Start: State Cross Country Preview
cross country meet moves to National Trail Raceway after 26-year stint
at Scioto Downs
Ohio – “Out with the old and in with the new.” That seems to be the
theme for the upcoming 2011 state cross country meet that will be held
this Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. In August, the
Board of Directors unanimously voted to move the state finals to
National Trail after its 26-year stint at Scioto Downs. During that
time, the cross country state finals annually saw crowds in excess of
10,000, making it the largest attended cross country event in the
The 34th annual girls meet starts at 11:00 a.m. with Division
III followed by Division II and Division I. The 83rd annual
boys meet will begin at 1:30 p.m. with Division III to be followed by
Division II and Division I. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased at
National Trail Raceway Saturday. Results are posted at ohsaa.org
following each race.
year, fans are guaranteed to see at least five new victors crowned as
five of the six 2010 individual champions graduated,
two-time defending boys Division I medalist Zach Wills (Mason) and
two-time defending Division II state champion Bay Village Bay’s Michael
Brajdic, who also set the all-time course record at Scioto Downs with a
time of 15:01.9 in 2010.
participants will be running a new course, they can still expect to see
six teams (three boys and three girls) and six individuals (three boys
and three girls) crowned as state champions.
race of the day, girls Division III, features the most familiarity with
the return of two-time defending state champion senior Tammy Berger
(Versailles). Berger is looking to become the third girl to win three
consecutive cross country state champions after finishing sixth her
2010 team champion Minister is also back and looking to defend its
title. The Wildcats have won three consecutive state championships and
also tied the Caldwell boys program for the most state cross country
championships in either gender (9) with its 2010 title.
The girls Division II race
is highlighted by the return of 2010 team champion Akron St. Vincent-St.
Mary, who will be led by senior Tessa Weigand and junior Marissa
Rossetti who both finished in the top 25 last year. Cincinnati Indian
Hill senior Elizabeth Heinbach (fifth) and London sophomore Sarra Taylor
(seventh) are the only returners from last year’s top 10.
With the graduation of
Cincinnati Glen Este’s Michelle Thomas, the 2010 state champion, the
girls Division I race looks to be very competitive with the return of
five 2010 top 10 finishers including Medina senior Anna Boyert (fourth),
Hudson junior Caroline Sauers (sixth), Cincinnati Princeton senior
Claudia Saunders (seventh), Louisville junior Mackenzie Rankin (ninth)
and Dublin Coffman sophomore Rachel Bosworth (tenth). Rocky River
Magnificat, the 2010 team champion, is also back after winning three
consecutive titles. The Blue Streaks are looking to become the fourth
girls program with at least five state titles (1995-08-09-10).
On the boys side,
Independence, the 2010 Division III state champions, is back and is
relying on brothers Ryan and Kyle Polman to lead their team to another
strong finish after finishing last year with fifth and 12th
place finishes, respectively. The Blue Devils are in search of their
third consecutive title. Other strong contenders for an individual
medalist are North Lima South Range senior Ryan Roush, Versailles junior
Samuel Prakel and Burton Berkshire senior Matt Pelletier, who finished
last year’s race with sixth, seventh and eighth place finishes,
The 2010 Division II boys
team champion Peninsula Woodridge will have their hands full trying to
defend their title after the graduation of their top runner, Vibushan
Sivakumaran, but 2010 12th place finisher Drake Sulzer hopes
to lead his team to its sixth consecutive state title. Napoleon senior
Steven Weaver and Chillicothe Unioto senior Adrian Ross are both back
and looking to end their careers after finishing second and third in
last year’s state meet.
Since the 2010 Division I
state champion Louisville failed to qualify this year, there will be at
least one new team champion crowned. 2010 seventh place finisher Khalid
Omar (Reynoldsburg) and ninth place finisher Adam Davidson (Dublin
Coffman) are also back after strong 2010 performances.
Contact: Kristin Daugherty,