If any team thought they were going to challenge Lexington for the Ohio Cardinal Conference cross country team title on Saturday, they should have stopped to consider a reality check.
Lady Lex’s team ran away from the pack in the meet, led by Ellen Isaac, and grabbed the top three spots en route to an easy victory.
In their wake, they left second place Ashland and third place West Holmes, and the finish was just about according to plan for West Holmes.
That’s kind of what I expected today,” said coach Kevin Beachy.
West Holmes freshman runner Hannah Schlegel has had to overcome mononucleosis in the middle of the season, and with her playing soccer as well, has had to curb her enthusiasm as far as going all out in recent events. Still, she managed a solid time of 22:30, good for 23rd.
“It wasn’t my personal best, but it was better than last week,” said Schlegel of her effort. “Right now I am still trying to get my legs under me and my stamina back.”
Other Lady Knights finishers included Alexis Kandel who came in 17th in a time of 21:18, and Miranda Hochstetler, who was 33rd (23:42).
One runner who isn’t worrying about the way things are going right now is Alexis Eliot, who has burst on to the scene since changing her running style and begun carving down her time in huge chunks.
Eliot’s time of 20:48 on the slow course was good for seventh place, thus earning her a First Team All OCC honor by snagging the final top on the all-conference team.
“I am extremely thrilled,” said Eliot of her finish. ‘It was a little slower than last week but it was a slower track. Just to get into the top seven runners was awesome.”
As for her fourth place finish and 19:50 time, Molnar wasn’t exactly doing handsprings and rejoicing following the race, but she took the finish all in stride, as she too earned a spot on First team All OCC.
“It was cold and slick and really early today, but I ran a faster time than I did earlier this year here, so I can’t be too disappointed,” said Molnar, who battled with a pair of Lexington’s runners for second and third before falling off the pace.
“I was hoping to stay with Ellen, because I know she has broken 19 and I wanted to do that,” said Molnar. “My times have been pretty comparable to the times of the other two Lexington girls. I think they really knew what style of race I wanted to run and got past me late.”
Considering that Lexington’s team has been a juggernaut for the past several years, finishing behind them was not the worst thing in the world.
Beachy confirmed that it was not Molnar’s best effort of the year, but he told his star runner to not worry too much about this race. He would rather have her focusing on District and Regional times as she works to get to State.
“Lexington is State-ranked for a reason, and getting by them for Em would have been nice, but there are bigger things down the road.
“I am ecstatic for Alexis that she was able to secure a spot in the first team OCC. We got third place overall, which is where I expected us to be, and we had two girls earn First Team All-conference honors, and that makes for a great day.”