Ohio Cross Country Returns With OHSAA Early Season Invite

(Image courtesy of MileSplit Ohio reporter David Nguyen)

Results From OHSAA Early Season Invite

OBETZ, OH -- Ohio high school cross country racing returned for 2022 on Saturday at Fortress Obetz with the OHSAA Early Season Invitational

On the docket were scored races for Division I and Division II/III, where athletes who are vying to return to the grounds in early November got an early look at their state meet course, plus contests in the Open Divisions, both 5 kilometer and 2.15 Mile, that offered valuable competition experiences for those looking to move up their programs' depth charts.  

In the day's opener, Mason got the job done by claiming team honors following their 93 point effort. Led by Efa Paschka in the 5th spot overall at 18:53.5 and 9th place finisher Bella Teply, 19:15.8, the Comets scoring group averaged 19:39 with their top 5 all crossing the line within the races overall top 35. Their scoring was rounded out by Grace McKay (18th), Addison Stephens (27th) and Carlie Condit (34th), who clocked 19:45.7, 20:00.9 and 20:15.3, respectively. 

The perennial contenders from Hilliard Davidson put up 99 points to occupy second in the standings. Caitlyn Jones (7th) and Dillon Sweetman (13th) were the frontrunners for the Wildcats, as they posted 19:11.2 and 19:22.3 marks. 

Westlake took 3rd with 126 points and the top two teams from the 2021 state meet, Perrysburg and Loveland, secured 4th and 5th with 183 and 196 point totals. 

Individually, it was a battle up front between familiar, friendly rivals Katie Clute and Sarah Peer with the Northeast duo going 1-2 and both eclipsing 18 minutes. Olmsted Falls' Clute was first through the line in 17:51.9 and Peer, from Westlake, recorded a 17:59.4 mark for second. The pair, who've gone head-to-head many times over the years, will have several more reps together this season that'll include District Lorain and, presumably, Region 1 and the state meet.

Evelyn Prodoehl and Mia Robillard placed 3rd and 4th and joined the aforementioned Paschka as sub-19 minute finishers. Lakota West's Prodoehl clocked 18:21.9 and Centerville's Robillard, the 2020 state champion, went 18:48.1.

Anchored by a pack running clinic, Springboro hoisted team gold in Division I with as balanced of an attack that could be drawn up. The Panthers went 24-25-28-31-33 in the overall standings to put up a winning 141 point score. Miciah Smith and Nolan Freyhof produced matching 16:47.7 marks and Trey Maenle, Ethan Iiams and Cole Zender followed suit with 16:50.8, 16:53.8 and 16:57.1 performances to represent a low team spread of 10 seconds. 

A tight battle ensued for spots 2 through 5 with Loveland (205 points), Solon (214 points), Hilliard Davidson (229 points) and Perrysburg (234 points) setting the tone for their programs with quality '22 campaign openers. 

Connor Ackley made it known early that the men's individual competition in Division I would be a battle for second place. He took the pace out hard off the gun and held a commanding 11-second advantage over the field by the 3200 meter split. From there Ackley, a Hilliard Davidson senior, continued to pour it on, winning the contest by 27-seconds with his 15:29.7 showing. 

It was a podium sweep for Region 3, as fellow Central-based standouts Sam Ricchiuti and Ryan Smith immediately trailed Ackley on the leaderboard. Dublin Jerome's Ricchiuti recorded a 15:56.4 mark for second and Worthington Kilbourne's Smith netted the third spot following his 15:58.7 performance. 

Luka Bork (Lakewood) and Gianni Allwein (Walnut Hills) produced 16:10.3 and 16:13.0 marks for positions 4 and 5, respectively. 

In Division II/III, Jaylee Wingate ran away from the field early and punctuated her run with a 28-second margin of victory by the end. The senior from Norwayne, who held a decisive 15-second cushion at the 3200m mark, posted a time of 18:45.9.

Trailing Wingate was 2021 Early Invite champion Bella Graham (Marlington), who recorded a 19:13.9 mark and Athens' Sophia Szolosi, who went 19:28.1. The deep leaderboard highlighted four more competitors coming in under 20 minutes with Annabel Stanley (19:39.6), Grace Anderson (19:42.7), Maci Tew (19:51.3) and Madeline Palmisciano (19:54.6) occupying positions three through seven. 

Team-wise, Oakwood got out of the gates impressively with all 5 scorers finishing inside the race's overall top 40 and scoring at spots 16-19-25-32-33 for 125 points. Notably, their season opening victory came without one of the state's top individuals Bella Butler in the line-up. Addie Kash was first through the line for the Lumberjacks in 18th place at 21:41.7.

Athens and Grandview Heights shored up the top 3 with 163 and 210 tallies, respectively. 

In the meet's finale, it was all Marlington.

The Dukes, the reigning OHSAA Division II state champions, showcased their considerable firepower up front by placing 1-2-3 overall. Colin Cernansky pocketed the victory with a 15:57.7 mark, Michael Nicholls claimed runner-up honors in 16:27.4 and Nash Minor recorded a time of 16:37.0 for 3rd. 

Cohen Boyce and Logan Citino rounded out the scoring in overall spots 33 and 43 (scoring places 32 and 42) with 17:54.9 and 18:10.3 marks. 

Following the Marlington trio up front was Belpre's Blake Rodgers in 4th at 16:42.8 and Hawken's Nick Garcia-Whitko taking 5th in 16:45.7

Unioto was the second place team with 124 points, as Turner Markko led the Shermans attack placing 10th overall (9th scorer) in 17:00.3. Hawken secured 3rd in the standings with 149 points. They leaned on the solid season debut of Parker Carrus, who took 17th overall (16th scoring position) in 17:19.4 and the aforementioned Garcia-Whitko.

Meet Coverage

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Meet Highlight Video


The Rundown

Team Winners

Girls Division I - Mason, 93 points

Boys Division I - Springboro, 141 points

Girls Division II/III - Oakwood, 125 points

Boys Division II/III - Marlington, 80 points

Girls Open Division I/II - Mason, 65 points

Boys Open Division I/II - Lincolnview, 78 points

Girls Open All Divisions 2.15 Mile - Lancaster, 34 points

Boys Open All Divisions 2.15 Mile - Beavercreek, 41 points 

Individual Winners

Girls Division I - Katie Clute / Olmsted Falls, 17:51.9

Boys Division I - Connor Ackley / Hilliard Davidson, 15:29.7

Girls Division II/III - Jaylee Wingate / Norwayne, 18:45.9

Boys Division II/III - Colin Cernansky / Marlington, 15:57.7

Girls Open Division I/II - Brynleigh Moody / Lincolnview, 20:54.7

Boys Open Division I/II - Donovan Smith / Solon, 18:12.0

Girls Open All Divisions 2.15 Mile - Harper Allen / Lancaster, 14:38.9

Boys Open All Divisions 2.15 Mile - Miles Meisse / Ontario, 12:04.5