WILMINGTON — On a beautiful Thursday afternoon, the South Central Ohio League held its annual high school cross country races.
This year’s meet was held at Wilmington College.
For the third year in a row, Washington senior Alexis Gray captured the SCOL title. This year’s time: 20:13.8.
Junior Blake Pittser of Miami Trace was the winner on the boys’ side in a time of 17:28.3.
It was another bittersweet league cross country race for the Washington Lady Blue Lions.
For the second year in a row, the Washington girls won the SCOL cross country race.
However, also for the second year in a row, there were not enough complete teams on the girls’ side for the league to honor an official champion.
There are eight schools in the league and there have to be at least five schools with enough runners to post a team score. In cross country, a team needs a minimum of five runners to post a team score.
Only four schools had enough runners to post a girls’ team score.
Washington was first with 35 points, followed by Wilmington with 37, Chillicothe with 58 and East Clinton with 99.
Maddy Garrison placed second for Washington in a time of 20:31.9.
Katie Hughes of Clinton-Massie was third in a time of 20:50.4.
Kirsten List of Washington was fourth in 21:31.9 and Hillsboro’s Reaghan Haines was fifth with a time of 22:13.8.
Those five student-athletes are considered First Team, All-SCOL.
They will be honored at the league’s fall sports banquet on Nov. 12 at the Grace Community Church.
Also for Washington, Alexa Harris was 14th in 24:10.7 and Megan Rohrer was 26th (out of 35 total runners) in 26:36.3.
“The girls ran well today,” Washington head coach Ryan Day said. “This is not an easy course. It’s kind of a slow course. We showed some improvement from when we ran here earlier this season.
“It is frustrating,” Day said, referring to his team winning the event for the second year in a row and still not being official league champs.
“To come here thinking you’re going to compete for a league title and then to not get it, it’s tough,” Day said. “We needed to have five teams with at least five runners. It’s just so frustrating.”
Day spoke about three-time SCOL champion, Alexis Gray.
“She’s probably not quite where she wants to be,” Day said. “She’s played a lot of minutes for the soccer team. I think it’s taken a little bit of a toll on her. But, she’s been our leader all year. It is difficult when there’s no one to run with. She gets out there by herself.
“Kirsten has really come on lately,” Day said. “She’s been running a lot stronger. And, Maddy’s been really consistent all year, too.
“Megan’s been injured,” Day said. “Alexa has been running strong a lot for us, too.”
On the boys’ side, Wilmington won the SCOL title with 49 placement points.
Hillsboro was second with 58 points.
Chillicothe was third with 66 points and Miami Trace placed fourth with 96 points.
Clinton-Massie took fifth place with 111 points; Washington was sixth with 149 points; East Clinton was seventh with 174 points and McClain was eighth with 234 points.
In addition to Pittser, the next seven finishers are all First Team, All-SCOL.
Donovan Lowe of Chillicothe was second in a time of 17:49.9; Simon Heys of Wilmington was third in 17:50.9; Allister Brausch of Wilmington was fourth in 17:55.1; Mackenzie Conlon of Hillsboro was fifth in 18:19.6; Zach Middleton of Hillsboro was sixth in a time of 18:25.0; Ricky Villarreal of Chillicothe was seventh in 18:27.2 and Jacob Whitaker of Clinton-Massie was eighth in a time of 18:30.9.
Those eight student-athletes will be honored at the SCOL’s fall sports banquet.
The top finisher for the Washington Blue Lions was Chris Conger, coming in 17th in 19:31.0.
Also for Miami Trace, Nick Foody was 20th in 19:40.1; Ross Matthews was 22nd in 19:53.2; Jake Atwood placed 25th in 20:06.1; August Langley was 29th in 20:37.3; Wyatt Cory was 30th in 20:37.9; Jonathan Allen was 31st in 20:44.3; Elijah Campbell placed 44th in 21:59.1; Isaac Abare was 49th in 22:27.5; Todd Peterson was 65th in 24:18.6; Coby Seyfang was 80th in 35:28.3.
Also for Washington: Josh Trimmer was 24th in 20:04.6; Connor Lane placed 32nd in 20:48.2; Collin George was 42nd in 21:46.1; Jacob Thomas was 43rd in a time of 21:51.1; Nick Geiler was 48th in 22:21.2; Levi Clay was 58th in 23:36.2; Sam Willis, 67th, 24:33.7
“Blake’s been running strong all season,” Miami Trace head coach Jeff Smallwood said. “It’s usually around the mile-and-a-half, or two-mile mark that he usually tries to attack. That’s what he did today. I got to see him around the 2.5 mile mark and he was ahead by about 60 meters. He was even with Donavon Lowe at the two-mile mark.
“Our goal was a top three finish,” Smallwood said. “It would be a step in the right direction for our program. Most of our runners that finished two through five had personal bests today, so, they are peaking at the right time.”
Next up for cross country will be the District meet set for Saturday, Oct. 24 at the University of Rio Grande.
A complete listing of the results from the SCOL meet can be found online at www.jcmtiming.jimdo.com.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1