OHSAA Postpones State Cross Country Meet to Nov. 10, Minster Seeking 12th Girls Title

Staff Writer

Minster's quest for 12th girls cross country title will have to wait another week.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has postponed Saturday’s state cross country tournament and is moving the championships to Saturday, Nov. 10, due to flooding conditions on the course at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass has announced.
 
“While I wholeheartedly understand the impact this move has for all those involved in the event, this is the best solution for the safety and well-being of our participating student-athletes,” Snodgrass said. “National Trail Raceway has closed the course due to flooding with the on-going rain we have had in central Ohio, so the conditions will hopefully be much better by next weekend.”
 
The schedule for the championships will be as follows:
               Saturday, Nov. 10, National Trail Raceway, Hebron
               11:00 a.m. – Boys Division III
               11:45 a.m. – Boys Division II
               12:30 p.m. – Boys Division I
               1:30 p.m. – Girls Division III
               2:15 p.m. – Girls Division II
               3:00 p.m. – Girls Division I
 
The OHSAA will continue to update information on the cross country tournament on its website (www.ohsaa.org) and Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The Minster girls cross country program has no small-school peer right now — or historically, for that matter. So as the Wildcats enter Saturday’s Division III state championship meet just a couple days after Halloween in suburban Columbus, they’ll be chasing ghosts of their own recent making and of their own program’s past.

Minster will be aiming for its third straight state championship, junior Emma Watcke will be looking for her second straight individual title and the program will look to hoist a 12th gold cross country trophy next Saturday.

To get there, they dominated a field that included a Liberty Center program that just half a decade ago had its number for a three-year period. That era seems so long ago now, however, as Minster steamrolled to a regional title.

The Wildcats ran away with the Division III regional at Tiffin with 35 points, and the most successful cross country program in Ohio high school history will look to add another trophy to the well-stocked case when it takes to the course at at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

Defending individual state champion Watcke will look to defend her crown after again finishing first. The Minster junior crossed the finish line in 18:27.77 — 16 seconds better than Liberty Center freshman Hope Oelkrug’s 18:43 time in second place.

Minster’s Mackenzie Bohman took fifth overall with a 19:22.7, Kaitlynn Albers was seventh (19:24.05), Gwen Meiring took ninth (19:28.09), Madeline Magoto finished 16th (19:48.44), Mason Pohl was 21st (19:59.08) and Emma Meyer took 22nd (20:01.27).

The Wildcats ran away with the win — 67 points better than second-place Archbold. Liberty Center, a longtime rival at the state meet in year’s past, was third with 126 points. Coldwater finished fourth (214).

Minster will try to three-peat at state for the third time program history. Minster’s teams from 1999- 2001 and from 2008-2010 both won three straight championships. This year’s squad, led by individual champ Watcke and a deep, talented group of runners behind her, will try to match those historic squads. After the venue switched from Scioto Downs to National Trail, Minster had to settle for near misses for three straight years from 2013-2015 as Liberty Center seemed to have mastered the drag strip course before the Wildcats could. But after Minster broke through in 2016, they’ve been overwhelming.

New Bremen ended its season with a 13th-place finish and 352 points. Alayna Thieman was the top Cardinal runner with a 51st-place finish (21:02.74). Tess Lane took 89th (21:39.21). Hanna Tenkman was 98th (21:53.91). Carson Wyatt (22:10.81), Andrea Heitkamp (22:25.88), Jessica Fledderjohann (22:39.38) and Alana Speelman (22:49.93) also ran for the Cardinals.

Marion Local’s Kelsey Broering, who qualified individually for the regional, finished 39th overall with a 20:48.64 time to finish off her junior season.