The West Liberty-Salem girls cross country team wrapped up its season with a fourth-place finish at the OHSAA DIII State Championships Saturday in Obetz.
This is the fifth top-five state meet finish for the Big Orange in as many years and the ninth overall top-10 state meet finish.
Team Scores: 1st Minster 63, 2nd Fort Loramie 119, 3rd Colonel Crawford 165, 4th WLS 183, 5th Liberty Center 184, 6th Maderia 227, 9th Mogadore 231, 10th Patrick Henry 232, 9th Norwayne 255, 10th Ottawa Hills 284, 11th Huron 285, 12th McDonald 290, 13th Ft. Recovery 312, 14th Fredericktown 316, 15th Sandy Valley 388, 16th Dalton 297, 17th Fort Frye 4-6, 18th Grandview Heights 415, 19th Garway 417, 20th Tuscarwaras Valley 438.
Big Orange placers: Malia Miller 34th (19:48), Ashley Yoder 44th (20:03), Addison McAuley 58th (20:20), Breece Gullet 62nd (20:23), Claire Longshore 109th (21:35), Taylor Kennedy 112th (21:37), and Gwen McCullough 134th (22:13).
“We have 18 girls on the team this year and all season we talked about the importance of everyone’s role on the team, and how when everyone does her part, we’ll have a successful season,” said WLS head coach Ann Vogel. “The girls ran their hearts out, and their teammates not running supported them every step of the way. I’m so proud of their effort and energy throughout the season. To finish in the top five is a testament to the investments our athletes make year-round to be competitive runners and supportive teammates.”
West Liberty-Salem boys finished the D3 OHSAA state meet in 13th place. It was the 5th straight state appearance and the fifth straight top-13 finish.
Sr. Owen Harrison 53rd 17:06.0; Fr. Dylan King 91st 17:32.7; Jr. Joey LaRoche 94th 17:34.3; Fr. Garrett Wallen 112th 17:51.5; So. Troy Bradley 121st 18:00.5; So. Asher Knox 123rd 18:01.0; So. Quentin Rudolph 124th 18:04.2
Coach Mike Louden’s comments:
“It definitely was not the ending that we anticipated, but unfortunately with the combination of a slow start to the race and lingering illness from last week, we just weren’t able to get into the thick of the race. I told the guys that no matter the result today, it could not outweigh the love and appreciation I have for all sixteen of them. I’m extremely proud of the growth this team showed on and off the course this year. It was a remarkable season that included a conference title, a district title, and a regional runner-up. Those accomplishments are definitely something to be proud of. I’m especially grateful for Owen Harrison who competed in the last race of his high school career. He’ll go down as one of the most improved runners I’ve had the privilege of coaching. He’s an incredible young man with an amazing work ethic and his leadership will be greatly missed, as will the other three seniors, Micah Smith, Michael Jones, and Chandler McCafferty who didn’t compete today.”
Bellefontaine’s Tony Stewart finished 61st out of 174 runners in Division II with a time of 17:08.
“There were 110 runners who had run faster than Tony’s PR in the state for D2 Boys and Tony knew he could do much better than that. We talked about not getting out slow on a windy day to avoid using up all of his mental and physical energy to simply catch up. His 5:15 first mile had him at 98th which was a solid start. He moved up to 76th in the middle mile and passed another 15 in that last mile for his 61st place. He is already excited to start training this winter after taking a week off.”
Indian Lake freshman Reagan Rash finished 61st in the Division III race. Reagan ran the course in 20:22.
Congratulations to all the runners at the state meet.