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Knights nail down 9th-place showing

St. John leads St. Francis to another top-10 finish; Northview’s Brooks 26th


    Northview's Kyle Brooks (870) crosses the finish line in 26th.

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    St. Francis runner Kyle Lach (361), left, greets teammate Dan Lenart (362) at the finish.

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St. Francis runner Kyle Lach (361), left, greets teammate Dan Lenart (362) at the finish.

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HEBRON, Ohio — St. Francis de Sales is making a tradition of wrapping up the cross country season as participants in the Division I boys state cross country championships.

The Knights competed for the third year in a row at the D-I state championships on Saturday and made it a third straight season of placing among the top 10 teams in the state.

St. Francis, paced by sophomore David St. John, finished ninth in the team standings with 232 points.

"We ran one of our best team races of the year today," St. Francis coach Jim Neary said. "I'm certainly proud of what that earns us. I'm just happy to finish the season on such a positive note."

St. John was the top performing Knight and completed the 5,000-meter course at National Trail Raceway in 34th place with a time of 15 minutes, 57.57 seconds.

"He did a great job of building off of his confidence he gained last week [at regionals]," Neary said. "I think he was excited to put himself in position to try and run one of the best races of his career. I think he did that, and our guys fed off him, and we really competed to the best of our ability."

PHOTO GALLERY: State Cross Country Championships

Knights teammate Kyle Lach came in at the 51st spot with a time of 16:09.41, followed by Dan Lenart (87th, 16:29.44), Dan Siebenaller (92nd, 16:34.11), and Jason White (105th, 16:40.02), respectively.

"I think we raced well as a team," said Lach, a senior. "We were really connected. I think we went out there and raced our best today."

Cleveland St. Xavier claimed the Division I boys state championship with 71 points.

Tippecanoe's Sam Wharton covered the course in 15:09.95 to cross the finish line first to earn top individual honors.

Northview senior Kyle Brooks thought the pace was quick and had a plan to stay in the lead pack. He pushed himself to finish 26th with a personal-record time of 15:53.02.

"I'm happy," Brooks said. "I didn't get All-Ohio, but I'm still happy with what I did."


Northview's Kyle Brooks (870) crosses the finish line in 26th.

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Fremont Ross' Louis Guardiola came across the finish line in the 44th spot with a time of 16:04.33, and Findlay's Matt Waaland placed 62nd with a time of 16:15.74

Central Catholic's sophomore George McCartney placed 69th (16:18.73), and senior Charlie Gibbons ran 77th (16:25.40).

"We worked hard all year, and it's great being here," Gibbons said. "It's the last race of the year, so we just put it all out there. There was nothing to worry about."

McCartney, a sophomore, approached the state race with a goal of breaking 16 minutes. Despite not meeting his goal, the Irish underclassman considered running at state a successful event.

"I took [cross country] seriously this year, and I thought this was a great day to run, and I look forward to coming here next year," McCartney said.

Seneca East won the Division III boys championship with 101 points.

Liberty Center's Cameron Weaks and Joe Seedorf crossed the finish line in 50th and 69th place, respectively.

Weaks, a junior, ran a time of 16:44.68 and Seedorf, a senior, came in at 17:03.53.

"It was a tough course, but it went by really fast," Weaks said.

Seedorf and Weaks went into the race hoping to push each other throughout the course. For the most part, that's what they accomplished.

"I thought we did what we planned," Seedorf said. "We wanted to get out slow and then just take off like we've done all season. That's been working for us, and I think it worked again today, but not as well as we would have liked it to."

Toledo Christian's Daniel Burket finished 54th with a time of 16:48.81. The Eagles senior went into his first state meet thinking about going out and enjoying the opportunity.

"It's really cool just coming down here with the huge grandstand and all of the support and all of the fans," Burket said. "It was a pretty incredible experience. You have the roar of the crowd coming through here, and you have so much adrenaline pumping."

Burket came up shy of his goal to run a personal record in the final high school cross country race of his career.

"I wanted to run better," he said. "I wanted to P.R., but I missed by about six seconds. But I'm really happy to be here because I didn't expect to be here."

Woodridge took the Division II championship with 83 points.

Defiance senior Abel Flores finished second with a time of 15:46.48. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's Mick Iacofano won the race with a time of 15:32.98.

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