Family affair at County meet


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Fort Loramie’s Danielle Berning speeds toward the finish during the County Cross Country Meet Saturday at White Oak Campground.


Jason Alig | Sidney Daily News

Russia’s Zachary Bell heads toward the finish in the County Cross Country Meet Saturday at White Oak Campground in Fort Loramie.


Jason Alig | Sidney Daily News

By Matt Zircher

Sidney Daily News

FORT LORAMIE – It was a family affair at the County Cross Country Meet Saturday morning at the White Oak Campground as the brother and sister duo of Paige and Jake Rethman of Fort Loramie won the two high school individual crowns.

Paige, a freshman, dominated the girls race, taking control early and winning with a time of 19:40.78, nearly 39 seconds ahead of Russia’s Megan Frazier.

“I was able to get off to a good start today and that was key,” said Rethman, who won the junior high girls race last season. “It took me a while to adjust to the longest distance from junior high and early on, I would go out too fast and not have enough energy at the end. I’m better now at pacing myself.”

“Paige is a very dedicated runner and put in the time to get better, especially over the summer,” said Loramie coach Dennis Prenger. “She was a nice junior high runner, but she is stronger now. Earlier in the season, you could tell she was struggling with that additional mile, but as the season has gone on, she’s gotten more confident and is a better racer.”

Rethman, who was named the league’s Runner of the Year for her first-place finish, was joined on the all-league first team by Frazier, Audrey Gariety, Anna Fiessinger and Claire Meyer of Russia, teammate Danielle Berning and Hollie Voisard of Houston.

For the fifth straight year, Russia, currently ranked No. 17 in the state in the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches poll, won the team title as the Lady Raiders had 26 points, followed by Fort Loramie with 40, Houston with 68 and Anna with 109.

Named second team All-County was Shae Goubeaux and Clare Caldwell of Russia, Morgan Ely and Allie Voisard of Houston, Brooklyn Flora from Botkins and Hannah Siegel and Jenna Thomas of Loramie.

In the high school boys race, sophomore Jake Rethman pulled away late to win with a time of 16:18.16, just ahead of teammates Joe Ballas, who was nine seconds behind, and Tom Ballas, who was 12 seconds behind.

“I love running with Joe, he’s an excellent runner and he really helps me push,” said Rethman. “He has a better kick than I do, so I knew I had to get ahead of him before heading for the finish.

“We’re all great friends and we’re real competitive, so we help push each other along,” added Rethman. “It was a perfect day out here, a little cool with sunshine.”

Rethman has now won the individual title in all four years of competition, winning two junior high crowns and the high school race as both a freshman and sophomore.

“We’ve been working on trying to pack our group better and we did that today,” said Prenger. “It’s a result of hard work throughout the summer and, now that the season is winding down, we’re starting to put in our speed work.

“This group is very close to one another and there aren’t any egos,” added the Loramie coach. “They certainly all want to win, but they also root for each other and that competition drives them.”

All three Redskin runners were named first team All-County along teammate Noah Siegel, Anna’s Lucas Huber, Tristin Friestuhler of Houston and Austin Fullenkamp of Botkins. Rethman joined his sister as being selected as the league Runner of the Year.

Named second team All-County were Bradley Axe and Matthew Burden of Anna, Russia’s Zachary Bell and Mason Dapore, Ethan Knouff and Parker Cox of Houston and Loramie’s Alan Holdheide.

The Redskins, ranked third in the state in Division III, won their second consecutive league title with 23 points, followed by No. 11 Anna with 63, Houston with 71 and Russia with 83.

Loramie won its second team title of the day in the junior high girls race, with Houston’s Ava Knouff winning the individual crown with a time of 12:05.84. Botkins won the junior high boys race, led by Alan Fullenkamp’s first-place finish with a time of 11:15.31.

All seven teams now turn their attention to the district meet Saturday, hosted by Cedarville University at the Elvin R. King Course.

County Cross County meet

Saturday at White Oak

Varsity boys

Final team standings — 1. Fort Loramie 23, 2. Anna 63, 3. Houston 71, 4. Russia 83, 5. Botkins 139, 6. Jackson Center 151, 7. Fairlawn 194.

Individuals

Fort Loramie — 1. Jake Rethman 16:18.16, 2. Joe Ballas 16:25.27, 3. Tom Ballas 16:30.33, 6. Noah Siegel 16:58.97, 11. Alan Holdheide 17:27.14.

Anna — 4. Lucas Huber 16:51.17, 8. Bradley Axe 17:03.98, 14. Matthew Burden 17:41.82, 17. Joel Gaier 17:48.55, 20. Kyle Christman 18:04.18.

Houston — 5. Tristin Freistuhler 16:58.3, 10. Ethan Knouff 17:24.05, 13. Parker Cox 17:31.16, 18. Dakota Francis 17:53.81, 25. Jacob Slater 18:31.84.

Russia — 9. Zachary Bell 17:06.96, 12. Mason Dapore 17:28.44, 16. Alex Seger 17:44.65, Gavin George 17:57.12, 27. Ethan Monnier 18:35.05.

Botkins — 7. Austin Fullenkamp 17:02.99, 23. Mathew Prout 18:27.08, 38. Spencer Heuker 19:08.6, 39. Elliott Goubeaux 19:08.84, 42. Konnor Burmeister 19:12.06.

Jackson Center — 15. Parker Morris 17:43.09, 22. Christopher Elchert 18:12.4, 31. TJ Esser 18:49.32, 49. Sean March 19:39.1, 55. Jeremy Burch 20:05.66.

Fairlawn — 33. Nick Brautigam 18:51.36, 35. Stephen Blanford 18:56.27, 47. DJ Graves 19:23.89, 59. Isaac Ambos 20:23.73, 69. Cade Allison 22:12.13.

Varsity girls

Final team standings — 1. Russia 26, 2. Fort Loramie 40, 3. Houston 68, 4. Anna 109.

Individuals

Russia — 2. Megan Frazier 20:19.78, 4. Audrey Gariety 20:27.77, 5. Anna Fiessinger 20:50.81, 7. Claire Meyer 20:54.12, 8. Shae Goubeaux 20:58.15.

Fort Loramie — 1. Paige Rethman 19:50.78, 3. Danielle Berning 20:24.62, 11. Hannah Siegel 21:37.92, 12. Jenna Thomas 21:46.39, 16. Avory Smith 22:08.88.

Houston — 6. Hollie Voisard 20:53.65, 9. Morgan Ely 21:14.14, 13. Allie Voisard 21:48.77, 28. Emma Mertz 24:23.14, 31. Kaitlyn Ellison 25:03.55.

Anna — 24. Gracen Rogers 23:15.53, 27. Susan Jones 24:22.91, 35. Ashleigh Jurosic 25:58.88, 38. Lilly Toller 28:14.27, 39. Molly Batchelder 29;14.79.

Botkins (4 runners) — 10. Brooklyn Flora 21:19.04, 17. Adrianna Jutte 22;16.36, 21. Payton Amstutz 22:43.05, 25. Cassie McGowan 23:24.69.

Jackson Center (3 runners) — 22. Deanna Lowry 22:45.81, 26. Gwen Giesemann 24:02.89, 30. Lexi Schmiesing 24:50.59.

Junior high girls

Final team standings — 1. Fort Loramie 29, 2. Anna 57, 3. Botkins 81, 4. Russia 92, 5. Houston 111.

Race winner — Ava Knouff, Houston, 12:05.84.

Junior high boys

Final team standings — 1. Botkins 29, 2. Fort Loramie 82, 3. Jackson Center 86, 4. Russia 91, 5. Houston 96, 6. Fairlawn 131.

Race winner — Alan Fullenkamp, Botkins, 11:15.331.

Fort Loramie’s Danielle Berning speeds toward the finish during the County Cross Country Meet Saturday at White Oak Campground.
http://sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_SDN101716Cross2.jpgFort Loramie’s Danielle Berning speeds toward the finish during the County Cross Country Meet Saturday at White Oak Campground. Jason Alig | Sidney Daily News

Russia’s Zachary Bell heads toward the finish in the County Cross Country Meet Saturday at White Oak Campground in Fort Loramie.
http://sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_SDN101716Cross1.jpgRussia’s Zachary Bell heads toward the finish in the County Cross Country Meet Saturday at White Oak Campground in Fort Loramie. Jason Alig | Sidney Daily News

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