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OHSAA State Cross Country Preview
 November 3, 2012

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2012 State Cross Country Preview

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 84th annual boys and 35th annual girls OHSAA state cross country meet returns to National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio this Saturday, November 3, 2012. It marks the second-consecutive year the event is being held at National Trail Raceway, after moving from its long-time former home at Scioto Downs. During its time at Scioto Downs, the cross country state finals annually saw crowds in excess of 10,000, making it one of the largest attended cross country events in the nation. The 2011 version of the tournament was no different as 11,637 people were in attendance. Another large crowd is expected this year and fans will see six teams (three boys and three girls) and six individuals (three boys and three girls) crowned as state champions.

The boys meet starts at 11:00 a.m. with Division III followed by Division II and Division I and the girls 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.

The boys Division III race is highlighted by six-time state champion, McDonald, which is looking to defend its 2011 title. The Blue Devils will be led by senior Patrick Kunkel, a 2011 14th place finisher. They expect to be challenged by the 2009 and 2010 state champion, Independence, and its senior leader, Kyle Pohlman (2011 9th place finisher). Strong individual contenders include Sam Prakle (Sr., Versailles), Cory Glines (Sr., Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas), Clayton Murphy (Sr., New Madison Tri-Village) and Kody Wolfe (Sr., Racine Southern), who finished last year’s race with first, fifth, sixth and 10th place finishes, respectively.

With the graduation of the boys Division II individual state champion, the 2011 runner-up, Abel Flores (Sr., Defiance), is hoping to finish his career with a state title. He will be challenged by Springfield Shawnee senior Michael Tymoski (2011 fifth place), who has led his team back to the state meet after winning the 2011 crown for the first time in school history. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary has also made it back to the state tournament after runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011.

The boys Division I race also features a 2011 runner-up who is hoping to finish his career with a state title in Tipp City Tippecanoe’s Sam Wharton (Sr.). Wharton leads a strong field of individuals including Mark Hadley (Jr., Youngstown Boardman), Andrew Johnston (Jr., Powell Olentangy Liberty) and Jacob Dumford (Sr., Westerville North), all who return to the state tournament after a top-10 finish in 2011. Dublin Coffman, the 2011 team state champion, did not qualify for the tournament, which could leave the door open for Cleveland St. Ignatius, the 2011 runner-up.

On the girls side, the Division III race returns seven of the top-10  finishers from 2011, and is highlighted by the 2011 champion, Brittany Atkinson (So., Liberty Center). Atkinson has helped lead her team back to the state tournament after its 2011 state championship, the first in school history. The Tigers look to be challenged by the 2011 runner-up, Coldwater.

In the girls Division II race, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary is hoping to become the fifth school to win four state titles (2009, 2010, 2011) and will be led by senior Marissa Rossetti (Sr.). Strong individual contenders include the 2011 state champion, Sarra Taylor (Jr., London), and runner-up, Samantha Bockoven (So., Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy).

In the last race of the day, Brunswick will look to defend its title, but Beavercreek, led by Sydney Leiher (Jr., 2011 third place), is hoping to upset the Blue Devils and win its first state crown since 1996. Other top individual qualifiers who have returned to the state meet after strong 2011 performances include Therese Haiss (Sr., Solon), Jacquelyn Crow (Jr., Lebanon) and Rachel Bosworth (Jr. Dublin Coffman), who finished last year’s race with fifth, eighth and ninth place finishes, respectively. 

Contact: Kristin Daugherty, kdaugherty@ohsaa.org

 

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