COLUMBUS - Try as they might, the Northview Wildcats can't yet put a positive spin on their third-place showing in the boys cross country state championships at Scioto Downs yesterday.
Even when factoring in that the Wildcats showed great improvement after not even making it to state last year and had their best finish in school history, their disappointment still shone through.
"It was an excellent season, it just wasn't an excellent day," Northview coach Ross Deye said. "To win a state title, you have to have a lot of runners be on. We were just a little bit off."
Northview couldn't repeat its impressive performance shown in regionals a week ago. After beating Cleveland St. Ignatius in Tiffin last week, Northview was behind them yesterday.
St. Ignatius scored 82 to capture the team title, Cincinnati St. Xavier scored 118 to place second, and the Wildcats scored 137.
Deye said perhaps not having the experience of competing at state last year hurt the otherwise veteran team. Senior Jacob Barnes led the Wildcats with a 23rd place finish, running 16 minutes, 28.17 seconds. Senior Sean O'Connell placed 37th, and junior Mike Wallace 58th.
"I don't know what we would do differently," Deye said. "We'll try to look at the big picture when we wake up [today]. Maybe in a few days this will feel better."
Zach Wills of Mason won the individual title for the second straight year with a time of 15:45.11.
Central Catholic's Steve Graver earned All-Ohio honors by finishing among the top 15 individuals. Graver, a senior, finished 12th with a time of 16:12.49. Graver finished 37th last year when the Irish were competing in Division II.
"I wanted top 15 so I could get on the podium," Graver said. "It's so exciting. I just wanted to do my best, and I really did. I thought, don't go too fast when the crowd's cheering, because it can get out of control and hurt you in the end."
Central placed ninth in the team race with 228 points, with junior Andy Dimick placing 59th. Greg Turissini of St. John's Jesuit placed 19th with a time of 16:23.26.
In the Division II race, Lake's Zach Powell finished 23rd with a time of 16:37.47. Steven Weaver of Napoleon was 25th at 16:38.42.
Woodridge won the team title with 93 points. Michael Brajdic of Bay won the individual crown by running
Elmwood junior Nick Goebel didn't expect his path to all-Ohio honors to be so painful.
Despite using too much speed early, Goebel finished seventh in the Division III race, improving on his 19th-place finish a year ago. He led after the first mile but couldn't keep up the pace.
"My first 800 was like a
2:10, and I've never even run that fast in track, so I was definitely going too fast," Goebel said. "I felt good until almost the two-mile mark. Then it was the worst I've ever felt in a race in my life. It definitely wasn't my best race."
Independence captured the team title with a score of 84. Ryan Polman of Independence was the top runner with a time of 16:01.56.
Delta survived a scare and finished sixth in the team race with 180 points. The Panthers had a runner disqualified because of a uniform infraction, but it did not affect their team placing.
"I thought our team had been disqualified, and it was heartbreaking," coach Jeff Taylor said. "Now I can breathe easier. We didn't run our best, but I'm proud of them. We won the big three for the first time in school history, league, district, and region."
Elliott Oberneder led Delta with a 26th-place finish, running 16:48.08. Delta's Colin Fisher finished 38th.
Elmwood finished 10th with a score of 277. In addition to Goebel's performance, Dexter Lee finished 63rd for the Royals with a time of 17:25.83.
Fayette's Darrell Randall finished 50th.39.96196 -83.00298