OHRunners Boys Cross Country All-Decade Team

The years of 2000 – 2009 brought us a talented group of runners from Ohio including several repeat champions.  In addition, nearly all 7 of the runners mentioned were 4 time state qualifiers.  The runners were selected primarily from their performance from in state competition, most notably the state meet.  However, with the advent of the Nike Cross Country (Team) Nationals and the popularity of the Footlocker Cross Country Championship, the runners’ performances in those meets were also taken into account.  Below is a list of 7 of the best boys cross country runners for this decade. (Listed in no particular order)



Allen Bader (pictured with coach Frank Russo)


Allen was a 4-time state qualifier and two-time state division 1 champion.  He started the decade out by winning in 2000 with a time of 15:21.  In that same year, Bader finished 9th at the Footlocker Midwest Regional.  However, in 2000, only the top 8 runners qualified for nationals.  He then went on to repeat as champion in 2001 by narrowly defeating Wesley Smith with a time of 15:07.  His time of 15:07 was the fastest time recorded at the state meet for this decade. Finally in 2001, Allen went on to finish 3rd at Footlocker Midwest Regional and 15th at the Footlocker Nationals.




Wesley Smith


Wesley was also a 4-time state qualifier.  Although he was only state champion once, Wesley was twice the runner up to Allen Bader.  In 2000, Wesley was 2nd with a time of 15:33.  The following year in 2001 Welsey again finished second with a time of 15:07.20.  Finally in his senior season, Wesley won the state meet with a time of 15:15.  Smith continued his success in 2002 after the state meet.  He placed 3rd at Footlocker Midwest Regional, and Wesley went on to finish runner-up at Footlocker Nationals with a time of 15:01.






Jeff See


Jeff was one of the most successful runners in Ohio high school cross country during the decade by being a 4 time state qualifier and finishing no worse than 12th.  In his freshman season, Jeff finished in 12th place with a time of 15:46.  The following year in 2002, Jeff again finished 12th with a time of 15:58.  Jeff went on to win in both 2003 and 2004 with times of 15:40 and 15:25, respectfully.  At the Footlocker Midwest Regional in 2004, See finished first with a time of 15:22.  Jeff went on to finish 22nd at Footlocker Nationals in San Diego.






Matt Buzek


Matt was arguably the top division 2 runner during the span of 2000-2009.  Matt was a 4-time qualifier who placed no worse than 10th during his 4 years.  His freshman year, Matt finished 10th, with a time of 16:00.  He followed this up with a 4th place finish his sophomore year in 15:52.  In 2002 during his junior year, Matt was Division 2 state champion with a time of 15:54 and winning by 18 seconds.  Matt repeated as champion his senior year with a time of 16:07 but winning by an incredible 20 seconds.  Matt ran twice at Footlocker Midwest Regional with mixed results.  In 2002, Buzek placed 24th.  He followed it up with a 12th place finish in 2003 nearly qualifying for Nationals.




Aaron Melhorn


Aaron also was a highly successful division 2 runner.  Like the others, Aaron was a 4 – time state qualifier.  In 2004 during his sophomore season, Aaron placed 7th with a time of 16:18.  In his junior and senior seasons, Aaron was Division 2 state champion.  In 2005, Aaron won with a time of 15:41.  The following year he won with a time of 15:22 winning by 24 seconds!  Aaron also ran at the Footlocker Midwest Regional in 2005 and 2006.  Melhorn finished in 30th in 2005 and 11th in 2006 just missing qualifying for nationals.




Donny Roys


Donny was also a 4 – time state qualifier and placed no worse than 15th.  In his freshman campaign (2005), Donny finished in 15th place with a time of 16:04.  The following year, Donny placed 8th with a time of 15:46.  Then in his junior season, Donny capped the year off with a 1st place finish and a time of 15:21.  Finally in his senior season, Donny finished a respectful 6th place with a time of 15:47.  Roys opted for the Nike Cross Country Championship in 2008.  He qualified out of the Midwest Regional in 5th and finished 20th at Nike Nationals in a time of 15:43.1. 






Zach Wills


Zach is the only runner of the bunch that has not qualified for 4 state meets, but that’s because he still has one season to go.  At this point, Zach is the most successful runner of the seven runners mentioned.  During his freshman year, Zach finished 4th place with a time of 15:32.  His sophomore year, Zach was state champion with a great time of 15:15.  This past year Zach repeated as champion with a time of 15:45.  If Zach can again repeat as champion in 2010, he will be the 1st division one runner to be a 3-time state champion and the first runner to 3-peat since Brian Hesson in 1990 – 1992.  This past year Wills won the Nike Midwest Regional by dominating from the gun.  Wills then went on to finish 5th at Nike Nationals in a time of 15:18.5.



Other athletes in Cosideration:

Emil Heineking

Chad Balyo

Joe Miller

Braden Martinez

Sam Borchers

Andy Arnio

Michael Brajdic

Levi Fox