FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY: Fayette’s Darrell Randall will make his second consecutive trip to the state cross country finals after qualifying Saturday in Tiffin.
The junior placed tenth at 16:57 to qualify for the run Saturday afternoon in Columbus.
The event will have a Northwest Ohio presence with Delta, Hilltop and Stryker claiming the top three spots in the regional run.
Delta’s Colin Fisher crossed the line first at 16:11. Hilltop’s Cody Livensparger took third (16:26) and Stryker’s Kenny Graber was sixth (16:38).
With Dalton Goeltzenleuchter and Trevor Cox out of the Eagle lineup, Fayette turned in a sub-par team finish with an average time of 19:03.
After Randall, Hunter Colegrove was the next Eagle to finish at 19:01 for 109th place, followed by Tim Stoltzfus (116th, 19:22), Tyler Keefer (123rd, 19:48) and Clay Burkholder (125th, 20:08).
Erica Goeltzenleuchter closed out her cross country career with a 60th-place finish at the regional run.
The senior returned to action late in the season due to an injury and hoped for one last trip to Columbus.
Goeltzenleuchter finished the race at 22:11.
Ottoville’s Shayla Siefker led the field at 19:37. Pettisville’s Tanner Hostetler made the cut with a time of 20:29, the only BBC representative.
MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY: Morenci cross country coach Brad Brown doesn’t care much about how it happened. He’s just glad it did.
Some luck in scheduling coupled with a clause in the qualifying rules means Morenci’s boys cross country team will compete Saturday in the state finals at Michigan International Speedway.
Brown learned in August that Morenci was scheduled to compete in the Div. IV regional race at Lake Erie Metro Park near Rockwood, Mich.
That meant the Bulldogs would travel 74 miles instead of taking a quick trip to Hudson to compete in that regional run.
But once he looked over the competition, he wasn’t so disappointed. He thought his young squad might have a chance at placing near the top.
The season proceeded, but there were weeks when Morenci couldn’t even compete as a team due to injuries. All six runners were back in action Saturday and the Bulldogs placed fourth overall.
“Only the top three teams qualify for the state meet,” Brown said, “but we got in on a technicality.”
Sometime in the last four years, a rules change was made after several schools complained of getting stuck in a tough regional. Despite some really good runners, some teams weren’t making the cut because a fifth runner scored poorly and skewed the team score.
This led to a special clause: If a team placed fourth in its region and four of the runners placed in the top 20, then that team would also go to the state meet, provided there were at least eight teams scoring.
Morenci placed fourth and four runners finished in the top 20. Then, Coach Brown said, it was a matter of waiting to see if eight of the schools represented qualified with full teams.
There were nine schools with at least five runners so Morenci was in.
“I wasn’t in favor of this rule, but it worked to our benefit,” Brown said. “And the luck of the draw worked to our benefit, too.”
Had Morenci competed at Hudson—where number one Concord ran—they never would have qualified.
Two runners, freshmen Luke and Jake Spaulding, qualified on their own by finishing in the top 15. Junior Micah Gillen and sophomore Logan Drummond just missed.
Luke Spaulding placed fifth overall with a time of 18:38. Jake came in seventh at 18:52. Gillen took 17th at 19:23 and Drummond was 18th at 19:27.
Freshman Billy White placed 46th at 22:13 and Mitch Gallup was 54th at 23:19.
“Had Billy and Mitch been healthy all season, I think we could have been in the top three,” Brown said.
Ann Arbor Greenhills won the race with 29 points, including the top individual time of 16:59. Sand Creek took second with 66 points, followed by Whiteford with 71 and Morenci with 83.
With no seniors on the team, it will be good to give the squad experience at the state run, Brown said.
“We have realistic expectations,” he said. “We’re looking for our best times of the season. And we get to have one more race.”
The Div. IV boys run is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday at the speedway.
SAND CREEK—The Bulldogs placed seventh Oct. 26 at the Sand Creek Invitational. Morenci had only four runners competing, but modified scoring put them ahead of five other schools.
Hanover-Horton’s Taylor Heath won the race at 16:22. For the Bulldogs, Jake Spaulding placed 16th at 18:40, followed by Luke Spaulding (18th, 18:42), Gillen (20th, 18:50) and Drummond (29th, 19:21).
MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci wrapped up the TCC volleyball schedule with a double-header victory at home Thursday against Summerfield.
The Bulldogs league record increased to 5-9 with the two wins.
Morenci claimed the opener in four games—22-25, 25-18, 25-21 and 25-20—then needed all five games to take the second match.
The first game was a lopsided 25-13 win, but the visitors came back to take the next two, 25-20 and 25-20. The Bulldogs responded for another easy win, 25-11, before eking out the deciding game 15-11.
“One of the big factors in the win last night was that we served 42 aces in the nine games,” coach Dennis Owens said. “I was very proud of how we fought back in both matches.”
After trailing in the first match, Morenci took three games in a row to win. In the second match, they trailed by two games before roaring back.
Tess Ramsey led the serving numbers with a 40/41 showing, along with eight aces and 30 service points. Barbara Hollstein continued her hot serving streak with a 38/39 mark, with eight aces and 22 points.
Meghan Smith finished 30/33 with nine aces and 19 points, Chanler McCaskey went 25/28 with six aces and 14 points and Mariah Bovee tallied nine aces and 25 points.
Ramsey gave 36 assists and Mercedez McCaskey added 13.
Chanler McCaskey came up with 36 digs, Phoenix Duncan with 27, Bovee with 23 digs and Naomi Hoffman with 22.
Duncan and Tia Tompkins each notched 18 kills. Duncan also made six blocks and Tompkins made four. Chanler McCaskey made 15 kills and one block, Smith had 11 kills and two blocks.
HUDSON—Coach Owens knew the Bulldogs faced tough competition in their pool Saturday at the Hudson Invitational, and they managed to pick up one match plus one game.
Against Addison, Morenci dropped the opener 12-25, came back to win 25-20 and lost again 16-25. Tecumseh won three straight, 25-13, 25-14 and 25-18.
In the Bronze bracket, the Bulldogs defeated Vandercook Lake 25-12 and 28-26, then lost to East Jackson 21-25 and 23-25.
Ramsey was among the top servers again (29/31, 12 points), along with Smith (33/36, five aces and 15 points), Hollstein (22/23, one ace and 13 points) and Carolyn Blaker (16/17, one ace).
Ramsey gave 32 assists and Mercedez McCaskey gave 25.
Duncan scored 18 kills and made five blocks. Chanler McCaskey finished with 16 kills and Tompkins with 14 kills and five blocks.
Bovee made 43 digs, Chanler McCaskey 41 and Hoffman 27.
TOURNAMENT—Morenci takes on TCC foe Madison at 5:30 p.m. today (Wednesday). Madison won the opener Monday against Pittsford, 25-18, 25-20, 25-14. In the 7 p.m. match tonight, Addison faces the Sand Creek, the winner against Hudson on Monday.
The district finals are scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday. Sand Creek is the host site.