Midwest Meet of Champions Preview - **Updated with Virtual Meets**

The anticipation is building for the 2009 Midwest Meet of Champions!


The 2009 version of the MMOC has all the key ingredients for a great day of elite team and individual cross country competition.  The MMOC has a festive atmosphere with loud music, top ranked teams, great depth, top individuals from several states and a fan friendly course that has yielded some blazing times in years past. 


Last year, the Mason boys and Magnificat girls won MMOC team titles which catapulted each to Ohio D1 state meet championship victories.  Both teams return most of their key runners this fall.  Mason and Magnificat are nationally ranked and return to defend their titles this year.  


Boys Race of Champions - Virtual Meet


Mason is led by junior phenom Zach Wills.  He made a national splash with his 15:02 clocking in winning this meet a year ago.  Wills has won a state cross country title and 2 track titles in his first 2 years in high school.  He could be well on his way to having the most decorated high school career of any distance runner in Ohio history. 


Wills is currently ranked #2 in the country after running 14:54 at the Culver Academy Invitational and many are anticipating a sub 15 minute 5K at this year's MMOC.  Other top individuals include Daniel Garleb and Nick Hissrich (Pickerington North), John Sweeney and  Evan Baum (St Ignatius), Tsehaye Hiluf (Reynoldsburg), Tim McConnell (Hudson), Travis Hawes and Ethan Bokeno (LaSalle), Greg Turissini (Toledo St John), Josh Sabo (Richfield Revere), Jay McKenna (Darby), Nick Schneider (Dublin Jerome), Kyle Wheeler and Dylan Papp (Green), John Kieffer (Dublin Coffman), Doug Norris (Vandalia Butler) and Alejandro Arroyo (Culver Academies).  Last year 18 runners ran under the 16 minute barrier at this race. 

While Zach Wills is the heavy favorite to win the boys individual race, Mason will be pushed by the top teams in Ohio in their quest of defending their MMOC title. 


St. Ignatius is ranked #1 in Ohio after winning at Tiffin.  Top ten teams Sylvania Northview, Pickerington North, and Dublin Coffman ran very well at the Alliance Running Invitational and should be near the top in the team competition.  State ranked powers Cincinnati LaSalle, Toledo St John, Richfield Revere, Hudson, Reynoldsburg and Lakota West may place in the next tier of top teams.  Russia (#4 in D3), Akron St Vincent St Mary (#4 in D2), Olentangy Liberty, Oldham (KY), Hilliard Davidson, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Bradley, Centerville, Westerville Central, Green, Vandalia Butler, Culver Academies (IN), Dublin Jerome and Brunswick will ensure that the competition will be as deep as any meet this year. 


Girls Race of Champions - Virtual Meet


The girls race features teams that are ranked #1, #3, #5, #6, #7 and #10 in D1 and #2 and #8 in D2 in Ohio, plus Sacred Heart - big school runner up in Kentucky a year ago!   

Rocky River Magnificat is led by seniors Madeline Chambers and twin sisters Clare and Abby Fischer. Magnificat earned a trip to Portland, Oregon for the Nike Team National Cross Counry Championship last year and return all their key runners this year.  Mags is currently ranked #5 in the country.   They are hitting on all cylinders after winning the Tiffin Carnival with just 52 points, where their top 7 ran 18:00, 18:37, 18:49, 19:04, 19:07, 19:20 and 19:40, and winning the All Ohio Catholic Championship by scoring only 17 points!


#1 Magnificat is the favorite but there are several powerhouse teams that will challenge the Blue Streak.  #3 Hudson is running very well and is led by Angela Williams, Madison Hartline and Rachel Raykov.  #5 Dublin Scioto has a terrific group of front runners led by sophomore twin sisters Minori and Sakiko Minagawa and seniors Keelin Gorman and Katie Papesh.  #6 Mason has a very tight pack of runners led by Jessica Harrison.  #7 Brunswick is off to a very good start this year as well as other high quality teams such as Akron St Vincent-St Mary, Van Wert, Coffman, Russia and Sacred Heart will find it very difficult to crack the top 5.


The individual race should be outstanding.  Chambers was 2nd last year and should be near the front once again.  She will likely be pushed by junior Waverly Neer (CulverAcademies) who won the IndianaPre-State meet in early September.  The favorite is junior Emma Brink (Sacred Heart).  She has won the last 2 state cross country titles in her home state and is the current female athlete of the year in Kentucky.  Other top individuals include Lauren Taylor (Van Wert), Selena Pasadyn (Brunswick), Katie Borchers (Russia), Katherine Stultz and Abbie Marquard (Mags), Megan Collins (Coffman), Jessica Hoover (Davidson), Shannon Kelleher (Darby) and Marie Arnone (Akron SVSM).  


It should be a great day of racing at the Midwest Meet of Champions on Saturday, October 3rd!


Races begin at 9:30 am at Hilliard Darby high school.