PATASKALA — The cross country teams representing the Galion Tigers and the Northmor Golden Knights loaded up the buses and headed to Pataskala on Saturday morning to compete in the annual McGowan Invitational, hosted by Watkins Memorial High School.
Galion, competing in the Division II portion of the race, would see the girls finish in ninth overall as a team out of 25 teams while the boys took 17th out 26 teams. In total, there were nearly 600 combined runners finishing the DII portion of the day.
Maddie Davis of Jonathan Alder won the girls side of the event, crossing the finish line in the top time of 19:57.7. The Lady Pioneers would also win the team title, tallying just 79 points on the day. As aforementioned, the Lady Tigers finished ninth and recorded 344 points in doing so.
Sari Conner took home the top finish for Galion, crossing the line in a time of 24:08.7, good for 54th overall. Airyona Nickels ran her 5k in a time of 24:21.4, earning her 65th on the day.
Zaynah Tate, Brookyln Gates and Ava Smith would all crack the top-100 for the blue and orange on Saturday as well.
Tate snagged 70th in 24:36.4, Gates earned 73rd in 24:43.1 and Smith finished in 25:28.3, good for 91st. Emily McDonald (136th) and Camile Nunez (260th) were also in the field for Galion on the day.
On the boys side, the Tigers would see just two runners earn top-100 finishes on the day in the field of 330. William Wilke of Sheridan won the boys race with a time of 17:08.6 while the Heath Bulldogs won the boys team title with 85 points. Galion snagged 17th with 449 points.
Braxton Tate not only finished in the top-100 but would earn a top-five spot, dashing his way to fourth place in the boys field with a time of 17:22.2. Joining Tate in that top-100 was Brenden Ganshorn, finishing in 76th overall in a time of 19:44.4.
Also in the field for Galion on Saturday representing the boys team were: 119. Garrett Murphy; 143. Zach Slone; 145. Braeden Horn; 146. Mathias Breinich; 185. Kurt Ensman; 217. Mikey Stover and 269. Sean Clark.
Over in the Division III, the black and gold had themselves a pretty good day as the Lady Golden Knights finished as the runner-up on the day with 123 points, second only to Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference foe, Centerburg, whom had 82 points. Annalise Grammel of Columbus Academy won the individual title on the girls side, finishing in 20:31.8. In total, the DIII girls race had 169 finishers.
All but one of the Northmor runners would go on to finish in the top-100 on Saturday, with the highest finish belonging to Julianna DiTullio. DiTullio finished 18th overall with a time of 22:51.8.
Not far behind DiTullio were Julia Kanagy (23:11.2) and Kristie Wright (23:28.6), finishing in 21st and 27th, respectively. Sabrina Kelly (23:47.0) would take 33rd while Olivia Goodson (24:13.2) rounded out the top-50 finishers in 40th for the Knights.
Also in action for Northmor were Carolyn McGauley (65th), Maddison Yaussy (100th) and Bailey Snyder (102nd).
The boys team from Northmor would finish the day with 133 points, good for fourth overall in the field of 19 teams. Liam McCann of Columbus Academy won the boys race with the top time of 17:16.8. McCann’s team also won the boys title, scoring just 60 points en route to the victory. In total, there were 205 boys that finished the DIII race.
Northmor’s team size helped them out on Saturday as two runners finished in the top-25 while 10 wrapped their races within the top-100.
Gavvin Keen had the best time and finish for the Knights, snagging eighth overall with a time of 18:32.3. Ryan Bentley finished in 20th with a time of 19:12.0 and Kooper Keen took 26th in 19:25.1. Mostyn Evans finished the 5k in 19:32.1, good for 21st and Chase Hoover rounded out the top-50 finishers for Northmor in 48th with a time of 20:05.2.
Also recording top-100 times were Austin Amens, Alec Moore, TJ Diehl, BJ White and Kyle Price.
Amens (20:37.6) took 59th while Moore (20:52.7) earned 64th. Diehl took home 76th (21:19.9) and White, 80th (21:21.9). Price wrapped the top-100 in the field with a finishing time of 22:21.4.
Other runners in action for the Golden Knights were: 109. Jack Sears; 120. Jayden McClain; 130. PJ Lower; 132. Zach Govoni; 140. Dylan Amens; 160. Kolton Hart; 172. Josh Cramer. 181. Anthony Bryant and 182. Austin Lewis.
Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy
Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048