Recapping Midwest High School XC Challenge

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. 

Blake Rodgers and Tate Yoder also eclipsed the 17 minute standard with times of 16:49.3 and 16:55.3, respectively. Rodgers, from Belpre, was the meet's top freshman class performer. 

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 


1Takumi Ford12Bellbrook15:55.500
2Evan Jarold11Brunswick16:25.200
3Dylan Lauck11West Liberty-Salem16:29.000
4Hayden Schmidt11Anna16:41.000
5Gavin Lammers12Bowling Green16:45.200
6Blake Rodgers9Belpre16:49.300
7Tate Yoder11West Liberty-Salem16:55.300
8Mason White12Cardington-Lincoln17:03.300
9Charles Balko12Pick. Central17:07.501
10Luke Ondracek11Walsh Jesuit17:15.700


1Grace Hartman11Oakwood18:08.700
2Brooke Edwardson12Kimberly18:23.800
3Katie Clute10Olmsted Falls18:29.100
4Hannah Moulton12Oakwood19:07.700
5Lillie Katsaras11Olmsted Falls19:17.300
6Samantha Erbach9Waynesville19:28.400
7Madison Eyman12Fairfield Union19:42.100
8Sophia Spencer12Cloverleaf19:43.800
9Ella Boate12Minster19:47.700
10Hope Erbach12Waynesville20:29.100

Coverage - 

(Top Interview: Katie Clute and Lillie Katsaras, who approached every race this season with the mentality that it might be their last)