By Rob Kiser
HEBRON — Andy Mayse may not be ready to turn his Piqua cross country uniform in just yet.
But, the Indians senior could hold his head high after placing 62nd at the Division I state meet Saturday at National Trail Raceway in 16:15.1.
“It wasn’t a PR, but it was close,” Mayse said. “Looking back to my freshman year, when I didn’t even expect to make it to regionals, it feels pretty good (to finish at state). It was definitely the biggest race I have run in this year.”
And for the most part, Mayse had few complaints about his race, beginning with his first mile.
“The first mile, I went out pretty fast,” he said. “Because I didn’t want to get to far back. I knew the competition that was over here.”
If he would change anything, it would be the second mile.
“Not that I didn’t run a good second mile,” he said. “It was solid. But, I let myself get a little too far back. I didn’t stay close to the lead pack. I drifted back a little too far. That was my mistake, if anything.”
And he was happy with his finish for the most part.
“Last mile, I was pretty strong,” Mayse said. “I let it slip a little the last 800 meters, but that is OK.”
And he may have one high school cross country race left in him.
“There is another race in Kettering in two weeks,” Mayse said. “I think I will probably give it a go.”
Because he is not ready for his prep career to end just yet.
Spitzer, Pleiman run well
For Versailles junior Joe Spitzer and senior Noah Pleiman, it seemed more like a couple of runners accepting Academy Awards with their post-race speeches.
Which tells you what makes them so special.
Spitzer earned All-Ohio honors in the D-II race, finishing ninth in 15:53.2
“First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Spitzer said. “I wouldn’t be here without him. I want to thank my family and coaches and everyone who has helped me.”
The regional champion had his eye on the top five coming in but wasn’t complaining.
“That’s the first time I have run under 16 minutes,” Spitzer said. “That’s a PR. I was really happy with my race. Next year, I definitely will be shooting for the top five — maybe even be in competition for the title.”
Pleiman has an appreciation for the sport others might not have.
Last year, with serious knee issues, it looked like his running days might be over — Saturday, he not only ran at state, he finished 51st in 16:41.5.
“That just shows you what God can do,” Pleiman said. “I have to thank God — I wouldn’t be here without him. My dad (Versailles coach Mark Pleiman) and all the coaches and runners who have supported me. The community support is just amazing. I can’t say enough about that.”
And there was the experience of running at state in his final cross country race.
“From where I was the last two years, to be running at state,” he said. “I have thank my doctors and my therapist. I went out pretty fast. The second mile was tough. The third mile, I just gave it everything I had — it was my last high school race. I can’t do the math right now, but my previous PR was 16:56. So, that was quite a bit faster today.”
Horne back at state
Miami East sophomore Gavin Horne ran in the D-III state meet for the second straight year.
Horne finished 59th in 16:56.9 to cap another strong season.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.