Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross Country Championships

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Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross Country Championships

on 26 November 2017.

With nearly perfect November cross country weather the 89th Boys and 40th Girls Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross Country Championships greeted 584 boys from 176 schools and 576 girls from 167 schools.  Nearly 13,000 fans enjoyed the weather, the six races and perhaps the country’s best High School State Cross Country Championships.

The Girls Division III race was the first Championships of the day as runners started east of the Grandstands and ran a half mile before running in front of the grandstands, the runners made a 180 degree turn at the start of the race track and ran on the west side of the track before looping for almost a mile in the field west of the grandstands.  Then the runners returned to the northwest part of the grandstands before turning north and crossed the bridge/ramp put in place to cross over the race track.  The runners then headed to the northeast woods.  The runners would return from the area near the start and run the final 100 meters in front of the main grandstands.

A pack of three runners hit the first mile in the girls Division III within a second of each other at 5:46 and the two mile at 12:07 before Minster's sophomore, Emma Watcke (who finished 5th last year) pulled away in the final mile to win in 18:38.  Grand Valley's senior Grace Steimle who finished 17th in 2016 took home runner up honors in 18:52.  Mount Gilead's sophomore Baylee Hack (18:55) improved forty one spots from last year to take home the bronze.  Minster's sophomore Gwendolyn Meiring (19:03) moved up twenty-two spots from last year to finish fourth.  Mount Gilead freshman Allison Johnson (19:07) finished fifth.

Minster defended their team title to win it's all time record eleventh State Cross Country girls Division III crown with an all time low score for girls with only 34 points.  Mt Gilead improved fourteen spots to take home the runner up trophy with 130 points.  McDonald (138) improved two spots from last year to finish third.    Ft Loramie (174) improved thirteen spots to place fourth while Archbold (183) placed fifth.

Last year's Division II winner Beachwood's senior Leah Roter had a ten second lead at the mile mark and widened it to twenty-one seconds at the two mile mark.  However, last year's runner up Chagrin Falls' senior Annie Zimmer who was twenty-four seconds behind at the two mile closed the gap in the final mile and passed Zimmer in the final 50 meters to win in 18:13 while Tater finished in 18:17. Monroe's senior Rachel Ploeger improved four spots from 2017 to captured the bronze in 18:25.  Tuscarawas Valley's junior Madison Debos (18:29) captured fourth place while Kettering Archbishop Alter's senior Perri  Bockrath (18:33) placed fifth.

Lexington improved one spot form 2016 to captured the Division II team title with 137 points.  Fairfield Union improved ten spots from last year to take home the runner up trophy with 147 points.  Tippecanoe (162) finished third for the second consecutive year.  Akron St Vincent St Mary's (169) improved four spot from last year to finish fourth. Gate Mills Hawken (197) finished fifth.

Ten runners went past the mile mark in 5:32 before Troy's senior Morgan Gigandet pulled away to take a four second lead at the two mile mark and went on to improve five spots from 2016 and win the girls Division I individual title in 17:30.  Solon's junior Olivia Howell moved up a spot from last year to capture runner up honors in 17:32.  Beavercreek's sophomore Taylor Ewert (17:35) improved ten spots from last year nipped Olentangy Liberty's junior Gracie Sprankle by a tenth of a second to finish fourth.

Centerville four-peated to take home the girls Division I team title with 122 points.  Ursuline Academy improved eight spots from last year to captured the runner up trophy with 137 points.  Olentangy Liberty (172) moved up six spots from last year to place third.  Hudson (187) improved twelve spots from last year to finished fourth while Beavercreek (197) moved back two spots from 2016 to place fifth.

Last year's winner Colonel Crawford's senior Chad Johnson had a five second lead at the mile mark and widened it to thirteen seconds at the two mile mark to repeat as the boys Division II individual champion in 15:33.  Ottoville's senior Brendon Siefker repeated as the runner up with his 15:45.  Liberty Center's senior Cameron Stark (15:50) improved fourteen spots from last year to capture the bronze.  East Canton's sophomore Demetri Snellenberger (16:12) improved eight spots from last year to edge Ft Loramie's junior Joe Ballas by a half of a second for fourth.

East Canton won the boys Division III team title with 119 points while McDonald return to the podium with the runner up trophy with 141 points.  Columbus Academy (145) improved nine spots from last year to finish third.  Leesburg Fairfield (158) repeated as the fourth place team.  Liberty Center (176) improved five spots from last year to place fifth.

Last year boy's Division II winner Buckeye Valley's senior Zach Kreft had a seven second lead at the mile mark and opened up a sixteen second lead at the two mile mark ran away with the individual title in 15:20.  Lexington's senior Ryan Johnston moved up eight spots from last year to capture runner up honors in 15:41.  Shelby's sophomore Caleb Brown captured the bronze in 15:56.  Lexington's junior Kyle Johnston (15:59) improved seven spots from last year to finish fourth.  Versailles' senior Joe Spitzer (16:01) moved up four spots from last year to place fifth.

Lexington joined their girls team at the top of the podium to improve one spot from last year taking home the Division II team trophy with 97 points.  It was the second year in a row that one school won both the girls and boys Division II team trophy as last year Woodridge accomplish this rare feat.  Sheridan improved seventeen spots from last year to take home the runner up trophy with 101 points.  Akron St Vincent St Marys (144)  moved up four spots from last year to finish third.  Woodridge (158) finished fourth while Rocky River (160) placed fifth.

Three runners in the boy's Division I race hit the mile in 4:40 with two runners side by side at the 2 mile mark in 9:41.  Last year's winner Lakota East's senior Dustin Horter and last year third place finisher Middletown's junior Conant Smith ran side by side to the finish before Horter nipped Smith by less than a half second to win in 15:03.  Making it a clean sweep for the boys individual winners as all three repeated from 2016.  Pickerington Central's senior Matt Scrape (15:20) dropped a spot from last year placed third.  Bowling Green's senior Zach Applegate (15:24) improved eight spots from last year to finish fourth while Thomas Worthington's senior Arjun Jha (15:32) moved up three spots to place fifth.

Hudson last year's runner up took home the boy's Division II team title with 73 points.  Hilliard Davidson improved seven spots from last year to capture the runner up trophy with 143 points.  Medina (159) moved up three spots to finish third.  Mason (177) improved ten spots form last year to finish fourth.  St Xavier (209) dropped two spots from last year and placed fifth.

Check out the 2016 RUNOHIO photos - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1425-image-gallery-2017-2017-ohsaa-state-cross-country-championships

Rod O'Donnell's article - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1430-keeping-track

and

http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1405-keeping-track-cross-country

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