HEBRON, Ohio – Saturday, November 10, 2018 marked the 90th annual boys and 41st annual girls state cross country championship. After the postponement of the state meet by a week due to flooding on the course, a new running course, and an unfavorable chill, there were no records broken this year at National Trail Raceway.
Nothing could slow down the Division III girls from Minster, though as, for the third time in school history, Minster won its third back-to-back state cross country championship. The first being from 1999 to 2001, then again from 2008 to 2010, and now from 2016 to 2018. In 2017, Minster beat the record for most state cross country state championships will 11, and rebroke it this year by holding 12 state cross country championships overall. The Wildcats had five top-20 finishers, with junior Emma Watcke, 2017’s individual champion, placing second. Watcke and Badger’s Miranda Stanhope were neck and neck throughout the race, but it boiled down to the last 100 meters when Stanhope took the lead and earned her first medalist honors.
For the third time in four years, with a runner-up in between, Lexington placed first in the OHSAA Division II girls cross country state championship. Lexington’s Joanna Halfhill, Halle Hamilton and Carina Weaver placed third through fifth, while Hawken’s Ella Gibson won her first championship after placing 15th in 2017 with a time of 18:37.4.
Beavercreek ended Centerville’s three-year reign by becoming the 2018 Division I girls cross country state champion. It is Beavercreek’s second win since 1996 and 20th overall appearance. Taylor Ewert was a tremendous contributor to the beavers win as she earned her first medalist honor after placing third in 2017. It was a close race for runner-up as there was only three-point difference between second and fourth place, but Centerville was able to earn the runner-up finish with 141 points and the help of runner-up Emma Bucher.
Fort Loramie secured its second overall Division III boys state cross country championship. The two top-25 finishers for the Redskins were seniors Joseph Ballas and Jake Rethamn, who placed third with a time of 16:42.8 and fifth with a time of 16:43.6, respectively. First time medalist was Ayersville’s Noah Fisher and repeater top-five finisher was runner-up Demetri Snellenberger, who assisted in bring home the Gold for East Canton last year.
After four years, Peninsula Woodridge took back the title for the Division II boys state cross country championship. The Bulldogs are the only school in OHSAA history to win five straight cross country championships (2006-2010). It marks their 18th state cross country appearance and eighth overall win. Since 2006, they have held the Division II’s low team state champion point total with 43 points (along with Elyria Catholic), and the largest margin of victory in state championships with 109 between first place and runner-up. Earning medalist honors was Lexington’s Kyle Johnson, who placed fourth last year, with a seven second improvement time of 15:52.9. Runner-up goes to Shelby’s Caleb Brown, who previously placed third.
For the second year in a row, Hudson won the Division I boys cross country state championship with a total of 107 points, their third overall title. The Explorers were placed by two top-15 finishes. Senior Adam Beucler finished 13th (16:24.2) and senior Evan Manley placed 14th (16:25.3). Conant Smith of Middletown was first, his third top-five finish. It was a close finish for runner-up Ryan Adkins of Twinsburg and third-place finisher Ryan Adkins of Steele, as there was less than a second difference. For the second year in a row, Hillard Davidson finished with 153 for second place.