FAYETTE CROSS: Fayette sophomore Skylar Lantz took a step forward this season in qualifying for the regional cross country tournament, but he’ll have to wait another year to move up one more step to the state competition.
Lantz turned in a time of 17:07 at the Ohio Div. III regional Saturday in Tiffin, but missed a trip to the state meet by 14 seconds.
Twenty runners crossed the finish line under 17 minutes, led by Columbus Grove senior John Graham who won the race with a 16:18. The last of the 16 state qualifiers finished at 16:53.
Lantz clipped more than a minute off his post-season best from a year ago and finished 2012 as the top runner among Buckeye Border Conference qualifiers.
MORENCI CROSS: Morenci will send its girls cross country team to the Michigan state finals for the first time since 2003, and they won't be making the trip to Michigan International Speedway alone. Three members of the Bulldog boys team qualified as individuals.
Seven Morenci runners posted career-best times Saturday at the Div. IV regional run at Hudson, but not all of the Bulldogs were at their best. Coach Brad Brown was growing doubtful about the girls' chances to advance as he watched the finishers, despite the third and fourth place finishes by juniors Tatyana Pless and Mariah Gillen.
In the end, the Bulldogs placed third to make the cut, topping fourth-place Addison 86-114. League foes Sand Creek and Britton-Deerfield were just behind with 118 and 121 points. Lutheran Westland won the meet with 55 points, just ahead of Pittsford with 60.
Brown said he was concerned when a couple runners didn’t match their previous best, but that worry faded when he looked at the scoring.
“I made the mistake of underestimating how good they still are even when they don't run their best,” he said.
Pless and Gillen both trailed Sand Creek's Natalie Perry after the first mile, but overtook her in the second section.
Pittsford sophomore Ruth Letherer won the race at 19:53, four seconds ahead of a Lutheran Westland runner. Pless crossed the line at 20:28 with Gillen closely behind at 20:35—her best time yet.
Morenci sophomore Madi Gleckler ran a 22:19 for 18th place, while sophomore Samantha Mikuski and senior Taylor Baugh battled it out for the next spots. Mikuski finished in 36th place at 23:53 with Taylor coming in 39th at 20:57—a minute better than a year ago at Hudson and a personal record.
Exchange student Maëlle Delhaise placed 50th at 24:48 and freshman Andy Mikuski ran a 26:21 for 67th place. Both were career best runs.
Three Morenci boys finished in the top 14 to qualify for the state meet, the most Bulldog qualifiers since the boys team advanced in 2009.
Senior Luke Spaulding placed ninth at 18:23 to lead Morenci, with junior Reagan Stowell posting a career best run at 18:26 to place 11th. Jake Spaulding, also a senior, took 14th at 18:35. Stowell cut more than a minute off his regional time a year ago at Hudson.
Freshman Adam Roseman ran his season best at 20:01 and senior Brandt Kelley also ran his best race at 21:36 for 62nd place.
Waldron junior Shane Baldwin won the race at 17:20 and Plymouth Christian took the team title with 54 points. Lutheran Westland was second with 75, followed by Sand Creek with 95. The Bulldogs placed sixth.
MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s varsity volleyball team finished up the league season at Britton-Deerfield Oct. 23 in five sets. The teams went back and forth in wins until the Bulldogs finished it off with a 15-5 decision.
The victory left Morenci in third place with a 10-4 TCC record.
The Bulldogs took the opener 25-19, but the Patriots came back to win 25-23 as Morenci missed several serves. Morenci took a lop-sided 25-12 win, but fell behind 1-7 in the fourth game and never recovered, losing 23-25 game.
“In the fifth game the score was tied at three when Brooke [Bovee] began serving, when she finished we were up 14-4,” coach Dennis Owens said. “There were a lot of different girls who made good plays.”
The Bulldogs were without Taylor Schisler who was still nursing a sore back.
The Patriots gave a stronger showing than earlier in the season, Owens said, but he thinks the Bulldogs should have won in fewer than five.
“The really good news is we didn't get shook up by going to a fifth game and came out and took care of business,” he said.
In many seasons, he added, the Bulldogs would have folded in that final game.
Statistics: Bovee, 30 kills, 2 blocks, 13 digs, 20/22 serving, with 5 aces and 15 points. Hannah Jeffers, 11 kills, 1 block, 11 digs, 23-26 serving, 2 aces and 17 points. Breanna Gilson, 8 kills, 22 assists, 11/13 serving with 1 ace. Emma Binegar, 23 assists, 11/13 serving with 1 ace.
Erin Vanderpool, 13 digs, 16/16 serving with 10 points. Jessica Storrs, 19/20 serving, 2 aces and 11 points. Ashley VanBrandt, 4 kills, 1 block. Hilary Falor, 1 kill. Allison Piercy, 1 block
HUDSON—Morenci won the Silver Bracket Saturday at the Hudson Invitational, finishing the tournament with a 3-1 record.
In pool play the Bulldogs defeated East Jackson 25-23, 25-13, then lost to county champion Blissfield in three games, 25-19, 14-25 and 4-15—delivering the Royals’ only loss of the tournament.
In bracket play, Hudson was defeated 25-20, 25-11 and Whitmore Lake fell 25-17, 19-25 and 15-9.
Bovee, 56 kills, 41 digs, 29/31 serving, 5 aces and 17 service points. Jeffers, 16 kills, 3 blocks, 33 digs, 49/55 serving, 8 aces and 41 service points. Gilson, 10 kills, 2 blocks, 32 assists, 46/48 serving, 7 aces and 31 service points. Binegar, 40 assists, 17/18 serving, 1 ace, 8 service points.
Vanderpool, 21 digs, 17/19 serving, 1 ace and 11 service points. Storrs, 25/25 serving, 2 aces, 11 service points. Falor, 5 blocks, 2 kills. VanBrandt, 4 blocks, 1 kill. Schisler, 3 blocks, 3 kills. Piercy, 1 block, 1 kill.
Morenci claimed the opening match of the Class D district tournament by stopping Waldron in three games.
Play continues at 5 p.m. today (Wednesday) when the Bulldogs take on Lenawee Christian School, ranked no. 8 in Class D. Pittsford and Camden-Frontier play the second match of the night and the finals are set for 7 p.m. Friday. Morenci is the host site for the tournament.
The win against Waldron raised the Bulldogs’ season record to 21-14-2—the second consecutive season with at least 20 wins and the third consecutive winning season.
Morenci downed the Spartans 25-10, 25-16 and 25-21.
The Bulldogs moved forward from a close 12-9 score in the opening game as Hannah Jeffers served 10 straight.
Erin Vanderpool gave Morenci a boost in the second set with five straight points, taking the Bulldogs out of a 13-14 deficit.
“In the third set, Jessica Storrs got us going serving seven straight points to give us a 10-3 lead that we never gave up,” coach Dennis Owens said, “even though Waldron closed the gap to make it the closest score of the night.”
Statistics: Brooke Bovee, 21 kills, 3 blocks, 5 digs, 10/10 serving, 2 aces, 6 service points. Jeffers, 9 kills, 9 digs, 22/25 serving, 2 aces, 19 service points. Breanna Gilson, 5 kills, 2 blocks, 5 digs, 13 assists, 11/11 serving, 1 ace, 7 service points.
Emma Binegar, 14 assists, 7/9 serving, 1 ace, 4 service points. Vanderpool, 11/11 service reception, 6 digs, 7/9 serving, 1 ace, 5 service points. Storrs, 11/11 serving, 3 aces, 7 service points. Taylor Schisler, 3 kills, 1 block. Chloe Molitierno,4/4 service reception, 2 digs.