Peaking at the perfect time, Applegate broke his own school record with a finishing time of 15 minutes, 24.6 seconds Saturday to place fourth individually in the Division I state cross country championship meet on a slow, soggy 5,000-meter course at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. He was the top finisher from the area.
This followed Applegate’s equally impressive 15:30.22 in winning the D-I regional Oct. 28 at Tiffin. The Bobcats’ fourth-year standout was second in the district meet Oct. 21 with a 15:33.09 in Findlay, a week after he won his first Northern Lakes League title in a then school-record time of 15:30.
Applegate, who also runs the 1,600, 3,200, and 3,200 relay for the Bowling Green track team in the spring, placed second in the NLL cross country meet in 2016, third in 2015, and 12th in 2014.
Last year, he won a district title, took fourth at regionals, and was 13th in the D-I state meet.
“More than anything, Zach is goal-driven,” Bowling Green coach Pat Carney said. “Once he decides he’s going to do something, he sets out to do it. He decided a couple years ago that this was going to be his lifestyle, and, once he made that commitment, he went from being a really good runner to what I consider an elite runner. He puts everything he’s got into it.”
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