PROCTORVILLE — In his first race as a Trojan at the high school level, Portsmouth freshman Charlie Putnam is already setting the standard in the Ohio Valley Conference.
That’s because at Saturday’s OVC cross country championship meet at Fairland — the race which usually begins the postseason but was instead moved up to honor the league’s runners amid the coronavirus pandemic — Putnam out-paced the 39 other runners in the boys championship, including finishing 40 seconds ahead of Ironton’s William Harrison.
With his time of 18:20.70, Putnam became the second Trojan in three years to claim the OVC’s first-place finish, as Aiden Kammler accomplished the same feat in 2018 with a time of 17:10.53.
Putnam is the son of Shawnee State cross country and track and field head coach Eric Putnam, who himself finished as Division I state runner-up during his high school career at Chillicothe in 1989.
Portsmouth’s second-place runner, Xander Young, finished in 17th-place out of 40 runners with a time of 22:22.50.
Connor Emnett finished in 31st with a time of 28:04.00, Elijah Carver finished 39th with a time of 36:33.30, and Bradley Liddle finished 40th with a time of 39:40.00 to round out Portsmouth’s placement at Saturday’s championship.
Rock Hill won the team championship by having runners place third, fifth, sixth, seventh and 13th — good enough for a meet-low 34 team points and a total time of 1:42:38.90.
Noah Wood and Sam Simpson each placed third and fifth for the Redmen, respectively.
Elijah Dillon of Coal Grove placed fourth, nearly breaking the 20-minute mark with a time of 20:05.90.
Fairland finished third as a team with Gallia Academy and Ironton rounding out the top five.
Gallia Academy’s Sarah Watts was the quickest runner in the girls OVC race, besting the next-fastest runner by nearly a full minute with a time of 21:19.50.
Rock Hill’s Camryn Miller was the runner-up with a time of 22:19.40, while teammate Bella Stevens placed fourth with a time of 22:51.00.
The Redwomen placed first as a team with a meet-low score of 24.
Coal Grove’s Laura Hamm and Kylee Thomas placed third and fifth with times of 22:33.50 and 23:33.90, respectively rounding out the top five.
Portsmouth did not have any competitors in the girls XC championship race.
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