WILLIAMSBURG — Claiming the team championship, the Blanchester girls cross country team went 1-2 Saturday in the National Division race at Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference Cross Country Championships at Williamsburg High School.
“The girls have had a great season, placing in seven invitationals and a league title,” said BHS coach Tony Blevins. “We have a good chance to advance out of the district meet.”
The district meet will be held Saturday at Voice of America Park.
Savannah Rhodes clocked 21:03.7 and was the overall race winner, edging teammate and race runnerup Mckenzie Hamm by 17 seconds.
But for the championship squad, it was clearly more than the top two runners. Depth was the major difference.
“We had a solid pack,” Blevins said.
Olivia Gundler came in fifth and Alexis Davis was ninth for BHS. Emma Gundler was 10th and Elecia Patton 11 as the Ladycats dominated the race.
The championship this season was a bit of retribution for last season when Blanchester was moved into the American Division at the last minute. One large school did not have enough runners to field a complete team and so the Ladycats, as the biggest small school, went to the big school division in 2015.
“We were nervous … while we were on the starting line,” Blevins said.
On the boys side, Hunter Browning was fourth in 17:32.83 for the Wildcats who pushed Bethel-Tate for the league title.
“The boys … nearly upset the heavily-favored Bethel-Tate Tigers,” Blevins said. “Bethel usually has three runners ahead of our second man, but the top seven all ran personal best ties to come within four points of Bethel.”
Browning’s time was a Blanchester record for a freshman, Blevins said. Ashton Steward cut nearly 30 seconds off his PR.
“The boys really ran a great race,” said Blevins.
October 15, 2016
Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference
Cross Country Championships
@Williamsburg High School
Varsity girls race
Blanchester 27 Bethel-Tate 62 Georgetown 85 Felicity-Franklin 92 Williamsburg 103
1, Savannah Rhodes 21:03.7; 2, Mckenzie Hamm 21:20.55; 5, Olivia Gundler 21:53.62; 9, Alexis Davis 22:50.71; 10, Emma Gundler 22:53.38; 11, Elecia Patton 23:03.64; 23, Emily Hinkle 26:08.08; 25, McKenzie Miller 27:03.52; 31, Sierra Drake 29:33.35
Varsity boys race
Bethel-Tate 50 Blanchester 54 Felicity-Franklin 79 Georgetown 98 Clermont Northeastern 115 Williamsburg 115
1, Jackson Coates, BT, 16:50.47; 4, Hunter Browning 17:32.83; 7, Tyler Holland 18:02.83; 8, Ricky Davis 18:03.77; 9, Sean Holland 18:06.33; 28, Ashton Steward 19:36.49; 34, Jordan Stroud 19:58.64; 40, Samuel Reinhart 20:35.97; 46, Mathew O’Neil 21:14.93; 52, Nick Phillips 23:00.07; 66, Bill Rannells 51:53.82