Erick Starkey/News Fredericktown’s Paden Spencer races toward the finish line Saturday at the OHSAA State cross country meet, finishing 20th with a time of 17:04.2.
Erick Starkey/News Fredericktown senior Nichole Groseclose was the top local girl to finish, taking 27th with a time of 20:12.4.
Erick Starkey/News Centerburg’s Sarah Thatcher pushes herself to the finish Saturday at the state meet, clocking a time of 21:06.3 (69th) for the eighth-place Trojans.


HEBRON — The Fredericktown boys and Centerburg girls both finished eighth as a team at the OHSAA state cross country meet, while the Fredericktown girls snagged 10th.

The state race was originally scheduled for Nov. 3, but was pushed back and ran Saturday at the National Trails Raceway due to course conditions on the originally-scheduled day.

“I think everyone was trying to deal with that and get it through their heads that they have another week of racing,” Fredericktown senior Paden Spencer said. “That’s something new for high schoolers. Everybody seemed to handle it well.”

In addition to dealing with a delayed race, the runners faced a muddy course and sub-par weather. Temperatures barely got to the freezing point with a breeze throughout the day.

“I wasn’t really going for time today because you just know that it’s not really going to be a fast day,” Spencer said. “I tried to run as fast as I could. I didn’t worry about splits so much as placement and how I was feeling in the race.”

Spencer, who fell in the second half of the race but recovered to finish, snagged 20th overall with a time of 17:04.2 to snag all-state honors and lead the Freddies.

Connor Riley was next to cross for Fredericktown, taking 34th with a time of 17:22.7, while Thomas Caputo (17:30.8) earned 47th. Evan France (91st, 17:58.6) and Titus Krabill (114th, 18:13.1) rounded out the top-five runners for the Freddies.

As a team, Fredericktown notched 189 team points, matching New London. New London had the edge in the tiebreaker and took seventh, sending the Freddies down to eighth.

“We were trying to win. We were ranked second coming in,” Spencer said. “I think we kind of underestimated the competition a little bit. We didn’t really scope out the entire field. We were mostly looking at the top-three teams and we weren’t really looking past that.

“We did what we could and I’m still proud of these guys,” he continued. “This was the best season I’ve ever had. Even though the place didn’t really work out in our favor, it was still a pretty solid performance today.”

Mount Gilead had the top finish among Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference teams, taking fifth in the boys race with 165 points. Liam Dennis led the way, earning 27th with a time of 17:14.4. Kyle White (17:26.3) and Casey White (17:28.4) earned 41st and 43rd, respectively. Ethan Supplee (50th, 17:34.0) and Michael Snopik (104th, 18:08.2) completed the top-five for the Indians.

Cardington’s Mason White took 64th with a time of 17:42.1.

In the Division III boys team standings, Fort Loramie snagged the top spot with 127 points, while Cincinnati Summit Country Day took second (145) and East Canton slid to third (155).


The Trojans took eighth as a team and were led by Dreanna Perry’s 46th-place finish, clocking a time of 20:42.4.

“We made it here and we did it,” Centerburg coach Mike Eblin said. “It was an awesome race and I’m really proud of our girls and how they came here ready to race, showed up and did exactly what we planned on doing.”

Sarah Thatcher was next to cross the line for Centerburg, taking 69th with a time of 12:06.3, while Avery Tucker earned 75th in 21:16.6.

Abigail Dickhof (21:39.2) was next to cross the line, taking 93rd. Aeryn Walters (96th, 21:40.1) rounded out the top-five for the Trojans. After the top-five runners for Centerburg crossed, the Trojans were tied with Mount Gilead, but Elise Walters (21:47.3) taking 101st set Centerburg ahead, solidifying eighth as a team.

“In the postseason that’s all it is, it’s points,” Eblin said. “That’s what you’re looking to get. Every person ahead of you is another point. We took eighth place today by a tiebreaker so that definitely shows how important that is. You can’t have any slack even though you’re alternates. Your six and seven runners have to be on the spot too and working hard.”

Baylee Hack led Mount Gilead with a time of 19:17.6, earning fifth. Allison Johnson was not far behind with a time of 19:47.1, putting her 13th. Emily Hanft (91st, 21:38.0), Olivia Millisor (94th, 21:39.6) and Madison Fitzpatrick (148th, 23:01.5) rounded out the top-five Indians. Mount Gilead tied Centerburg with 233 points, but the Trojans won the tiebreaker, putting the Indians ninth.

Nichole Groseclose topped the runners for the Freddies, finishing 27th with a time of 20:12.4. Lydia Stute (20:55.3) was next to finish, taking 60th. Georgie Caputo took 89th with a time of 21:34.6. Miranda Baker (22:06.7) and Sammy Maglott (22:07.7) finished back-to-back, earning 114th and 115th, respectively.

As a team, the Freddies recorded 257 points, earning 10th behind the Trojans and Indians.

Kristie Wright was the top Northmor finisher, earning 108th with a time of 21:55.7. The Golden Knights took 20th as a team with 475 points.

Northridge’s Megan King took 40th with a time of 20:32.6. Olyvia Ashbrook turned in a time of 20:58.9 to take 63rd.

Minster won the girls’ DIII team title, finishing the day with 46 points to easily take the top spot. Fort Loramie (134) took second and Archbold (139) earned third through a tiebreaker.


Erick Starkey: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @MVNStarkey



Previous Story


Rules: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don’t attack other commenters personally and keep your language decent. If a comment violates our comments standards, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member.