Galion and Marion Harding shared the spoils at the opening cross country meet of the 2015 season on Wednesday in Marion.
The Lady Tigers won the girls team title with 28 points, while the Lady Presidents tallied 33. In the boys’ race, Harding prevailed with a total of 16 points to Galion’s 40.
Harding’s Cloie Riedlinger and Mykenzi Bays finished 1-2 in the girls’ race, while Galion’s Sari Conner and Megan Zier finished third and fourth, respectively. Riedlinger’s winning time was 22 minutes, 27 seconds. Bays was right on her teammate’s heels, finishing in 22:29. Conner hit the finish chute in 22:23. Zier crossed the line in 24:19.
Mia Tinnerello of Harding placed fifth with a time of 24:28. Galion claimed places six, seven and eight with Ashlie Sallee, Lauren Huggins and Abby Barre finishing in that order. Sallee’s time was 24:58. Huggins posted a time of 25:27 and Barre finished in 25:32 to round out the top five runners for the Lady Tigers.
Marion Harding’s final two runners to score points were Phoenix Houseworth and Kasey McDaniel, who placed 12th and 13th, respectively. Houseworth’s time was 28:31. McDaniel turned in a time of 28:34.
“Last year, Marion didn’t even have a full team, so it wasn’t any contest,” said Galion head coach George Guins. “Today it was pretty competitive. It was a good meet. Our girls ran really well. I think we did a really nice job, so I’m pleased.”
Five of the first six runners to finish the boys’ race wore the Presidents’ black and red. Phillip Nicol and Roberto Oswald established a quick pace at the start of the 5-kilometer run and finished first and second, respectively. Nicol’s winning time was an even 17 minutes. Oswald finished in 17:40.
“Both of them are juniors, and they were really excited to see how they could do and test themselves, see where they were at right now,” said Presidents head coach Anna Tinnerello.
Presidents Joe Tinnerello and Zach Lingo came in third and fourth, respectively. Tinnerello rolled into the finish chute in 18:06. Lingo’s time was 18:24. Harding’s final runner to score points was Aaron Hartley, who finished sixth with a time of 18:58.
Casey Barker was the top runner for Galion, finishing in fifth place with a time of 18:34. The other four Tigers to score in the dual meet were E.J. Rondez, Colin McCullough, Lucas Conner and Luke Eisnaugle. Rondez placed seventh in 19:04. McCullough finished eighth with a time of 19:06. Conner came in ninth place, posting a time of 19:32. Eisnaugle placed 11th with a time of 19:50.
“Our boys are actually ahead of where we thought we would be,” said Guins. “(Marion Harding) swept us last year and we were just hoping not to get swept this year. Last year, they took the top five places. Our kids all ran well, much better than they did last year. Our fastest guy was 21 minutes here last year. Today, we had five guys under 20 minutes, so I’m really pleased with that. We’ve got a long way to go, but this is a great start.”
Tinnerello was pleased with the performance of both of her teams in their first outing of the new season as well as the attitude displayed by both the Harding and Galion athletes during the meet.
“They all did just incredible,” Tinnerello said. “It was great competition and great sportsmanship. It was just enjoyable to see them come out and have a great time. It was a great way to start with two teams that were ready to go and give it a shot.”
Galion’s next meet is the Plymouth Invitational, scheduled for Sept. 1 at Mary Fate Park. Start time is 5 p.m.
Marion Harding will compete in the Lexington Invitational on Saturday. That meet starts at 9 a.m.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.