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.