HEBRON, Ohio — Clay sophomore Haley Hess was the area’s top finisher in the Division I state girls cross country championships Saturday at National Trail Raceway.
Hess, the regional champion, earned All-Ohio honors by placing sixth with a time of 18 minutes, 41.39 seconds, leading the Eagles to an eighth-place team finish with 236 points.
Hess used last year’s experience as a state qualifier to help her this season.
“I knew what it was like down here, so I knew the competition was tough,” Hess said. “You had to get a good start and get out quick.”
Perrysburg finished fifth — the best in team history — with a score of 152. Mason won the championship with 76 points, followed by Beavercreek with 107.
Taylor Monheim paced the Yellow Jackets by finishing 38th at 19:18.23. Jordan Doore placed 50th with a time of 19:25.05, followed by Courtney Clody (61st, 19:32.15), Grace Lahey (77th, 19:45.31), and Allie Kemp (79th, 19:45.47). Emily Henry (19:59.16) and Katie Menke (20:08.69) ran 96th and 104th, respectively.
Perrysburg coach Jon Monheim thought the Yellow Jackets held their own considering the only runner at the state championships last year was his daughter, Taylor.
“We told the girls all week top five is what we’re shooting for,” he said. “If we had a great day and finished higher than that, perfect, but top five is an incredible finish for us.”
Perrysburg’s previous best showing at the state was ninth in 2010.
Taylor Monheim, who had hoped for a better individual showing, found some satisfaction in the Jackets making school history.
“We were aiming for top five, so that’s good,” Taylor Monheim said.
Clay’s Sydney Hess finished 72nd (19:39.45), followed by Hannah Hess (83rd, 19:47.09), Caitlyn Kuecher (89th, 19:52.41), and Erin Gyurke (139th, 20:43.26). Brooke Gyori (149th, 21:11.98) and Madison Miller (151st, 21:27.78) also represented Clay at the state competition.
Gyurke, who placed eighth at state a year ago, competed but has been hampered the past few weeks with injuries. Clay coach Dave Hess said the Eagles could have probably finished higher with a healthy Gyurke.
“We would’ve expected her to be right up there with Haley, and we would have had two in the top 10,” the Eagles coach said of Gyurke. “That would have been a huge difference in the team race for us. But that’s cross country. You’ve got to do it on that given day.”
Southview’s Alexandra Wainstein placed 35th with a time of 19:15.51. Notre Dame’s Stephanie Sherman finished 63rd with a time of 19:32.80 while Whitmer’s Abbigail Dorn ran 90th at 19:53.98.
Mason won the D-I girls championship with 76 points. Beavercreek was runner-up with 107.
In D-I boys, Central Catholic junior George McCartney finished 32nd with a time of 16:10.41. The Irish junior was pleased about his performance after placing 69th a year ago.
“I’m proud of it,” McCartney said. “I thought it was the perfect weather. I did what I was supposed to do, pass as many people as I could and stayed up there to try and be in the top 30.”
St. John’s Jesuit junior Tevin Brown covered the course in 16:22.03 to finish 43rd in his first trip to state.
“It just didn’t feel right because I went out a little too hard and didn’t race well,” Brown said. “It’s disappointing because it’s my slowest time of the year by a good 30 seconds. This is not the place where you want to gain 30 seconds on your race. It’s really disappointing, but you have to train harder and go back for it next year.”
St. Francis de Sales’ Dan Siebenaller (16:29.50) and David St. John (16:31.37) placed 54th and 56th, respectively, as the Knights placed 13th as a team with a score of 270.
Mitch Kaiser (88th, 16:46.27), Jason White (107th, 17:03.45), Eric Halicek (120th, 17:21.61), Jacob Baugh (124th, 17:28.96), and Ryan Maraldo (131st, 17:37.49) did their part for the Knights.
“I was proud of them,” St. Francis coach James Neary said. “I think they ran hard and did a nice job this season to get to this point. I’m really excited for them to be a part of this meet. I’m happy for them to enjoy this memory together.”
Findlay’s Isaiah Gaines ran 77th with a time of 16:40.32, and Fremont Ross’ Louis Guardiola finished 89th at 16:46.66.
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