Photos by Andrea Povick and Andy Vernon
At the annual Wayne-Holmes Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Orrville High School, it was a Generals uprising as both the Wooster boys and girls ran to first-place finishes in the team competition.
Leading the girls to victory for the Generals was Wooster’s Maddy Nacci. The senior took the lead and ran away from the competition, finishing in 19:16, a full 30 seconds in front of runner-up Maya Hamsher of Orrville, who ran a 19:46. Nacci’s teammate Melina Mera took third place in 20:08, and a pair of Chippewa Chipps, Ashley Kish and Allison Hanegar, came in fourth and fifth in front of West Holmes freshman Katie Sprang, who churned out a 20:12, missing fifth by one second as Hanegar held her off down the stretch.
Orrville’s Alyssa Plumley (20:17), Blair Colter of Northwestern (20:23), Julia Hootman of Wooster (20:55) and Smithville’s Ashleigh Clabaugh (20:59) rounded out the top 10. Waynedale was paced by 11th-place finisher Kylie Adams (21:07). Alexis Adams of Waynedale (21:18) and Kate Larson of Smithville (21:18) placed 13th and 14th, respectively. Dalton got 15th– and 16th-place finishes from Seneca Doty (21:19) and Latrice Schlabach (21:20) while Triway’s top performer was a 17th-place finish from Mirian Styer (21:20).
The Lady Knights got strong performances from Morgan Allen (21:34), who ended up 19th, and Erin Norman (21:55), who placed 21st. Megan Morrison (22:59), Kaylor Perone (23:22), Daybria Yerian (23:32) and Brogan Steimel (24:03) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Knights.
Wooster dominated the girls team score, winning with just 44 points, a number that easily outdistanced runner-up Smithville’s 103 points. Wooster had three runners in the top 10, and six finished 22nd or better. Dalton totaled 111 points to take third. West Holmes accumulated 116 points to place fourth, followed by Northwestern and Orrville.
On the boys side, a trio of seniors challenged for the top spot. Smithville’s Justin McKeal and Lucas Clark duked it out with Triway’s Nich Michels. Eventually McKeal and Michels took control, and the two battled it out down the stretch until McKeal was able to surge ahead late and won it in 15:34. Michels was runner-up in 15:44 while Clark placed third in 16:05.
Chippewa’s Steven Hennis placed fourth in 16:13, fifth went to Wooster’s Connor Niro in 16:29, his teammate Breydan Hann was next at 16:33 and Orrville’s Caleb Endicott was seventh in 16:35. Northwestern’s Hunter Kanzeg (16:36), Smithville’s Noah Navratil (16:41) and Clay Miller of Triway (16:41) rounded out the top 10. Titans junior Ian Speicher (16:44) and Lane Wilson of Wooster (16:54) capped off the runners to go sub-17:00.
Red Riders Stuart Kirkbride (17:02) and James Shupp (17:04) placed 14th and 15th while Wooster’s Eli Bachman (17:09), Evan Miller (17:13) and Kenny Jordan (17:21) ended up in 17th, 18th and 20th place, respectively.
West Holmes was paced by Jonathan Kandel, who ran a 17:31, good for 27th place. Freshman Caiden Carter ran a 17:54 for the Knights, finishing in 36th. Jackson Iamarino (18:14) was 43rd, Brayden Bender (18:16) was 45th, Travett Boughman (19:04) was 57th and Jarek Snow (19:33) was 66th. Freshmen Cark Uhinck (19:44) and Cade Wagers (20:32) rounded out the Knights’ performance.
Hiland’s top finisher was Tyler Kuhns, who ran an 18:44 to finish 51st.
In the team competition Wooster placed six runners in the top 20 to gain a victory with 58 points. The Generals snuck by the Smithies, who placed runner-up with 79 points, while Triway was close behind with 84. All three of the top teams placed three runners in the top 12. Northwestern, Orrville and Chippewa took fourth through sixth place while West Holmes ended up eighth in the 10-team field.