NEW PARIS — The National Trail cross country team hosted the Blazer Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1, and the boys’ team took second place in the event.
Valley View took the team crown in the boys’ division, with a low score of 38, ahead of the host Blazers, who finished with a 43. Seven teams fielded enough players to record team scores.
Preble Shawnee and Tri-County North also participated in the event.
Sophomore Josh Bishop finished in third place (17:30) for Trail. Travis Hunt was the next Blazer, coming in eighth (18:04), followed closely behind by Lane Unger in ninth (18:06). Weston Haws crossed the line in 11th (18:14), with Adam Eyler in 12th (18:16). Payton Harrison ended his run in 16th (18:35), while Jesse Biser (19:05) and Josh Cook (19:11) came in 21st and 22nd.
Bailey Hilt was the highest finishing North runner, crossing the line in 13th (18:17) behind Haws and Eyler. Patrick Timmons (20:02) and Trenton Napier (20:14) were in 29th and 30th respectively. The last three finishers for the Panthers to score team points were Ian Alexander (35th, 20:51), Gregory Ras (42nd, 21:31), and Thomas Pudenz (45th, 21:39). North finished in fifth place with 129 points.
Preble Shawnee had Carter Roell finish in 43rd (21:36), while Jon Hicks (65th, 26:32), Robert Burns (67th, 27:24) and Dylan Childers (69th, 31:22) rounded out the roster. The Arrows did not field enough runners for a team score.
“We went into this weekend thinking the colder weather would be beneficial and that proved to be true for most,” said Shawnee coach Gary Koogle. “The cold adversely affected a few of us this weekend, but I think after a few more days of practice in the cold we will all be setting new personal records. The season is winding down and the kids realize it, they have been working hard in practice and are hoping to do well at SWBL meet in two weeks.”
In the girls’ division, Evan Byrd took fourth place (22:07) for the Lady Blazers. JaLynn Byrd took (15th, 24:16), Casey Thompson came in 33rd, (26:52.) Katie Buehner (44th, 28:48) also ran for the host team. The girls did not register a team score.
Tri-County North’s Lady Panthers fielded a full squad, with Lauren Koenig as the top finisher for North, taking 12th (23:20). Close together were Taylor Cooper (28th, 26:01) and Julia Myers (29th, 26:02.) Rounding out the final three racers for North were Anna Norris (35th, 27:11), Hailey Brumley (36th, 27:27) and Lindsay Owens (39th, 27:52). The team finished in sixth place with a score of 118.
“Overall, it was a pretty good day for us,” said TCN coach Tim Martin. “As the year winds down, speed and guts are the order of the day. We’re a tight unit and I anticipate maximum effort.”
Preble Shawnee did not field any girls in the event.
“The Blazer Invitational was a huge success,” said NT coach Christine Byrd. “The National Trail Cross Country family showed out in a big way.”
On Saturday, Oct. 8, the three teams will head off to two different events. National Trail will compete in the Rocket Invitational in Anna, while Preble Shawnee and Tri-County North will compete in the Ed Leas Fall Classic at Eaton.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH