HEBRON, Ohio — When doing some numbers crunching with a family member before the Division III state cross country meet Saturday at National Trail Raceway, Pettisville’s Elizabeth Sauder thought things might be lining up for her to earn a top-10 finish.
Her calculations proved to be correct, as was her strategy.
Northview’s Jenna Kill makes the turn during the Division I girls state cross country championships Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. Kill finished 35th.
Knowing her first and third miles traditionally are her best, Sauder made sure to get off to a strong start and then didn’t get anxious when she found herself in 19th at the 600-meter mark.
The senior ended up seventh in 19 minutes, 11.1 seconds as Minster’s Emma Watcke won in 18:38.4.
“Last year I was 21st so I was all-Ohio, but I wanted [to finish on the] podium,” Sauder said. “I had a good regional race and I’ve been feeling good this week. It’s tough at state because you have to go out hard, but if you can hang on, you’re fine and I guess I did that.”
Also earning All-Ohio honors by placing among the top 25 was Pettisville’s Nichole Foor, who took 23rd (19:27.4).
The area’s top finishing girls team in any division was Archbold, which placed fifth (183) in Division III.
Kylie Sauder led the Blue Streaks by placing 32nd (19:51.4), followed by Dakota Stamm (40th, 20:00.7); Gwynne Riley (49th, 20:13.7); Brittney Ramirez (79th, 20:37.3); Camryn Hudson (112th, 21:13.4); Montana Stamm (168th, 22:43.1); and Elizabeth Schmucker (170th, 22:49.4).
Sauder helped the Blackbirds finish sixth (191) at the 20-team event as Minster was first (20).
Pettisville's Elizabeth Sauder placed 7th in the girls Division III race.
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Rounding out Pettisville’s top five were Kate Stuber (85th, 20:43.5), Kelly Miller (88th, 20:44.6) and Sarah Foor (114th, 21:14.2).
The other area runner to make All-Ohio in Division III was Evergreen’s Sarah Schwan, who took 24th (19:36.6).
“It was hard because it started out pretty fast,” Schwan said. “It was definitely the hardest race I’ve had to run all year. It’s the first time someone from Evergreen has qualified, so I just wanted to do my best.”
Liberty Center placed 12th (324) in Division III as Maddie Atkinson led with a 61st-place finish (20:24.5), followed by Sydney Miller (92nd, 20:50.4); Kalen Rauch (101st, 20:58.8); Sophie Long (126th, 21:25.0); and Bailey Johnson (140th, 21:40.9).
It was the first time at state for five of Liberty Center’s runners a year after they placed 19th.
“I’m thrilled,” coach Tim Atkinson said. “It’s something to build on.”
In the Division I race, Bowsher’s Megan Burmeister earned a 17th-place finish (18:24.8) competing as an individual as Troy’s Morgan Gigandet was first (17:30.9).
“It was a new [personal-best time] so it felt pretty good,” said Burmeister, who will run for the University of Toledo. “I was just really hoping to be in the top 20 because it’s my senior year.”
Northview finished 19th (457) and Notre Dame was 20th (473) in the team standings, as Centerville won the title (122).
Jenna Kill led Northview with a 35th-place finish (18:45.8), followed by Emma Steingass (89th, 19:46.8); Lily Sweeney (152nd, 20:54); Erin Chambers (154th, 21:00); and Sarah Adya (159th, 21:10).
“It wasn’t too bad,” Kill said. “I’m just happy to be out here today and I couldn’t have asked for a better season for my team.”
Madeline Vining led Notre Dame with a 78th-place finish (19:34.7), followed by Emily Vining (87th, 19:45.9); Alyson Ray (134th, 20:30.0); Bridget Siebenaller (149th, 20:51.0); and Alana Okuley (168th, 21:43.2).
Competing individually in Division I were Southview’s Mackenzie Perry (103rd, 20:02.5); Perrysburg’s Jesse Menke (105th, 20:02.5); and Anthony Wayne’s Abby Moser (108th, 20:03.1).
In Division II, St. Ursula was 20th (469) as Lexington won the title (137).
Jenna Beakas led St. Ursula with a 110th-place finish (20:41.1), followed by Holly Shade (120th, 20:54.9); Brynn McGowan (130th, 21:04.7); Alyssa Heer (144th, 21:17.6); and Jordan Baugh (160th, 21:51.1).
“It was cool to be here for the first time,” Beakas said. “It wasn’t the finish we all wanted, but it was still just a really cool experience.”
The top individual finisher in Division II from the area was Napoleon’s Sydney Niekamp, who placed 32nd (19:22.3). Bryan’s Audrey Zimmerman was 81st (20:05.4).
“It was an awesome experience,” Niekamp said. “It’s really nice because last season I was out with a hip fracture so this year was like doing a 180.”
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