Updated 4:25 p.m., Perrysburg girls finish fifth, Otsego's Avers 11th at state cross country (11-2-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ/Sentinel Sports Writer   
Saturday, 02 November 2013 14:21
Perrysburg cross country couch Jon Monheim, from left, hugs his daughter Taylor Monheim as assistant Ed Osborne moves to hug runner Grace Lahey after the completion of the OHSAA State Division I girls cross country race. Perrysburg placed 5th at the State meet Saturday.
HEBRON — Perrysburg’s girls cross country team did not meet individual goals Saturday afternoon at National Trail Raceway.
But collectively, the Yellow Jackets placed exactly where they wanted to.
Perrysburg, with 152 points, finished fifth in the Division I state championship race. It is the highest finish in school history for the ’Jackets, who were ranked fifth in the final coaches poll.  PHOTO GALLERY
Perrysburg finished ninth in 2010, its last team appearance at the state meet.
Otsego’s Brandon Avers was 11th in the Division II boys race in 16:25.73.
“We told the girls all week that top five is what we were shooting for and if you have a great day and finish higher than that, then perfect,” said Perrysburg head coach Jon Monheim. “But top five is an incredible finish for us.”
Coming off its best race of the season, it would have been difficult for Perrysburg to duplicate its impressive results of the regional meet.
On a brisk day with muddy track conditions, Perrysburg’s No. 1 runner Taylor Monheim finished 38th in 19:18.23. She was followed by Jordan Doore, 50th, 19:25.05; Courtney Clody, 61st, 19:32.15; Grace Lahey, 77th, 19:45.3; Allie Kemp, 79th, 19:45.47; Emily Henry, 96th, 19:59.16; and Katie Menke, 104th, 20:08.69.
The top five runners’ times are counted towards the team scores.
Defending state champion Mason won with 76 points.
Appearing disappointed in their individual efforts as they crossed the finish line, the ’Jackets were pleased to find out they finished fifth as a team.
“I think they were disappointed because they didn’t see where everyone else on the team finished,” Jon Monheim said. “We had some girls that really stepped up on the biggest stage.”
“That’s the whole thing of a team,” added Jordan Doore. “Not everyone is going to run a perfect race every single time. You have to have girls you can depend on no matter what and that’s how we were.”
Taylor Monheim and Clody are Perrysburg’s only seniors this year, giving the rest of the team much-needed experience at a high-profile race.
Doore and Henry are juniors, while Kemp and Menke are sophomores, and Lahey is a freshman.
“It’s incredible because it gives us confidence in ourselves,” Doore said of making it to state. “We worked so hard for this. In the future, this is definitely going to go under out belts and equip us for later.”
For Avers, his goal was simple — a top 25 finish, which would earn him All-Ohio honors.
Running a consistent race and embracing the cool weather, Avers met his goal, seemingly with ease.
He was consistently in the upper tier of the 149-runner field and sat in 15th at the two-mile mark.
“Today was the one thing I’ve worked for all my life,” Avers said. “I just wanted to come out here not worried about beating people. I wanted to do the best I can do.”
After the race Avers was glowing, literally and figuratively.
The junior was all smiles in his neon yellow pullover as friends and family surrounded him.
“I’ve put 1,500 miles into this since last year, so it’s all about doing the best I possibly could and coming out here and seeing how I ranked with the Ohio kids,” he said.
Eastwood freshman Hannah Sponaugle was 33rd in the Division II race in 19:37.4 and Maddie Jackson was 78th in 20.21.3.
“When I see Hannah’s time compared to what she ran last week, she ran really well,” said Eastwood coach Stephanie Schneider-Sims. “She’s a freshman and you finish in the top 35 in the state, that’s phenomenal. It’s a testament to her hard work.”
Eastwood junior Tim Hoodlebrink was 40th in the Division II boys race in 16:59.38 and Lake senior Tyler Rickman was 63rd in 17:15.74.
Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2013 17:31

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