OBETZ — The blustery conditions didn’t bother Colonel Crawford’s Cecelia Chase or the rest of the Eagles.
Chase finished eighth overall, leading Colonel Crawford to a third-place finish in the Division III girls race at Saturday’s cross country state championships at wind-swept Fortress Obetz.
Temperatures were unseasonably warm, but a strong wind blew out of the south with gusts up to 40 mph.
“I knew it was going to be warmer,” Chase said. “I’ve gotten my faster times running in cooler weather. So I was kind of worried about that.”
A junior, Chase finished in 18 minutes, 38.5 seconds to earn All-Ohio honors and a podium finish. The top 30 runners across the finish line are All-Ohioans and the top 20 make the podium.
“My times were kind of all over the place for a while, so coming here I needed to give it my all,” Chase said. “My coach always talks about, instead of backing down when it starts hurting, just lean into it and go for it.
“This means so much to me because I’ve worked so hard for this.”
Minster won the team championship with a score of 63. Fort Loramie (119) was second, followed by Colonel Crawford (164).
Gabby Roston finished 47th overall for Colonel Crawford in 20:07.8. Olivia Hardy (20:41.9) was 73rd, while Rylinn Edgington (20:43.3) was 75th and Izzy Roston (20:46.7) was 78th. Brynn Bruner (21:32.0) was 107th and Maria Smith (22:00.3) was 125th.
“They all did great,” Colonel Crawford coach Jordan Studer said. “They worked so hard to be able to get to this point.”
Loudonville’s Tess Shultz earned a podium finish, placing 19th overall in 19:11.6.
“It’s amazing,” said Shultz, a sophomore who is in just her second season of cross country. “I give all the credit to my teammates and my parents and my wonderful coaches.”
Anna’s Paige Steinke won the individual championship in 17:46.1. Norwayne’s Jaylee Wingate and Maplewood’s Caleigh Richards finished with identical times of 18:05.8. Wingate out-leaned Richards at the line for second and Richards was third.
Division III Boys
Mapleton’s Isaik Schoch was the area’s top placer in the Division III boys race, finishing 31st in 16:39.1. Colonel Crawford’s Shawn Auck finished 44th in 16:57.6 while Crestview’s Cooper Brockway was 81st in 17:26.1.
Mount Gilead won the boys team title with a score of 82. Ottawa Hills (151) was second and Summit Country Day (157) was third.
East Canton’s Brylan Holland was the individual winner, finishing in 15:41.7. Rittman’s Luke Snyder (15:50.8) was second and Bluffton’s Landon Armstrong (15:55.3) was third.