last year for 11th and Roth was 7th last year in 18:21. Toledo St. Ursula Academy frosh, Alli McMaster took fourth in 18:23, bouncing back after being passed by Roth on the homestretch at the Tiffin Regional last weekend. Another Lakota East Senior, Corrie Whisner, placed fifth this year in 18:27 after not running at State last season. In Sixth was Kelly Ardelean of Strongsville in 18:27. Ardelean moved up from a 15th place finish of a year ago.
In this race the lead pack, well, Sikes and King, went through the mile in 5:30. They were followed by Roth, McMaster, Ardelean, Maas, Homan, Beakeas, Chambers, Rauen, and Flaute who all went through the mile in just under 5:40 followed by the rest of the pack. Chambers (Magnificat) quickly tired and fell to 16th overall in 18:52, still a huge improvement over last years 35th place finish of 19:19. The next ten after the top five listed above sorted out like this: Ardelean, Chuchill (Dublin Coffman), Stuaffer (Ashland), Flaute (Dayton Carroll), Maas (Colerain), Homan (Anderson), Louis (Turpin), Beakas (Anthony Wayne), Nell(Ashland), and Rauen (Turpin).
On the strength of a 12,15,27,32,40,58,67 finish Turpin routed the field. They nearly doubled up second place Hilliard Davidson 77 to 148!! We knew Turpin was tough, but wow! When your fifth runner goes 19:26 to finish 40th overall and 25th in the team standings, that's impressive. It will be fun to watch what they do next year as the entire team comes back with the exception of today's #1, Jaclyn Louis. Davidson ran well, but their #2 runner didn't even come in until after Turpin's #5!! Dublin Coffman, behind King and sophomore Kendra Churchill got up for 3rd. Jackson simply didn't have it as they finished 7th. Ashley Hmiel fell from 15th last year to 65th this year while struggling with injuries and their #1 runner most of the year, Emily Givens had a bad day as well finishing 85th in 20:12. Sophomore Brittannie Hall was their saving grace as she finished 28th in 19:09.
Last year's champion, Colerain fell to 5th overall as they have struggled all season. But, I guess if you want to critically look at the results, the only teams that really had good days would be Turpin and Dublin Coffman (3rd-165). After that it was a battle to see who wouldn't have the worst day. The worst day would have to go was a tosspup between Kent Roosevelt, 12th with 251 or Centerville, 11th with 228. But that is what makes the State meet so exciting. You never know what's going to happen! Today, the 3rd through 8th place teams were seperated by only 23 points. That's mighty close. And the 5th through 8th only by 6 points!
Looking over all the divisions it seems that the words of the day are BALANCE and DEPTH. Turpin won by putting runners between #8 and #25 in the team standings. Beaumont won by putting runners between #2 and #36 in the team standings. Minster won by putting runners between #3 and #26 in the team standings. Fort Laramie was the most impressive by going between #11 and #24, they just simply didn't have the answer for Sunni Olding. Spencerville (4th -D3) and Dublin Coffman (3rd-D1) were the only two schools to place well with a huge spread. Spencerville's was between #1 and #64 and Coffman's was #2 and #60. True XC fans know that the #3, 4, and 5 runners are what makes the team, today showed that.