By Kyle Shaner
HEBRON – Versailles’ Joe Spitzer finished his high school cross country career with a fifth place finish at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state meet on Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
Spitzer finished fifth in the state championship race with a time of 16:01.9. He only trailed Buckeye Valley’s Zach Kreft, Lexington’s Ryan Johnston, Shelby’s Caleb Brown and Lexington’s Kyle Johnston in the Division II boys race.
Despite finishing in the top five, Spitzer said he wasn’t feeling his best on Saturday.
“I just wasn’t feeling good today,” said Spitzer, who has battled through shin splints throughout the season. “Tough conditions and might have gone out a little fast. Still got top five and can’t really complain about that.”
Spitzer was in ninth place at the end of the first mile. He moved up to fourth by the end of the second mile before dropping back to fifth at the end of the race.
“I could tell that through the mile it was kind of going a little fast,” the Versailles senior said. “Just tried to stay with it the second mile, passed a few guys.”
Spitzer’s fifth place finish was four spots better than his performance at the 2016 state cross country meet as a junior when he finished ninth in the state.
“It’s overall been a good career,” Spitzer said. “The second fastest runner in Versailles history … I’m pretty happy with it.”
Spitzer, who finished his cross country career as the second fastest runner in Versailles history behind 2013 graduate Sam Prakel, is ready to turn his attention to a strong finish to his high school career during the track and field season.
“I’ve got some pretty high goals for track season,” he said.
Miami East junior Gavin Horne ran at the state meet for the third straight year, running in the D-II race this year.
Horne finished 75th in 17:05.5.
The Houston boys took 15th in the Division III boys race.
Wildcat runners places and times included Tristin Freistuhler, 69, 17:08.8; Ethan Knouff, 80, 17:16.4; Blake Jacobs, 118, 17:50.3; Dakota Francis, 129, 17:58.8; Jacob Slater, 137, 18:16.3; Parker Cox, 150, 18:27.9; and Patrick Meiring, 157, 18:41.3.
The Versailles girls finished 11th in the D-III race.
Lady Tiger runners places and times included Kenia McEldowney, 63, 20:25.2; Megan Rismiller, 93, 20:51.3; Maria Mangen, 103, 21:00.8; Dana Rose, 125, 21:24.9; Kennedy McEldowney, 133, 21:32.5; Liz Watren, 149, 21:57.0; and Hannah Bey, 150, 21:57.5.
Megan Frazier led the Russia girls to a 13th-place finish in the D-III race.
Frazier was 26th in 19:39.2.
“Megan has been solid all four years,” Russia coach Doug Foster said. “She always runs her best race at state. She ran one heck of a race. She missed All-Ohio by one spot. We wanted to be in the top 10, but I was happy we were able to get back to state.”
Other Russia runners were Becca Seger, 77, 20:35.9; Claire Meyer, 107, 21:05.3; Anna Fiessinger, 161, 22:23.4; Clare Caldwell, 166, 22:41.4; Becky Pinchot, 172, 23:06.5; and Emma DeLaet, 181, 24:22.2.
run in D-III race
Houston junior Hollie Voisard and Covington junior Paige Boehringer also ran in the D-III race.
Voisard was 28th in 19:44.8; and Boehringer was 42nd in 20:03.7.