KIRKERSVILLE — The postponement of the state high school cross country meet from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10 because of a flooded course at National Trail Raceway had different effects on teams and individuals alike.
Granville’s girls apparently were beneficiaries of the week off and the muddy course conditions, taking third in the Division I team race with 142 points. Beavercreek (118) won and four-time defending champion Centerville (141) edged Granville for the runner-up trophy.
“I guess you could say we’re mudders,” Granville coach Bart Smith said. “We really felt good about the conditions of the course. We run a lot of places that resemble what it was out there today, which was sloppy, especially after having five races go off before us. Plus, the week off allowed us an extra week of training to fine-tune things.”
Led by Reilly Zink (20th in 18 minutes, 57.9 seconds), Granville had only a 54-second gap between its first and fifth scorers.
“We came in hoping to get in the top five, and we did exactly what we needed to do,” Smith said. Granville took eighth in 2017.
Zink said the Blue Aces didn’t point toward a specific goal.
“It’s not about the prize but the process, and we pointed to being our best this week and we responded,” she said.
Considered a top contender, Hilliard Davidson finished seventh with 229 points.
For the second straight year, Gracie Sprankle of Olentangy Liberty led area individuals, placing sixth in 18:17.8. The Indiana commit was fourth in 2017 and 14th in 2016.
“I came in hoping for top three, but the front pack went out really fast and it was hard to make up ground with the footing being as bad as it was,” Sprankle said. “It was really fun getting to experience this with my team, though.”
Eight area runners cracked the top 30 for all-state honors, including Lindsay Stull of Davidson (ninth, 18:39.7), Heidi Heuerman of Upper Arlington (14th, 18:51.2) and Daniella Santos of Hilliard Darby (18th, 18:56.8).
Lexington cruised to its third Division II title in four years with 72 points. Tenth-place Fairfield Union (262) led the area contingent.
Maddie Davis of Jonathan Alder was the top area individual, placing 11th (19:19.6).
“I just wanted to get on the podium (a top-20 finish), and I just started passing people on the second mile and gave everything I had,” she said.
In Division III, Minster rolled to its third consecutive and record 12th title with 46 points. Centerburg (233), Mount Gilead (233) and Fredericktown (257) took eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
Baylee Hack of Mount Gilead followed up a third-place finish in 2017 with a fifth-place (19:17.6) to lead Central District qualifiers. She was side-by-side with teammate Allison Johnson in third place until the final 1,000 meters, but Johnson fell off and wound up 13th (19:47.1). It was the only time Hack had beaten Johnson all season.
“Allison’s my best friend and we train together every day,” Hack said. “We had a dream of winning this together. She starting fading and I asked her if she was all right and she was unresponsive. We always talk during races. I couldn’t afford to drop any more places so I went without her.”
The individual champions were Taylor Ewart of Beavercreek (17:38.7) in Division I, Ella Gilson of Gates Mills Hawken (18:37.4) in Division II and Miranda Stanhope of Kinsman Badger (18:51.6) in Division III.