OHSAA Ohio State Cross Country Championship
Division 3 Girls
Tammy Berger (pictured at right) of Versailles captured her first individual title after finishing sixth a year ago by finishing the 5k trek in a a time of of 18:49. Seneca East's Brittany Stockmaster finished as the runner up for the second straight year by crossin the line at 18:55. Both Stockmaster and Berger were in the lead pack through the whole race as both crossed the 1 Mile and 2 Mile markers within a second of each other.
In the team copetition, Minster repeated as Division 3 state champs by scoring 98 team points to Spencerville's 123 team points. Minster used a 1-5 spread of just over a minute to propel them to the victory. Minster and Spencerville were in control of this race from the beginning as both teams finished in the same place, with similar points, as they were at when crossing the 1 Mile and 2 Mile marks.
Division 3 Boys
Ryan Polman, a sophomore from Independence, slowly climbed up the ranks throughout the race. At the mile marker, Polman, was ten seconds behind the leader, by the two mile marker, Polman had closed to within a second of the leader, and then in the third mile is where Polman made his move and opened up an gap on the field, beating last year's champion, and this year's runner up Isaiah Bragg (pictured at left) of Emmanuel Christian Academy, by eight seconds. Polman finished in 16:01 to Bragg's 16:09 finish.
With the help of Ryan Polman and his brother, Kyle Polman, who finished fourth overall and second for team scoring purposes, Independence captured the team title with a score of 84 to 109 over St. Thomas Aquinas. Independence had an impressive front four, placing three in the top 10 team finishers and four in the top 20 team finisher. St. Thomas Aquinas has put together an impressive streak at the state meet the last four years, as they have won state championships in '06 and '07, and have finished in the runner up position the last two years ('08 and '09).
Division 2 Girls
After a sixth place finish at the Indiana State Cross Country Meet a year ago, Christian Blair of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy found gold in Ohio this year. Blair took the lead early in the race, having a six second advantage by the mile, and ten second lead by the second mile, to cruise to a first place finish in a time of 18:39. Taylor Hatfield (pictured with the lead chase pack just before the two mile split, wearing blue) of Zane Trace was in the chase pack the whole race and took home the silver medal by crossing the line in 18:49.
In a close race, St. Vincent-St. Mary and St. Clairsville used a strong third mile to climb up the team standings. Both St. Vincent-St. Mary and St. Clairsville were in second and third place, respectively, while going through the mile and two-mile splits, with Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy being in first place by nearly 20 points. But when all was said and done St. Vincent-St. Mary finished first, and took home the big gold trophy by scoring 98 team points to St. Clairsville's 105 team points. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy finished third with 115 team points.
Division 2 Boys
After finishing in eleventh place two years ago as a freshman, and in sixth place a year ago as a sophomore, Michael Brajdic of Bay won his first individual state title in a time of 15:49. Runner up honors when to Circleville's Brad Liston who traversed the course in close contact with Bradjic the whole time and finished in 15:58.
It seemed like they have been there before. Woodridge (with two athletes pictured on the right side of photo, in the lead pack heading out of the stadium the first time) took it out strong, having a having a 53 point lead at the mile mark, and an impressive nine second better two mile average than second place Elyria Catholic. Elyria Catholic closed the gap over the last mile, but it wasn't enough to knock off the three time defending champs from Woodridge. In the end Woodridge finished with a team score of 93, five points better than Elyria Catholic's 98 team points.
Division 1 Girls
Sylvania Northview's Meredith Wagner cruised along with the lead pack in the first mile and then started making her move to the front, opening up a three second lead by the two mile split. After finishing eleventh a year ago, Wagner knew this was her time to make a statement, and she did that by beating a great field by four seconds and finishing in a time of 18:03. Madeline Chambers paced her team, Magnificat, to the team title by finishing runner up with a time of 18:07.
Magnificat put on a show for the ages by dominating the field and posting an all time girls team low, regardless of division, 28 team points. Magnificat put three runners in the top 8 overall (Chambers, second both team and individual, Clare Fischer (pictured above on right), seventh overall and third team wise, and Abby Fischer (pictured above on left), eighth overall and fourth team wise). Their fourth and fifth runners also finished in the top ten team wise to help them post such a low team score. Magnificat also set the record for the biggest margin of victory, 109 points. Runner up Springboro finished with 137 points. Springboro has steadily improved from sixth place two years ago, and third place last year to second place this year. Springboro only loses one senior, is it their year next year?
Division 1 Boys
As if there was any doubt, Zach Wills of Mason took the lead early and repeated as the Ohio Division 1 champion by finishing in a time of 15:45. Wills ran the race he needed to in order to successfully defend his title. Finishing in the runner up spot was Solon's Conner Paez (pictured at left, Paez in blue and white, and Daniel Garleb in all black) who was in the chase pack the entire time, crossing both the mile and two mile splits in third place. Paez finished in 15:49 to bring home the silver medal.
After finishing second at their regional, St. Ignatius rebounded nicely to finish first and claim their third state title (the other two were in the '93 and '94 seasons). St. Ignatius moved from third at the mile mark to first at the two mile mark with a thirty point lead. In the end St. Ignatius beat runner up St. Xavier by 36 points, 82 to 118.