GALION — On Saturday morning, Amann’s Reservoir Park served as the site for the Division II and Division III Northwest District Cross Country Meet.
In Division II action, the top-four placing teams and the top-16 placing individuals in each section of the race would punch their tickets to next weekend’s Regional Meet in Tiffin.
Galion’s girls took to the field on Saturday hoping for a return visit to regionals and would achieve just that as they cam in fourth place in the field with 125 points on the day. Lexington (28) and Ontario (61) finished first and second, as expected, while the team from Milan Edison also advanced with their third place finish with 124 points.
Abby Lesniak of Edison was the individual champion in the girls DII race, crossing the finish line ahead of the the other 83 runners with a time of 18:07.6.
Leading the way for the Lady Tigers on the day was Brooklyn Gates. Gates turned in a time of 20:12.5, which was good for 11th overall in the field and would’ve earned her a berth to regionals had Galion not qualified as a collective unit.
Zaynah Tate, Emily McDonald and Airyona Nickels would all claim top-25 finishes on the day for the Galion girls. Tate clocked in with a time of 21:20.4, good for 22nd with McDonald right behind her in 23rd with her time of 21:21.7. Nickels rounded-out the top-25 with a race time of 21:25.5.
Ava Smith (48th, 23:33.7), Jasmine Clingman (55th, 23:53.6) and Natalee Perkins (56th, 24:04.2) will also suit up at least one more time for the Lady Tigers next Saturday at Hedges Boyer Park in Tiffin.
Isabellah Molina was the top-finisher for the Clear Fork Lady Colts (11th, 294 points) on the day, claiming 33rd in 22:09.5. Allison Ross (62nd, 24:29.3), Claire Blubaugh (64th, 25:01.6), Jocie Dornbirer (69th, 25:21.2) and Kailyn Moody (78th, 26:53.3) all saw their season come to an end at the DII district meet Saturday.
Over on the boys side, Galion, as a team, saw their season conclude on Saturday as they finished eighth overall in the field with 218 points. However, senior Braxton Tate would keep his season alive by finishing as the runner-up to advance to regionals, clocking in with a time of 15:40.8.
Shelby would claim the team championship with 70 points while Lexington finished as the runner-ups with 79. Huron (90) and Milan Edison (101) also advance to next weekend’s regional meet. Caleb Brown of Shelby won the boys title, outrunning the field of 90 other runners with a remarkable time of 14:51.2.
Braeden Horn was the only other member of Galion’s boys team besides Tate to finish in the top-50, claiming 41st with his time of 18:10.6. Garrett Murphy would finish 51st overall in a time of 18:33.8.
Other members of the Tigers in action on Saturday were: 57. Mathias Breinich- 18:44.2; 67. Kellen Kiser- 19:14.0; 74. Corban Justice- 19:42.9 and 80. Holden Gabriel- 20:10.9.
Clear Fork’s boys team finished in 13th, racking up 397 points in the process. Kaden Wilson was the top-finisher, claiming 69th in a time of 19:28.8.
Also running for the Colts were: 73. Nathen Wright- 19:40.7; 81. Liam Motter- 20:12.8; 86. Logan Myerholtz- 20:58.8; 88. Ben Wallis- 21:20.5; 90. Cooper Conkling- 21:44.8 and 91. Alex Pore- 21:46.7.
Race format was a bit different for the Division III schools as both boys and girls were split into two separate “districts”. The Colonel Crawford boys and girls teams both raced in the “District I” race on the day.
Another difference in the DIII schools’ races were that the top-three teams advanced while the top-12 individual finishers moved on.
In the girls race, the Lady Eagles would finish with 91 points on the day, claiming third place and advancing to the regional meet on Saturday. New London won the team title with 47 points while the Wynford Lady Royals finished as the runner-ups with 52 points. Kaylin Williams of New London won the individual crown with her time of 19:18.9. Overall, there were 67 finishers in the first race on the DIII side.
Alison Manko led the way for the Crawford girls, running her way to a sixth-place finish in a time of 21:07.1.
Caydence Agee, Katie Hopkins and Ally Hocker joined Manko in the top-25 on Saturday as well. Agee claimed 14th in 22:20.7 with Hopkins running to 15th in 22:23.3. Hocker rounded out the top-25 with a time of 23:05.2.
Theresa Dzugan (31st, 23:41.5), Sheba Sulser (34th, 23:56.5) and Maria Smith (46th, 24:42.6) will also see their season continue at the regional meet.
In the DIII, District II race, Lily Dowdell of St. Paul won the title in 19:26.5 while Crestview won the team championship with 66 points. Margaretta claimed runner-up status with 72 points to advance while Western Reserve snagged the last team spot with 80 points.
Colonel Crawford’s boys team would see their season come to an end as they finished fourth with 98 total points. New London cruised to a team title with just 21 points while Lakota claimed second with 80 points. St. Paul was the final team to advance, netting 81 points.
Chris Joppeck of New London won the race in 16:47.4, holding off the other 67 runners in the field on Saturday.
Jacob Hoffman cracked the top-10 for the Eagles to earn an individual regional spot, finishing ninth overall in a time of 17:32.2. Alex Mutchler (18th, 18:15.0), Alex Lawson (20th, 18:17.7) and Mason McKibben (23rd, 18:30.1) all claimed top-25 finishes in Galion at the district meet for head coach Jody Grove.
Luke Lawson finished 28th in a time of 18:43.7 and Carson James rounded out the Eagles roster, finishing 42nd in 19:51.6.
In the second DIII boys race, Clay Reynolds of Mansfield Christian won the individual title in 16:31.5 while Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic claimed the team championship with 39 points. Crestview finished as the runner-ups (54) and Wynford claimed the third and final advancing spot with 93 points.
Danny Kiser, the lone runner for the Crestline Bulldogs, ran his race in 18:26.2 and saw his season end with a 25th place finish.
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