Two freshmen ruled the girls individual competition and two seniors won the boys races yesterday as St. Ursula Academy, Southview, St. Francis de Sales and Defiance all won team titles in Division I district cross country competition at Pearson Park.
Freshman Alli McMaster of St. Ursula paced the Arrows to a first-place effort of 47 points in the district 1 girls meet, turning the course in 18:50. Running 18 seconds slower than her winning City League meet time last week at Ottawa Park, McMaster still beat runner-up Libbey Huffman of Findlay by 65 seconds. Clay sophomore Rachel Moore was third at 19:59.
“It was good, but it felt a little hot and my muscles were tight,” McMaster said. “My coach (Sue Streicher) told me to take it in easy today. If we try our best and want it bad enough, I think we can win regional, too.”
Other Arrows in the top 15 were Colleen Krout (fifth), Anna Ciesielski (12th), Megan Kanary (14th) and Krissy Korhumel (15th).
“To place five in the top 15 is incredible and that's what we were hoping for,” Streicher said. “We thought we'd do OK with our 1 and 2, and then we wanted to pack it with 3-4-5 and the girls came through.”
Great Lakes League champion Findlay took second in the team standings at 76 points, and Whitmer was third with 84.
The top three teams in each district race, plus individuals finishing in the top 15 places from other teams, advance to Saturday's regional meet in Tiffin.
In the district 2 girls race, Anthony Wayne freshman Rachel Beakas topped the field in 19:02, two seconds ahead of runner-up Chelsea Poling of Southview. But AW's regional hopes were dashed when Stephanie Willets was injured and unable to complete the 3.1-mile (5000-meter) course.
“Chelsea was with me and I was really pushed,” Beakas said. “I had to go really strong in the last mile. That's when I started to pull away. It was hard.”
Poling's 19:04 led a Cougar surge to the second through fifth-place spots.
Junior teammates Alison Tittle (19:43) and Megan Tittle (20:13), and freshman Caitlyn Folley (20:26) helped the Cougars easily take the team title with 32 points. Junior Sara Elizondo was 18th. Notre Dame Academy was second at 64 points and Bowsher was third with 89.
“That's the best we've done all year,” said Southview girls coach Matt Geha. “Our No. 5 girl PR'd (personal record) by 32 seconds. We're looking to improve even more next Saturday.”
In the district 1 boys meet, sixth-ranked Defiance took a 30-88 win over runner-up Bowling Green, with Northern Lakes League champ Maumee taking third at 90.
Defiance senior Patrick Mouser turned in the day's best time, trekking Pearson in 15:52. Second was Brad Wells (16:43) of Bowling Green, and Jeremy Framstad of Fremont Ross was third (16:51).
“I had a good week of practice and my legs felt really good today,” Mouser said. “The weather was perfect, so I just went out and went after it. I didn't really have a challenge, so I just cruised through and tried to push myself.”
Defiance also took fourth through sixth with juniors Scott Murray, Lewis Butler and Michael Bridenbaugh.
Two-time City League boys champion Mike Frey also won by a comfortable margin in the district 2 meet, covering the course in 16:22 to lead the CL team champion Knights to their 11th district team championship.
“I wanted to take the first lap (2,500 meters) slow and then push the second lap,” Frey said. “That worked in the City meet for me, so I thought I'd try it again. This weather was really a treat. Our team is definitely coming together. We're tapering (times) down really well, so I think we'll be ready for regionals and states.”
Southview junior Matt Taylor was next at 16:36 and Springfield senior Chris Gobbell third at 16:42.
St. Francis posted 43 points, 13 lower than runner-up St. John's Jesuit. Central Catholic (93 points) also qualified for the regional.
Senior Zach Brinkman contributed a seventh-place finish for the Knights and junior teammate Jimmy Kyle was eighth. St. John's also put three runners in the top 10 as juniors Chris Orosz and Paul Lemon were fourth and fifth, respectively, and senior Alex Lorton took ninth.
“We just wanted to be consistent,” Knight coach Gary Bryan said. “We weren't really psyched up for this week after running the City meet. You can only get up so many times in a season.”