2011 OHSAA State Cross
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2010 OHSAA State Cross Country Championships
National Trail Raceway, Hebron
November 5, 2011
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New Course, New Champions
Eleven new champions crowned at first state cross country meet at
National Trail Raceway
HEBRON, Ohio – Six new individual champions and five new team
champions were crowned Saturday at the 2011 OHSAA Cross Country State
Championships at National Trail Raceway in Hebron. After a chilly
morning, the sun came out and made for almost perfect running weather
for the more than 850 individual runners. This was the first year the
state cross country meet was held at National Trail Raceway after its
26-year stint at Scioto Downs.
After the presentation of the Division II girls awards, the OHSAA and
the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (OATCCC) held a
special presentation to honor Lexington High School cross country runner
Sami Stoner, who inherited Stargardt disease, a juvenile form of macular
degeneration that robs children and teens of their central vision.
Despite losing some of her vision, Stoner still participates on her
school’s cross country team with her guide dog, Chloe. Dale Gabor, the
director of cross country and track and field for the OHSAA, presented
Stoner with a gold medal for the heart and dedication she has displayed
over the season and thanked her for being such an inspiration to other
teenagers with challenges.
In the first race of the morning, Liberty Center freshman Brittany
Atkinson beat out Coldwater sophomore Christina Seas by two seconds to
claim the Division III state title in what ended up to be the closest
race of the day. Atkinson is the first freshman to win an individual
state title since 2005 and did it in a race that featured eight
non-seniors in the top 10 finishers. Defending state champion, Tammy
Berger (Sr., Versailles), ended her career with a fifth place finish.
Atkinson also led another upset helping Liberty Center claim the team
crown, breaking the streak of Minster (eighth place), which had
previously won three consecutive state titles. The Tigers beat
second-place Coldwater by 17 points.
The Division II girls race also saw a battle
of underclassmen as London sophomore Sarra Taylor beat out Cuyahoga
Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy freshman Samantha Bockoven by
nine seconds. Led by junior Marissa Rossetti (eighth place) and senior
Tessa Weigand (18th place), the Irish from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
took home their third straight team state title, beating out Chillicothe
Zane Trace by 11 points.
Claudia Saunders (Sr., Cincinnati
Princeton), the 2010 seventh place finisher, finished her career with a
four-second win over Elyse Bierut (Sr., Rocky River) to bring
home her first Division I state crown. Rocker River Magnificat, the 2010 team
champion, couldn’t defend its title as Brunswick won the closest team
competition of the day (five points) over Beavercreek. Led by senior
Loren McDaniel (23rd place), Brunswick took home its first state title
after finishing fifth in 2010.
On the boys side, Versailles junior Samuel
Prakel, the 2010 seventh-place finisher, defeated Independence senior
Ryan Polman for the Division III individual state title. Polman and his
brother Kyle (ninth place) led the 2010 champion Blue Devils to a
second-place team finish behind McDonald. McDonald took home its sixth
team title (82, 83, 99, 01, 04, 11) and was led by junior Patrick Kunkel
(14th place) and senior Kyle Joynes (17th place).
Division II 2010 runner-up Steven Weaver
(Sr., Napoleon) claimed the 2011 individual state title over Defiance
junior Abel Flores. Chillicothe Unioto senior Adrian Ross also repeated
his 2010 third-place finish. In the team competition, Springfield
Shawnee won its first state title after finishing 14th in last year’s
championship. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary took home the runner-up trophy
for the second consecutive year and fourth time overall.
In the last race of the day, Reynoldsburg
senior Tsehaye Hiluf beat Sam Wharton (Jr., Tipp City Tippecanoe) by
three seconds to claim the boys Division I individual title. Hiluf was
the only top 15 finisher to return from last year’s top 15. Led by Adam
Davidson (Jr., ninth place) and John Sotos (Jr., 27th place), Dublin
Coffman also brought home its schools first team state title in cross
country, beating Cleveland St. Ignatius by 19 points. The Wildcats were
runner’s-up in 1997.
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