Morrison, McCann, Seas, and Pennywitt are individual winners –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
With the weather a little cooler and a little more conducive to outdoor activity, cross-country runners from the four Adams County schools congregated at West Union High School for the annual Adams County Meet, capably hosted by the Dragons.
It turned out to be a successful day for the “Dog Pack” runners from Manchester as they took two of the four individual titles and three of the four team titles, taking a lot of hardware back down to the river school.
The day actually began with a rather unique race, a mile run for elementary students in grades four through six, though there were some younger runners mixed in.The top five runners in that race were Cody Hesler, Nick Seas, Wesley Ellis, Landon Fulton, and Beau Hesler.
Eighteen junior high girls made up the next race, with all of them shooting for top seven finished that earned All-County honors and of course, high enough finishes for their school to take home the team trophy. Seven runners earn All-County honors in direct correlation with OHSAA rules that allow just seven runners from a team to compete in postseason competition.
Setting the pace in the junior high girls race was Manchester’s McKenzie Morrison,, who won the race with a time of 13:16, with Peebles’ Katy Seas second at 13:33. Third place went to Manchester’s Abby Freeman at 13:45, and the final four All-County spots went to West Union’s Katie Fulton (13:49), West Union’s Adelyn Shupert (13:59), West Union’s Kendra Grooms (14:08), and North Adams’ Ainsley Grooms (15:00).
Next up were the junior high boys with 27 runners and taking the first place slot was North Adams’ Trenton McCann with his time of 12:48. Finishing in second was Manchester’s Denton White with a time of 12:57, followed in third place by West Union’s Chris Schulz at 13:13. Rounding out the junior high boys All-County runners were Damon Baker from North Adams (13:14), Jai-Michael Knox from West Union (13:19), Ryland Wikoff from Manchester (13:35), and Braxton Blanton from West Union 913:35.96).
In the ensuing high school girls race, Peebles had three of the top five finishers, but with only four total runners, could not qualify for the team title which they most surely could have won. As it was, the race was paced by the incredible stride and effort of Peebles’ Jenny Seas, who easily took the first place medal with her time of 19:22, over two minutes ahead of second place finisher Anna Shupert of West Union, who came into the chute at 21:58.
Third place in the high school girls race went to Peebles’ Alisan Behr at 22:55, fourth place to Manchester’s Shyanne Tucker at 23:10, fifth place to Peebles’ Abby Faulkner at 23:50, sixth place to Manchester’s Billie Kinhalt at 24:25, and rounding out the All-County team in seventh place was Manchester’s Kelsey Friend with a time of 25:01.
The high school boys race could be described as the polar opposite of the high school girls race. While the high school girls race wasn’t even close, the boys race went right down to the final 50 yards in a battle between Peebles’ Matt Seas and Manchester’s Ethan Pennywitt. The two were neck and neck for the entire course with Seas holding a slight lead most of the way, but in the final stretch, Pennywitt turned it up a gear and passed Seas, winning the sprint to the finish line and the race with a time of 17:30, barely edging out Seas’ 17:31.
Third place in the high school boys race went to Manchester’s Jamie Combs (18:28), fourth to West Union’s Janson Kramer (18:36), fifth to Peebles’ Sammy Smith (18:47), sixth to West Union’s Adam Fulton (18:52), and the final All-County berth to Peebles’ Seth Chamblin (19:13).
Local fans can get another glimpse at most of these local runners next Tuesday, Oct. 4 as the West Union Invitational comes to town.