Top Quote: "I'm continuing right back to the grind."
-- Hayden Schmidt
Midwest High School Challenge hosted at Champions Park on Saturday brought to a close Ohio's 2020 cross country season.
Small but enthusiastic fields made up the Championship Division races, as a collection of the state's top runners, along with some guests from beyond O-H bounds, took on 5 kilometers at the Springfield-based venue.
In men's action, pre-meet favorite and course record holder, Takumi Ford made it clear from the onset that his competitors would be vying for second place on this day. The senior, who was representing Bellbrook XC Club, traversed the route in 15:55.5, just 3.5 seconds shy of his mark on the same trek at the Jim Murray Invite earlier this fall. Ford won handily for what amounted to be his seventh individual title of the campaign.
Evan Jarold was the runner-up in 16:25.2 and Dylan Lauck produced a 16:29 flat effort for third place. Rounding out the top five was Hayden Schmidt, a junior running for the Anna XC Club, and Gavin Lammers, a senior from Bowling Green. Schmidt crossed the line in 16:41.0 and Lammers was close behind in 16:45.2.
On the ladies side, Grace Hartman added another triumph to a 2020 XC resume that includes seven of them, highlighted by her Division 2 state title on November 7th at Fortress Obetz. Hartman's victorious mark on Saturday was 18:08.7.
Trailing Hartman on the leaderboard was Badger State representative Brooke Edwardson, who clocked 18:23.8. Edwardson, a Temple Owls commit, was the state runner-up in Wisconsin's Division 1 this season and she carried that momentum on to the Meet of Champions three weeks ago, where she produced her all-time best mark of 17:48.24 over the 5k distance.
Katie Clute and Lillie Katsaras pocketed top 5 finishes in their season finales with 18:29.1 and 19:17.3 showings. Between the two Olmsted Falls Bulldogs in the standings was Hannah Moulton, a University of Dayton commit, who finished 4th overall with a time of 19:07.7.
The Rundown ~ Overall Top 10
|3||Dylan Lauck||11||West Liberty-Salem||16:29.00||0|
|5||Gavin Lammers||12||Bowling Green||16:45.20||0|
|7||Tate Yoder||11||West Liberty-Salem||16:55.30||0|
|9||Charles Balko||12||Pick. Central||17:07.50||1|
|10||Luke Ondracek||11||Walsh Jesuit||17:15.70||0|
|3||Katie Clute||10||Olmsted Falls||18:29.10||0|
|5||Lillie Katsaras||11||Olmsted Falls||19:17.30||0|
|7||Madison Eyman||12||Fairfield Union||19:42.10||0|