Crawford’s Chad Johnson wins D-III title; Mount Gilead boys, girls win team titles
GALION — Saturday’s annual Cross Country Festival at Amann Reservoir did not disappoint as participants and spectators were treated to some to dynamic team performances, most notably in the Division III races.
As expected, in the Division III boys race, Colonel Crawford standout Chad Johnson took the crown. Johnson ran his way to his fourth invitational crown, in 15:14.4. Although it was not his fastest time of the season, Johnson was satisfied with his performance.
“I had the plan of going out and going after Andrew’s 14:44 today. I am a little disappointed, but I came here and I knew it was going to be hot,” says Johnson, who has admitted not enjoying the heat. “Given different conditions, I think I could’ve gotten it. My strides just weren’t there today and I thrive in cooler conditions.”
Andrew Jordan, a Watkins Memorial graduate set the mark two years ago.
The runner-up in the D-III race, Liam Dennis from Mount Gilead, finished in 16:30.6.
See more photos of local athletes in the boys races in our online gallery.
The boys team from Mount Gilead won the D-III team title while Colonel Crawford took fifth and Northmor ran to ninth overall in the 26-team field. There were 176 runners that crossed the finish line in this race.
Wade Hopkins was the only other Eagles’ runner to finish in the top-25, coming in 16th overall with a time of 17:28.8. Other Eagles’ times were: Braxton James- 17:50.0; Alex Mutchler- 18:29.9; Mason McKibben- 18:47.6; Alex Lawson- 19:55.9 and Zach Leonhart- 20:27.1.
For the Knights, Gavin Keen was the highest placer, 15th overall in 17:28.4. He was joined by Austin Amens- 17:55.2; BJ White- 18:40.1; Kaleb Hart- 19:04.0; Chase Hoover- 19:06.7; Kooper Keen- 19:59.0 and Manny Heilman- 20:39.5.
Mount Gilead also won the girls D-III race, beating 24 other teams. Northmor finished third overall and Crawford was sixth. The Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference (KMAC) had four teams finish in the top five of the festival. There were 166 runners that crossed the finish line in this race.
See more photos of local runners in the girls races in our online gallery.
The individual winner in the D-III girls race was sophomore Baylee Hack of Mount Gilead, 18:49.9. Northmor’s Jessica Duryea was 10th in 20:18.7, followed by teammates Samantha Peters- 21:49.5; Sabrina Kelley- 22:21.5; Julianna Ditullio- 22:35.7; Julia Kanagy- 22:49.7; Brooke Bennett- 23:26.0 and Olivia Goodson- 26:11.6.
For the Lady Eagles, Courtney Britt was best, crossing the finish line in 21:25.9 which was good for 21st place. She was joined by Crawford’s Ally Hocker- 22:09.8; Kaisey Speck- 22:35.2; Kari Teglovic- 22:41.3; Alison Manko- 22:48.7; Courtney Lyons- 24:11.5 and Alivia Payne- 26:05.2.
In the Division II races, the squads from Galion both finished in 20th overall in their respective fields. The boys took 20th out of 27 teams and the Lady Tigers were 20th out of 22.
The Division II boys team champion was Rocky River and the individual champion was Zach Kreft of Buckeye Valley, in a dominating performance. His time was 15:04.8, besting 186 runners.
Braxton Tate was the only Galion runner to finish in the top-25. He was 13th in 16:40.6. His teammates were Brendon Ganshorn- 18:45.6; Nathan Eckert- 19:09.9; Garet Murphy- 19:27.3; Luke Eisnaugle- 19:29.4; Weston Rose- 19:41.0 and Hunter Parsley- 20:43.5.
The girls D-II race was won by Fairfield Union and Buckeye Valley would crown another individual champion, Chloe Dawson who posted an 18:40.6. There were 151 runners that crossed the finish line in this race.
Airyona Nickels turned in the best time for the Lady Tigers at 21:30.5, followed by teammates Sari Conner- 24:08.4; Theresa House- 25:04.1; Ashlie Sallee- 26:06.5; Destiny Yoder- 26:43.5 and Cheyenne Blair- 27:47.7.
All four of the squads from Colonel Crawford and Galion will be back at Amann’s next Saturday to compete in the Crawford County Cross Country Meet. The Northmor teams will head to Ontario to compete in the Ontario Invitational.