Boys Team And Lenhart Advance To Cross Country Semi-State

Posted on October 19, 2011 in Boy's Cross Country, Fall Sports, Home

From staff reports

Returning to the semistate meet had been a goal of the Oak Hill boys’ cross country team, and it accomplished it Saturday while not running at its best.

The Golden Eagles easily earned the fifth and final semistate qualifying berth at the Culver Academies Regional meet.

Shallen Lenhart also advances after a sixth-place finish in the girls’ race. However, the girls’ team missed out on its third consecutive semistate by one place and nine points.

Lenhart, a freshman, ran a personal-best time of 20:06 in wet, cool conditions to claim an individual semistate berth.

“Obviously, it’s pretty bittersweet to get one team out and not the other,” Oak Hill coach Paige Brunner said. “Shallen had a great day, but I feel bad for the girls’ team. Even though we did not qualify, I was proud of our senior girls.”

Last year had ended a streak of eight consecutive semistate appearances for the boys’ team. The Eagles with 96 points were well ahead of sixth-place Plymouth (182) for the last qualifying spot.

“We are thrilled to be headed back to semistate,” Brunner said. “I know the guys set that as a main goal after falling short a year ago.

“We did not have a great day and we are better than what we showed. But we were solid enough to advance and live to run another day.”

Luke Colvin paced the Eagles boys with a 16th place finish in 17:39. Connor Mitchener was right behind in 18th at 17:43, and Collin Brown finished 25th in 17:56.

Oak Hill’s pack held up with Ryan Miller, Jon Hochstedler and Trace Nolder close behind in 33rd, 37th and 38th places. Miller ran the course in 18:06, Hochestedler at 18:17 and Nolder at 18:19.

David Horner was Oak Hill’s final boys’ runner in 49th place (18:35).

In the girls’ meet, Lenhart had a good closing kick and moved up from ninth to sixth at the finish. However, the rest of the team could not overcome a sluggish start.

Danielle Thompson finished 19th overall in 21:24 and Morgan Tinkel was 32nd with a season-best 21:58 to finish off her remarkable comeback season.

Also scoring points for the Eagles girls was Shancy Larson in 63rd (23:56) and Krista Hobbs in 65th (24:20.). Other runners were Megan Aughinbaugh in 69th (25:08) and Rene Spaulding in 74th (28:54).

Rochester claimed the last girls’ team qualifying berth with 156 points and Oak Hill finished with 165.

“The girls struggled early but Danielle and Morgan made up a lot of ground late,” Brunner said. “You hate being that last team out. We just struggled on the back end and it cost us too many points.”

Brunner has guided the Eagles boys’ to semistate in seven of his eight seasons at Oak Hill.

The semistate is Saturday at New Prairie High School.

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