WAVERLY — It’s early in the cross country campaign, but the Northwest Mohawks are almost in midseason —and preparing for postseason —form.
That’s because the Mohawk men had three individuals among the top six, and all five of their scorers among the top-25, as Northwest was the runner-up to host Waverly on Saturday as part of the annual Waverly Tiger Invitational at Bristol Village Park.
That is the same site, in fact, in which Northwest won last season’s Southern Ohio Conference team championship —defeating the host Tigers in a close competition.
On Saturday, Waverly — with sophomore Mitch Green grabbing third-place and its other four scorers packed from ninth thru 14th — won the “rematch” with the Mohawks, posting a team score of 46 compared to Northwest’s 53.
The Mohawks had the race champion, the fourth-place performer and the sixth-place finisher, as their other four counting runners ran from 21st thru 37th.
There were 72 runners in the boys high school race, in which Northwest senior Landen Smith continued his early-season strong showing.
Smith, who finished fifth in the Division II race in the large Pickerington North Classic before winning his own Northwest Invitational race 10 days ago, captured Waverly’s championship with a time of 16 minutes and 34 seconds.
Also for the Mohawks, fellow senior Josh Shope was fourth in 17:08, while junior Kailan Marshall mustered a sixth-place effort in 17:32.
Minford senior Dutch Byrd was the race runner-up, crossing the finish line and completing the 5K course 18 seconds (16:52) behind Smith.
Green was third in 17:03, followed by Shope five seconds later and Eastern freshman Teagan Werner (17:15) seven seconds after Shope.
Marshall and Wheelersburg junior David Brown, who ran an 18:08, rounded out the top seven individuals.
Northwest’s other scorers included junior Levi Tackett (21st in 20:04), freshman Eragorn Elkins (25th in 20:26), sophomore Michael Wamsley (33rd in 21:03) and freshman Boston Wolfe (37th in 21:51).
Vinton County was third with its team score of 74, followed by fourth-place Whiteoak (120) edging out both Minford (126) and Wheelersburg (132).
Rounding out the team scores were Ripley (167) and West Union (194), which like Whiteoak are members of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.
Besides Byrd, Minford’s other runners included freshman Sam Tieman (27th in 20:41), senior Zeb Allen (34th in 21:08), sophomore Skylar Allen (42nd in 22:18), freshman Mason Blackburn (46th in 23:07) and freshman Lucas Heardman (61st in 26:49).
Wheelersburg freshman Tate Hollback, who ran a 19:34 for 12th-place, joined Brown as the only Pirates placing among the top-12.
The Pirates’ other runners included sophomore Gavin Bradley (36th in 21:43), freshman Carson Nickell (48th in 23:14), sophomore Hayden Hobbs (63rd in 27:45) and freshman Hayden Carter (66th in 29:29).
On the girls side, Wheelersburg was the team runner-up with an 88 score — with two runners among the top-12 and two others inside the top-25.
Vinton County, with four runners in the top-10 including race runner-up Olivia Mayers (20:44) and fourth-place Emily Reynolds (21:43), ran away with the team trophy and a low score of 36.
Amanda Salmons, a sophomore, paced the Lady Pirates with an eighth-place performance and a time of 22 minutes and three seconds.
Kylie Marsh, a freshman, followed for Wheelersburg in 12th-place in 23:38.
The other four Pirates to compete included sophomores Natalie Parker (22nd in 25:17) and Kyra Warren (23rd in 25:33) and juniors Natalie Brammer (37th in 27:55) and Sydney Warnock (44th in 30:07).
Northwest, which was fourth in the team standings with a 103, received a strong fifth-place crossing by junior Brooke Shope — who completed the course in 21:55.
Kodi Burton, a sophomore, was 14th for the Lady Mohawks in 23:50.
Northwest’s Marie Prose (26th in 25:49) and Ashley Cantrell (27th in 26:14) crossed back-to-back, as its only other runner was sophomore Akira Ramey (47th in 31:09).
Minford had two ladies — sophomore Juniper Allen (11th in 23:19) and senior Kara Dillon (13th in 23:41) — place in the top-15, but the Lady Falcons’ only other competitor was freshman Chelsea Dietrich (39th in 28:58).
There were 59 runners in the girls high school race, which was won by junior Myla Toole of North Adams in 20 minutes and three seconds.
Eastern’s Abby Cochenour, the defending individual SOC girls champion, was third on Saturday in 21:14.
A complete list of results can be found at www.baumspage.com.
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