By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
MARION - Much to no one’s surprise, Shelby trampled the competition at Saturday’s Mid Ohio Athletic Conference boys cross country meet.
The state’s top-rated boys team in Division II saw all 10 of their runners in the varsity race earn all-conference designation.
The Whippets filled six of the first seven spots in the race and scored 18 points. The distant runner-up was Buckeye Valley with 91 while Ontario was third with 97.
It was all part of a successful day for all the Shelby runners - both high school and middle school.
Junior Caleb Brown and senior Makenna Heimlich were the first place finishers in the varsity races to lead the Whippets. Heimlich’s time of 18:58 was a school record.
The middle school boys and girls teams, like their varsity boys counterparts, were also league champions. The middle school successes will appear in Tuesday’s paper.
First-year varsity girls cross country coach Annie Wise summed up it up best when she said “an amazing day for everyone - boys, girls and middle school. It’s so awesome to see our cross country program have so much success. I couldn’t be happier to be a Whippet!”
SHS boys coach Chris Zuercher said running a week ago at the Harding Invitational proved beneficial for his club.
“We are really glad we raced this course last week because we had a better idea of how to race the course. We went right after it and that is something we haven’t done in a while. We were able to go out strong and hold it,” said Zuercher.
Shelby’s strength was evident with six first-team runners. Brown crossed the line in 15:32 and Sam Logan was second with 15:41. In spots four through seven were Blake Lucius (16:36), Sam Swanger (16:57), Corbin Osborne (17:09) and Caden Payne (17:21).
“Caleb and Sam L. looked like the best 1-2 punch in Division II. They got to show what they can do,” said Zuercher.
Second-team honors for the red and gray went to Jaden Sickmiller (11th, 17:47) and Riley Fackler (12th, 17:55). Taking honorable mention for the Whippets were Josh Mohr (17th, 18:06) and Jesse Lauderbaugh (20th, 18:20).
“I am really proud of the guys. We wanted all-league honors for the top 10 in the varsity race,” noted Zuercher. “Jesse Lauderbaugh, a senior in his last race, went out and did everything he could to be in the top 21.”
Heimlich’s heroics shattered a mark that had stood since 1982 by Catharina Ronnblad. She helped the Whippets to a third-place finish of 65 points to trail Ontario (27) and Buckeye Valley (43).
“Makenna ran so well. She was a little bit faster than what we had wanted through her first mile, but she made the adjustments and was right where we wanted her to be at the finish,” said Wise.
Three of Heimlich’s teammates also reaped all-conference recognition. Kearsten Morrison (11th, 20:36) and Maddie Heimlich (13th, 20:42) were second-team runners while Lizzy Liles (21st, 21:15) was honorable mention.
“Kearsten and Maddie had a lights out race as well. Kearsten has really made a name for herself and is an integral part of our squad,” noted Wise. “Our whole team, runners 1 through 9, almost all had season-best performances.”
Next up for the SHS cross country teams is the Division II District meet Saturday at Amann’s Reservoir near Galion. The boys run at 1:40 p.m. and the girls compete at 2:20 p.m.
MID OHIO ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Cross Country Championships
At Marion Harding
Team scoring - 1. Shelby 18; 2. Buckeye Valley 91; 3. Ontario 97; 4. Galion 101; 5. Marion Pleasant 146; 6. Marion Harding 149; 7. River Valley 155; 8. Clear Fork 199.
1. Caleb Brown, Shelby 15:32
2. Sam Logan, Shelby 15:41
3. Braxton Tate, Galion 15:50
4. Blake Lucius, Shelby 16:36
5. Sam Swanger, Shelby 16:57
6. Corbin Osborne, Shelby 17:09
7. Caden Payne, Shelby 17:21
8. Connor Watts, Ontario 17:25
9. Dylan Herbert, Buck. Valley 17:41
10. Davis Gross, Pleasant 17:46
11. Jaden Sickmiller, Shelby 17:47
12. Riley Fackler, Shelby 17:55
13. William Pennington, Riv.Valley 18:00
14. Brenden Ganshorn, Galion 18:00
15. Nathen Wright, Clear Fork 18:01
16. Josh Whaley, Pleasant 18:05
17. Josh Mohr, Shelby 18:06
18. Noah Claypool, Harding 18:13
19. Ben Johns, Buck. Valley 18:13
20. Jesse Lauderbaugh, Shelby 18:20
21. Ethan Glenwright, Ontario 18:21
Team scoring - 1. Ontario 27; 2. Buckeye Valley 43; 3. Shelby 65; 4. Galion 95; 5. Marion Harding 152; 6. Clear Fork 158.
1. Makenna Heimlich, Shelby 18:58
2. Ellie Maurer, Ontario 19:19
3. Anna Gregg, Ontario 19:39
4. Grace Maurer, Ontario 19:44
5. Ariah Reuer, Ontario 19:45
6. Bailey Kreft, Buck. Valley 19:50
7. Emma Hawk, Riv. Valley 19:59
8. Madelyn Zindars, Buck. Valley 20:09
9. Emma Lichtenberger, Pleasant 20:12
10. Chayse Arnhold, Buck. Valley 20:33
11. Kearsten Morrison, Shelby 20:36
12. Jia Radloff, Buckeye Valley 20:37
13. Maddie Heimlich, Shelby 20:42
14. Chloe Dawson, Buck. Valley 20:47
15. Catherine Starrs, River Valley 20:52
16. Paige Danuloff, Ontario 20:54
17. Gabi Kowlczyk, Pleasant 21:08
18. Ashley Beatty, Buck. Valley 21:12
19. Zaynah Tate, Galion, 21:12
20. Lane Graham, Buck. Valley 21:14
21. Lizzy Liles, Shelby 21:15
Other Shelby runners - 32. Alex Cundiff 22:31; 38. Ava Long 23:50; 39. Olivia Osborne 24:02; 44. Kelsey Deane 25:27; 49. Kayla Evans 26:54
Tall Grass Open
Shelby runners - Nathan Ganzhorn 18:48; Robbie Davidson 19:12; Kael Moore 19:18; Luis Lopez 19:35; Tyson Hicks 20:08; Ryan Dick 20:11; Mason Hendrickson 20:20; Mateo Sanjurjo 20:42; Caleb Vogt 20:50; Brenton Graska 20:58; Logen Cline 21:08; Landon Bricker 21:59; Tyler Lykins 22:02.