By Rob Kiser
For the first time in a number of years, a cross country meet was run at Piqua Country Club.
And Piqua coaches Kyle Bowman and Ryan King said in spite of rainy weather Wednesday, the event was a smashing success.
“The event went really well,” Bowman said. “We had a lot of parents step up to make sure the event ran smooth and we couldn’t have done it without them. We had at eight teams in each of the four races for a total of 467 runners.
“The runners and other coaches loved the course and we have Piqua Country Club to thank for that. They made it all happen and made the venue look beautiful. We received nothing but positive comments on the beauty of the course. I have heard people say in the past that the Piqua Country Club is a really nice place and the course is excellent so it was great to show this off to the public.”
There were also some nostalgia involved.
“We had a group of Piqua Cross Country Alumni show up to watch because they used to race out at the country club,” Bowman said. “Seeing them all stand around you knew they were reminiscing about the days when they used to put on their Piqua uniforms. It was a neat experience to see these guys who still hold most of the records today cheering on the future of the program — priceless.”
The high school races were two miles instead of 3.1 and the junior high races were one mile instead of two.
“Because the Piqua Invitational was on a weekday we decided to mix it up and have the high school run two miles instead of the standard 5K and the junior high ran one mile instead of the standard two miles. It was a great way to mix up the schedule and throw a different challenge at the kids.”
The Piqua boys finished fifth.
Piqua’s top seven included Preston Schaeffer, 18, 11:30.5; Mitch Fletcher, 24, 11:54.4; Dakota Ward, 45, 12:25.2; Gaven Barnes, 54, 12:48.3; Tyler McName, 65, 13:14.9; Roy Moreaux, 73, 13:45.5; and Josh Kimble, 74, 13:46.0.
The Piqua girls finished sixth.
Piqua’s top seven included Maeve Vulcan, 32, 14:35.8; Gracie McGonagle, 43, 15:15.2; Alivia Knorr-Sullivan, 44, 15:16.1; Olivia Ames, 45, 15:22.9; Mia Whitesell, 49, 15:32.9; Alisah Richards, 54, 16:12.4; and Elizabeth Cox, 59, 16:32.9.
“We had four boys (Gaven Barnes, Josh Kimble, Preston Schaeffer, Roy Moreaux) and four girls (Olivia Ames, Grace McGonagle, Alivia Knorr-Sullivan, Maeve Vulcan) run personal records,” Bowman said. “We have the best course around. It was the ideal temperature. Nostalgia was in the air and quite a few of our kids ran faster than they ever have. It was the perfect meet.”
Piqua will be back in action Saturday at the Graham Invitational.
FORT LORAMIE — Joe Spitzer won the Fort Loramie Invitational Tuesday, leading the Tigers to a third-place finish.
Houston boys finished second.
Spitzer was clocked in 16:05.25.
The rest of Versailles’ top seven included Brooks Blakeley, 25, 18:34.95; Stuart Baltes, 26, 18:39.36; Xavier Grillot, 29, 18:59.61; Matt Cromwell, 36, 19:17.31; Ryan Subler, 37, 19:22.49; and Alex Brewer, 40, 19:32.76.
Houston’s top seven included Tristin Freistuhler, 6, 17:08.21; Ethan Knouff, 9, 17:32.83; Parker Cox, 11, 17:46.01; Blake Jacobs, 18, 18:13.17; Dakota Francis, 20, 18:17.59; Jacob Slater, 24, 18:34.66; and Patrick Meiring, 32, 19:02.79.
Versailles girls finished second, while Houston was fourth.
Versailles’ top seven included Megan Rismiller, 4, 20:36.95; Kenia McEldowney, 5, 21:03.02; Maria Mangen, 7, 21:27.23; Kennedy McEldowney, 12, 21:49.38; Liz Watren, 15, 22:07.51; Hannah Bey, 20, 22:48.08; and Emma Peters, 21, 22:49.25.
Houston’s runners included Hollie Voisard, 6, 21:15.80; Morgan Ely, 8, 21:40.25; Danielle Stephenson, 32, 23:46.41; Addie White, 52, 25:09.86; Kierstyn Oberdorff, 98, 28:38.58; and Andrea Mantor, 109, 30:05.21.