Sports wrap-up 11.05.08

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY—Fayette’s two state cross country qualifiers didn’t get what they were after Saturday in Columbus, but they both capped strong seasons at an event that only the best runners get to take part in.

“They were both about a minute off from what they wanted to run,” said coach Bryan Stambaugh, “but I’m really proud of them for making it to state.”

Sophomore Darrell Randall was running  at a top-20 pace after the first mile at 5:05.

“That’s a little faster than I wanted,” Stambaugh said, “but he was running with Borton from Pettisville and looking good.”

After the second mile, Randall had slipped way back to 113th and he wasn’t looking good, Stambaugh said. There had been only one race all season in which a breathing problem caused a lot of pain, but the condition returned Saturday.

“The only other time it happened had to be at state,” Stambaugh said.

It was obvious that his sophomore was hurting, but Randall managed to gain back a few places and finish at 97th with a time of 17:31. Just a week earlier, he turned in a career-best 16:41 at the regional qualifier.

Isaiah Bradd of Cincinnati Fairfield win the race at 15:54, one of three runners to finish below 16 minutes.

In the girls run, Fayette junior Erica Goeltzenleuchter looked comfortable during her run, but that wasn’t how she was feeling.

“It wasn’t her day,” Stambaugh said. “She just didn’t feel up to par.”

She was feeling some ankle pain along with a recurring digestive problem.

She had a realistic goal of finishing below 19:50—she had already finished in the low 20s this season—and after her first mile she held onto 57th place. She slipped to 76th after another mile and held fast for a final 77th at 20:58.

One Div. III runner managed to finish below 18 minutes—Barnesville senior Stephanie Morgan who won the race at 17:57.

“Erica worked hard last summer and she had her best season this year,” Stambaugh said.

Since she’s improving as she gets older, she should have another shot at a state run next season as a senior.

Coach Stambaugh praised the good showing of fans who made the long trip to Columbus for the races.

MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY—It’s little comfort to Morenci senior Zach Phillips, but this year’s Div. IV state cross country run was one tough race.

“Nobody can say anything about Div. IV being weak,” said Bulldog coach Brad Brown. “It was one tough day in Div. IV.”

It was a tough day for Phillips, too, as he fell short of his goal and failed to repeat as an All-Stater in cross country.

His time this year of 16:41 was good for 33rd place—12 seconds off pace for a top-25 finish.

Two years ago, Brown noted, 16:41 took 15th in the state run. This year, the top six runners in Div. IV all ran in the 15-minute range, including winner Tec Adams of Harbor Springs who blazed the course in 15:22—the second best time of the day Saturday at Michigan International Speedway among all divisions.

In fact, the top four Div. IV runners posted better times than the best among Div. II runners.

Phillips was on pace after a mile with a time of 5:14 and stayed in contention with a second mile of 5:29.

“He just couldn’t close the last mile,” Brown said. “He didn’t lose on any, but he just held his spot.

“I know he’s disappointed. Zach puts a lot of expectations on himself and he was looking to improve, but he had a great year. In retrospect I think he’ll look back and realize that.”

Waldron’s top runners were Blake Fix, 21st at 16:28, and Allison Grimm, 66th at 21:31 in the girls race.

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL—The Bulldogs put their offense to work Thursday at Deerfield to wrap up the regular Tri-County Conference schedule.

The Minutemen went down in three games, 25-15, 25-21 and 25-14. The win gives the Bulldogs a final 7-9 TCC mark.

“We were pretty good on serve/receive and were able to make 61 attacks in three games,” coach Dennis Owens said.

Chanler McCaskey scored six kills on 20 attacks and Tia Tompkins added four on 12 attacks. Tompkins also finished with three kill blocks.

At the serving line, McCaskey scored four aces on a 16/17 performance. Mariah Bovee scored a pair on a 15/15 night.

Kathleen Barron went 13/13 on serve reception, Bovee finished 7/7 and Kate Joughin was 6/6.

Amy Gillman gave eight assists and Dana Joughin gave seven.

HUDSON—Saturday at the Hudson Invitational, the Bulldogs won their bracket and finished the day at 5-5.

Morenci lost to the eventual champions from Napoleon, 23-25 and 22-25; defeated Hudson 25-22 and 25-13; split with Clinton 25-22 and 15-25; split with Hudson 25-6 and 23-25; and split with Addison 25-24 and 23-25.

Barron was the serving leader for the day, missing only one of 38 attempts and scoring four aces. Kate Joughin also missed only one on 28 attempts. Bovee and Gillman finished with eight aces each.

McCaskey scored 29 kills on 70 attacks. Bovee added 20 kills on 89 attacks and Tompkins scored 10 kills on 58 attacks.

“Kelsi Stover and Tess Ramsey had good days playing at the net and the whole team contributed to a good day,” Coach Owens said.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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