The Archbold girls cross country team had five runners, including three freshman, place in the top 15 while on their way to winning the NWOAL meet Saturday at the newly constructed course at Wauseon’s Homecoming Park.
The Blue Streaks finished first with 43 points, edging out Liberty Center who had 57. Liberty Center took the boys meet, finishing with 40 points while Wauseon was runner-up with 48.
“It’s kind of a goal we had, but you have to run the race before you know,” said Archbold coach Rachel Kinsman on winning the league. “Archbold hasn’t won it since ‘99, so it was a good goal to begin the season with. We have a great freshman class to add to the ones (upperclassmen) that we had. It is fun to see them work together and work hard to get it done.”
Although the Evergreen girls took fifth as a team, their junior runner Sarah Schwan was league champion with a time of 20:15.39. Other notable finishers for the Vikings were freshman Kennedy Keller who took 17th (22:41.61) and Grace Bryson 29th (23:16.6).
Archbold freshman Kylie Sauder was runner-up with a time of 20:25.71. Also for the Streaks, freshman Brittney Ramirez placed ninth (21:16.36), junior Gwynne Riley 10th (21:16.91), junior Dakota Stamm 11th (21:23.66) and Regan Ramirez 15th (22:04.32).
Just outside of the top 20 were Camryn Hudson at 22nd (23:03.76) and Montana Stamm 28th (23:15.82).
“And they are all coming back. Those top six or seven are all coming back,” said Kinsman on the state of her team. “It is fun to look forward also. But we want to celebrate today too because they did work hard to get here.”
The Streaks, as well as the other county teams in the league, got to test out the course at the inaugural Fulton County Invitational Sept. 26. Kinsman felt it was helpful for her team Saturday.
“We could talk about the course,” she said. “We knew exactly where we wanted to be, needed to be, needed to make a move. So it definitely did help to be able to come and actually race on the course beforehand.”
Wauseon’s best finisher was junior Hannah Richer who placed eighth at 21:14.85. Freshman Josephine Callan added a 24th place finish (23:04.27), while sophomore Brooke Schuette was 25th (23:05.6).
For Delta, freshman Jenna Hallett placed sixth (21:13.51) and senior Grace Sonick 26th (23:05.95).
Freshman Natalie Newman of Swanton came away with a 23rd place finish (23:03.88).
Wauseon fell to Liberty Center in the boys meet as the Tigers had three in the top 10 and five in the top 15. Cameron Stark of Liberty Center was the league champion, finishing the race with a time of 16:10.13.
“We knew that it would be us and Liberty. And as I told my boys beforehand, we only can control what we can do,” said Wauseon boys coach Joe Allen. “I thought, in all honesty, our boys ran pretty well. Their kids just ran phenomenal today. Congratulations to them is due that’s for sure.”
Taking third for the Indians was senior Kyle Vernot who finished with a time of 16:34.87. Junior Josh Lowry took fifth (17:04.46) for Wauseon, while junior Michael Cheezan placed eighth (17:22.94), and freshman Braden Vernot 11th (18:03.35).
“We kind of predicted that Kyle (Vernot) would be up there and battling (at the end),” said Allen. “Josh (Lowry), we knew he’d be there as well. And Michael (Cheezan) was number eight, just missing first team all-league status. Again, I thought all three of those guys ran well. And really Braden Vernot getting 11th as a freshman, I think he was the top finishing freshman today, ran spectacular as well.”
Wauseon freshman Layton Willson finished 21st (18:45.65).
Coach Allen was also happy with how the course worked out.
“It’s got enough that the spectators can see what’s going on, but the kids love running in the woods,” he said. “This is just a neat place. We hope in the future that we can host meets here. Big meets here. And have people come here and enjoy it.”
Leading Delta were senior Maverick Wright who finished sixth (17:18.66), junior Hayden Davis 10th (17:57.31), freshman Nickolas Sherick 20th (18:44.08) and sophomore Walker Sniegowski 25th (19:06.69).
Archbold’s highest finisher was junior Brendon Johns at 17th (18:35.77). Junior Caden Garrow finished 24th (18:57.63) for the Streaks.
Leading the Swanton boys was junior Brett Bettinger who took 12th (18:06.47).
1. Liberty Center 40; 2. Wauseon 48; 3. Delta 90; 4. Bryan 92; 5. Patrick Henry 98; 6. Archbold 158; 7. Swanton 195; 8. Evergreen 208.
1. Archbold 43; 2. Liberty Center 57; 3. Bryan 73; 4. Wauseon 103; 5. Evergreen 108; 6. Delta 125.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010