FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY:
When put in the proper perspective, Fayette junior Darrell Randall realized his performance Saturday at the state cross country finals was admirable.
“Initially he was disappointed,” said coach Bryan Stambaugh, “then he realized how much better he ran than last year.”
A 50th-place finish in that field of runners was still pretty good after all.
Randall didn’t run his fastest time of the season, but his 17:16 wasn’t too far off course for what Stambaugh thought might happen at Columbus.
“His splits were pretty consistent,” the coach said. “He didn’t drop back much. His second mile was about 10 seconds off where we wanted.”
Runners faced very windy conditions in the wide open course at Scioto Downs.
Ryan Polman of Independence won the race at 16:01, eight seconds ahead of the next competitor.
The top 37 runners managed to break the 17 minute barrier, including Hilltop senior Cody Livensparger who placed 20th and Hilltop junior Travis Burwell who came in 34th.
Randall finished ahead of another BBC foe, Kenny Graber of Stryker.
Coach Stambaugh hopes that having two BBC teams compete at Columbus will give his own squad the desire to be there next year.
“I hope they can make the step up and want to be part of that,” he said.
Next year’s team will have plenty of seniors who will face their final opportunity to qualify.
Randall has it all figured out, Stambaugh said. If he improved 40-some places from last season this one, a repeat of that improvement will have him on the podium a year from now to collect his medallion.
MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY:
Let’s do it again next year, and the next.
Morenci’s cross country team—four freshmen, a sophomore and a junior—barely qualified for a place at the state meet, but they made the cut and they managed to defeat two teams along the way.
“I really think we took advantage of the experience,” coach Brad Brown said. “Obviously we’re young and look forward to doing it again next year.”
If the Bulldogs put in the effort, he said, they’ll have a solid core of runners for the next two seasons.
Brown figures he’d be hard-pressed to find many runners who turned in their season-best times at the windy course Saturday. The first and final half miles both headed directly into a stiff breeze.
Luke Spaulding wasn’t far off his best for his 85th place finish at 18:37 and Logan Drummond was the closest to a personal record of any Bulldog with his 111th place at 19:10.
Jake Spaulding took 120th at 19:20 and Micah Gillen was close behind at 19:22 for 122nd.
“That’s a good pack of runners,” Brown said, “and the goal next year will be to move that pack up.”
Billy White finished 172nd at 22:12 and Mitch Gallup came across at 22:58 for 178th.
The Spaulding twins qualified on their own at the regional run, but they were pleased to have the remainder of the team run with them, Brown said. That made it seem a little more like a normal meet despite the large field of runners.
“I think they did as good a job as possible at staying relaxed,” Brown said.
The Bulldogs defeated Whiteford for the first time all season, so despite none of the runners coming through with their best times, they still gave a solid performance.
Concord’s Kyle Stacks won the race at 15:54 and the first 21 runners finished below the 17 minute mark.
Hudson’s Steve Tennis placed seventh at 16:47. In Div. III, Whitmore Lake’s Zach Carpenter took fifth at 16:13 and Clinton’s Kenny Cooper finished 22nd at 16:44.
A highlight of the day came in the girl’s Div. I race when a Rochester runner finished at 16:54. Her closest competitor came across at 18:10.
Morenci’s varsity spikers came through with some excellent plays last week in the district semifinals, but their opponent produced even more.
Madison defeated the Bulldogs in three games Wednesday, then went on to win the district crown Friday.
The Trojans took the opener 25-18, then finished Morenci off with two more solid wins, 25-11 and 25-13.
“Though we had many good plays, we just couldn't seem to put enough of them together to get a run going,” coach Dennis Owens said. “Give Madison credit. They adjusted to our plan and played well. We believed we could block some of their attacks and make them change their hits.”
That plan worked for a while, but the Trojans adjusted well.
Morenci kept it close in the opening game for a while. A spike by Phoenix Duncan followed by a block from Duncan and Tess Ramsey brought Morenci to within two points.
A well-placed attack by Mariah Bovee followed by another Duncan block tied the contest at 6-6.
Madison then took the lead and the Bulldogs came back with blocks from Duncan, Meghan Smith and Tia Tompkins.
In the second game, Madison jumped to a 12-4 lead before Morenci came back to pull within six, but then it slipped away again.
In the final contest, a block by Duncan made it 5-7 before Madison ran away with it.
Serving leaders were Chanler McCaskey, 11/11 with 7 points; Ramsey, 8/9 with five points; Bovee, 6/6; and Duncan 4/4. Barbara Hollstein scored the only ace of the night.
Duncan led at the net with five kills and four blocks. Tia Tompkins scored four kills and one block, Bovee had three kills and Smith finished with four blocks.
Bovee recorded 17 digs and was 20/21 in serve reception. McCaskey was 14/14 on serve reception. Naomi Hoffman and Duncan were both 8/8 on serve reception and Matea Garcia was 9/10.
Ramsey finished with five assists and Mercedez McCaskey had four.
It was the final match for Chanler McCaskey, Bovee and Kelsi Stover. McCaskey and Bovee played all four years of high school and the last three on varsity. Stover played three years two on varsity.
“They will be missed for the their talent and for their efforts,” Coach Owens said.“I have enjoyed coaching each of them.”