St. Francis De Sales and Northview showed plenty of depth and determination en route to winning Division I District 1 championships on Saturday afternoon at Pearson Park.
The Knights placed four runners among the top 10 finishers to win the boys championship with 35 points. The Wildcats, who were buoyed by district champion Janelle Noe, also claimed four of the top 10 spots en route to winning the girls championship with 32 points.
"I'm really proud of our guys because they've worked hard all season," St. Francis coach Jim Neary said. "Our team ran about where we expected to run."
The Perrysburg boys finished as the district runner-up for the second year in a row after scoring 83 points. Findlay placed third with 89 points, followed by Fremont Ross 94, Whitmer 154, Maumee 174, Clay 182, Southview 203, Springfield 203, and Start 265.
"This was a nice team effort," Perrysburg coach Jeff Taylor said. "We knew going into the race St. Francis was the favorite. They're one of the top teams in the state."
Findlay's Matt Waaland pulled away from the pack down the stretch to come in with a winning time of 16:19.10.
"I took over the lead at the two-mile mark, and it worked out well," Waaland said. "It's great because I never would have thought I'd win a district title."
Fremont Ross' Louis Guardiola finished second with a time of 16:27.20, followed by a steady trio from St. Francis — Kyle Lach (16:30.20), David St. John (16:36.40), Dan Siebenaller (16:38.10) — to cover the top five places. Findlay's Shadd Risser (16:44.20), Fremont Ross' Devaun Churchya (16:49.0), Perrysburg's Bryant Byrd (16:49.60), St. Francis' Dan Lenart (16:52.10), and Springfield's Kohl Taberner (16:54.60) completed the top 10.
Northview's Janelle Noe won first place, helping the Wildcats do the same.
Noe paced Northview to the girls team title by covering the 5K course in a swift time of 18:23.80 to guarantee her an individual district title. The Wildcats senior, who has come on strong this fall, continued to surprise herself.
"It's exciting because I never thought I'd be able to accomplish that," Noe said.
Northview teammates Abigail Masters and Robin Foste0r followed to take second (19:18.30) and third (19:20.50), respectively. Anthony Wayne's Brittney Darah placed fourth (19:38.80), followed by Abigail Dorn (19:41.30), St. Ursula Academy's Danielle Szczesniak (19:42.0), Bowling Green's Sasha Lanning (19:53.70) and Jessi Patton (19:55.30), Northview's Mallory Small (20:10.0), and AW's Shelby Nolan (20:24.20).
Northview's Rachel Audet ran 17th (20:50.90) to help the Wildcats collect the district team trophy for the fifth straight year.
AW placed second with 77 points, followed by Bowling Green 100, Whitmer 107, St. Ursula 117, Findlay 138, Fremont Ross 155, Norwalk 198, Rogers 277, and Mansfield Senior 299, respectively.
"We ran well, and I was pleased to see them cross the finish line one, two, three," Northview coach Jodie Smith said, referring to Noe, Masters and Foster. "It was good teamwork to see three seniors cross the line first."
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