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Eastwood girls, Otsego boys win NBC cross country championships (10-12-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Saturday, 12 October 2013 14:55
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Eastwood's Hannah Sponaugle runs the final stretch of a girls cross country race during the Northern Buckeye Conference meet. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
FOSTORIA — Eastwood’s girls cross country team won its third straight Northern Buckeye Conference championship Saturday morning at Fostoria High School.  PHOTO GALLERY
The Eagles — with individual champion Hannah Sponaugle and their four other scorers finishing in the top nine — easily won with 20 points.
Otsego was second with 63, edging third-place Elmwood by six points. MEET RESULTS
The boys championship was won by Otsego with 42 points, five better than runnerup Eastwood.
Otsego’s Brandon Avers was the individual winner in 16:28.
In the girls race, Sponaugle dominated, winning in 18:39.
The freshman finished 17 seconds ahead of Woodmore sophomore Courtney Burner, and 30 seconds ahead of two-time defending NBC champion and senior teammate Maddie Jackson.
Three other Eagles finished in the top nine — junior Meagan Kaminski was sixth in 21:12, freshman Ashley Madaras was eighth in 21:30 and Lexi Clark was ninth in 21:42.
“We ran very well,” said Eagle coach Stephanie Schneider-Sims, who is in her first season. “This is what we’ve been working for all season. To have your top five finish in the top nine, you can’t ask for anything more than that.
“Three-peating has been our talk all year and it’s a dedication to all of their hard work. They put that into their minds last spring and they knew all of the hard work they had to do over the summer, and they all did it.”
Sponaugle’s NBC title was her second after she won the junior high meet last fall.
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Otsego's Brandon Avers runs in a boys cross country race during the Northern Buckeye Conference meet.
“I just wanted to go out hard and get the lead. My goal was to win today and I did that,” said Sponaugle, whose time was just off her previous best of 19:36.
“I didn’t expect this kind of season at all,” Sponaugle added. “I ran a lot over the summer and I’ve been pushing myself to stay up with the other runners. It’s really nice running with (Jackson) and the other girls because it pushes all of us to improve and get faster.”
Avers was impressive, too, winning in 16:28 to beat Lake senior Tyler Rickman by 19 seconds. Eastwood junior Tim Hoodlebrink was third in 17:04.
Otsego had two other runners in the top 10 — sophomore Caleb Baus was fourth in 17:10 and senior Seth Harnishfeger was seventh in 17:20.
The Knights also won the NBC meet last season, but Elmwood won the conference championship.
Last season’s NBC championship was determined by points earned in the conference meet and two regular-season jamborees. The jamborees were held again this season, but weren’t used to determine the NBC champion.
“I’m very proud of this group,” said Otsego coach Ryan Hafner, who is in his second season. “They’ve set some lofty goals for the team and themselves and this is one of them. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way they ran today. They packed together and ran a great race.”
Avers — the overwhelming favorite — was the individual champion for the second straight season.
“I came in knowing I’d have to push myself because I knew there was a good possibility it would be me against the clock,” Avers said. “Today was the win the race or I was going to be pretty upset, I wanted win again I’m happy with my race.”
Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 10:04
 

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