Whippets Sweep County Meet

By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor

MADISON TOWNSHIP - A championship effort highlighted the opening of the cross country season for both the boys and girls teams from Shelby at the annual Richland County meet Monday evening.

The Whippet runners dominated the competition at Madison High School and successfully defended their crowns from a year ago.

With 11 runners among the first 19 finishers in the girls race, SHS totaled 21 points to easily outdistance runner-up Ontario with 51. The same two schools went one-two in the boys run with Shelby out pacing the Warriors 33-76.

The individual race winners also were sporting red and gray.

Junior Macy Lynch repeated as the girls champion with a time of 21:40 and 11th grader Danny Friebel nipped Madison John Marhefka at the finish with a 17:59 to claim the boys race.

Whippet coaches Chris Zuercher and Bob DeLauder were pleased with the efforts from the initial outing for 2015.

"Today we had a lot more positives than negatives," noted Zuercher, coach of the boys team. "We averaged 1:28 faster on our returning guys than last year."

"With nice conditions and one week later into the training schedule than usual made for some good times. We had many big time improvements from last year and even a few PR's," said DeLauder, entering his 24th season as the girls coach.

Completing the first five finishers for the Shelby girls were Makenna Heimlich (3rd, 22:09), Jenna Gonzales (4th, 22:11), Dani Hoffman (7th, 22:47) and Kaitlyn Evans (8th, 22:56).

"Our kids ran a variety of smart races with differing strategies and goals and it paid off. Putting five in the top eight and 11 in the top 19 showed strong balance and depth," said DeLauder.

The Whippets boys charge at the front included Robert Moore (5th, 18:50), Alex Moore (6th, 18:51), Sam Swanger (9th, 19:20) and Sam Logan (12th, 19:25).

"Danny ran a smart race and I was really happy for Robert Moore as this was his first healthy race since last cross country season after being sick during track. Our underclassmen were huge for us with sophomore Alex Moore and freshmen Sam Swanger and Sam Logan being our 3, 4 and 5 guys," said Zuercher.

Caden Payne topped the Shelby Middle School boys with a winning time of 12:25 and the girls were led by the fifth-place effort of Kearsten Morrison 13:58.

"The Whippet runners got off to a great start this year with the boys showing great numbers. The boys ran strong. The girls are showing promise too. They went out a young team and gained some much needed experience," said middle school coach Steve Clark.

The next meet for Shelby is Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Bellevue for a triangular meet that also includes Ontario.

Because of the late starting times for the races, the traditional tailgate party hosted by the SHS cross country teams after the county meet has been rescheduled for the home meet Tuesday, Sept. 22, against Sandusky, Willard and Ontario.

RICHLAND COUNTY MEET

At Madison High School

High School Boys

Team scoring - 1. Shelby 33; 2. Ontario 76; 3. Plymouth 78; 4. Crestview 87; 5. Madison 87; 6. Mansfield Senior 150.

Shelby runners - 1. Danny Friebel 17:59; 5. Robert Moore 18:50; 6. Alex Moore 18:51; 9. Sam Swanger 19:20; 12. Sam Logan 19:25; 16. Darien Payne 20:14; 23. Corbin Osborne 20:52; 28. Josh Yee 21:37; 30. Kevin Dick 21:47; 33. Logan Thornton 21:51; 51. Josh Hilliard 24:13; 54. Connor Finnegan 24:33; 55. Jesse Lauderbaugh 24:40; 57. Ethan Vogt 25:07; 62. Eric Lykins 29:18.

Plymouth runners - 4. Nathaniel Redden 18:36; 7. Jacob Beckner 18:59; 17. Justin Robinson 20:19; 22. Ethan Elliott 20:49; 31. Michael Collins 21:48; 58. Alec Leslie 25:28.

High School Girls

Team scoring - 1. Shelby 21; 2. Ontario 51; 3. Madison 87; 4. Plymouth 87; Crestview 128.

Shelby runners - 1. Macy Lynch 21:40; 3. Makenna Heimlich 22:09; 4. Jenna Gonzales 22:11 (PR); 7. Dani Hoffman 22:47; 8. Kaitlyn Evans 22:56; 11. Haley Evans 23:14; 12. Morgan Ganzhorn 23:17; 13. Chloe Hlad 23:32; 14. Maddie Heimlich 23:36; 18. Keely Williams 23:53; 19. Cameron Smedley 24:04 (PR); 32. Marissa Lynch 26:35; 33. Morgan Vogt 26:36; 36. Alex Cundiff 26:46; 37. Grace Randall 26:51 (PR), 38. Kelsey Deane 27:10; 43. Jessica Stoner 28:04; 47. Faith Gosser 28:57.

Plymouth runners - 15. Kendall Sanders 23:42; 21. Hailey Barber 24:14; 23. Mattie Lunceford 24:27; 29. Gracie Roberts 25:29; 30. Claudia Caudill 26:14; 45. Kylie Barber 28:52; 46. Mikka Messmore 28:52; 48. Natalie Snyder 29:04; 57. Ally Melton 34:53.

Middle School Boys

Team scoring - Not available.

Shelby runners - 1. Caden Payne 12:25; 2. Jaden Sickmiller 12:30; 4. Robbie Gonzales 12:35; 10. Parker Lewis 13:33; 15. Parker Schroeder 13:55; 20. Kael Moore 14:06; 24. Josh Mohr 14:19; 35. Logan Cline 14:52; 47. Mason Niese 15:43; 60. Nicholas Beekman 17:06.

Middle School Girls

Team scoring - Not available.

Shelby runners - Kearsten Morrison 13:58; 8. Lizzy Liles 14:44; 19. Kayla Evans 16:05; 22. Katie Owen 16:11; 40. Makenna Finnegan 18:52.

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