The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

County runners compete at CG Invite

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

COLUMBUS GROVE — State-ranked Van Wert (No. 6, Division II) finished third out of 18 teams in the Gray Division of the always strong Columbus Grove Invitational on Saturday.

The Cougars finished with 135 team points, trailing only Division I St. Francis (67) and Columbus Grove (135). Van Wert was led by Hunter Sherer who finished 11th overall with a time of 16:31.84. Gage Wannemacher and Gage Springer finished 15th and 16th with times of 16:42.23 and 16:43.04. Drew Laudick enjoyed a 39th place finish (17:37.89), followed by Jayden Welker (54th, 18:15.49), Rylan Miller (58th, 18:24.69) and John Kramer (60th, 18:25.11).

Van Wert’s cross country teams gather at Saturday’s Columbus Grove Invitational. The Cougars finished third while the Lady Cougars recorded a 10th place finish in the Gray Division. Photo submitted

“We weren’t at our collective best today, in part because of a heavy week of training that will pay off down the road,” Van Wert head coach Ryan Holliday said. “That said, I still saw a lot of fight from many of our guys and they were all rewarded with season personal records.”

Led by Kyra Welch, the Lady Cougars recorded a 10th place finish out of 14 teams in the Gray Division. Welch finished eighth overall with a time of 20:09.45.

“Kyra ran an incredible race,” Holliday said. “She ran smart and controlled and saved her best for the end. We try to put ourselves in a position where we’re passing people during the last half of the race and Kyra did that today. In fact, our girls as a whole took a nice step forward in that type of racing.”

Tyra McClain finished 26th overall (21:06), followed by Alysaa Knittle (47th, 22:25.11), Emma Dolan (65th, 24:00.96), Tayler Carter (66th, 24:02.50), Sarah Verville (73rd, 24:32.52) and Serena Havill (76th, 24:46.55).

Minster won the girls’ team title with 52 points, while Liberty-Benton was the runner-up with 121 points. Van Wert finished with 212 team points.

With seven runners in the top 22, Lincolnview finished as the runner-up to Botkins in the boys’ Red Division.

The Lancers were paced by Conner Baldauf and Daegan Hatfield, who finished ninth and 10th with times of 17:18.09 and 17:18.86. Meanwhile, Jackson Robinson claimed 15th (17:37.12), followed by Josh Haines (17th, 17:55.94), Kreston Tow (18th, 17:55.97), Evan Johns (18:04.54) and Brandon Renner (18:26.90).

Crestview was 10th out of 14 teams and leading the way for the Knights was Hayden Tomlinson (16th, 17:52). He was followed by Jaden Renner (36th, 18:56), Logan Foudy (48th, 19:35), Gavin Grubb (58th, 20:40), Nolan Walls (68th, 21:11) and Aidan Ankney (77th, 22:21).

“Columbus Grove’s course is known for being fast,” Crestview head coach Randy Grandstaff said. “This year they made a change to the course and may have made it faster with this change. All of our runners ran close or faster than their personal best and I am really happy with the direction the boys’ team is heading with their times.”

Lincolnview finished fourth on the girls’ side, with Julia Stetler leading the pack with a ninth place finish and a time of 21:40.14. Olivia Snyder and Kendall Coil finished 17th and 18th with times of 22:35.04 and 22:35.31, followed by Lindsey Hatcher (21st, 22:56.43), Emma Hatcher (38th, 25:39.40), Lillian Mount (41st, 26:40.46) and Reese Suever (44th, 27.24.93).

Crestview had just two runners available to compete and Lauren Walls finished 17th with a time of 22:19 and Megan Mosier finished 53rd with a time of 25:23.

POSTED: 09/06/21 at 8:46 am. FILED UNDER: Sports