A perfect November morning greeted the 554 boys from 174 schools and 558 girls from 180 schools competing in the 94th annual Boys and 45th annual Girls Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross Country Championships held at Fortress Obetz.  The course was laid out so the fans could see runners straight across from the grandstands four times, the 400 meter mark, the one mile and two mile marks and the final 120 meters to the finish line.

The Girls Division III started the day of racing as Maplewood’s bronze finisher in 2022 senior Caleigh Richards hit the final 100 meters with a one second lead over Heartland Christian’s sophomore Rebecca Geiss (tenth last year).  Geiss would close and pull side by side with Richards the final 20 meters.  A photo finish decided Geiss hit the line in 17:55.0 for the win while Richards was second in 17:55.1.  Smithville’s sophomore Kaityln Carr (18:02) improved four spots from last year to capture the bronze.  New London’s senior Reese Landis improved eight spots from last year to finished fourth in (18:23) and Defiance Tinora’s senior Lauren Sattler (18:26) finished next.

Two time defending champion Minster again returned to the top of the podium for the seventh time in the last eight years and the sixteenth time in the history of the meet with a score of only 62 points.  Rittman in their first appearance at the State Championship took home the runner up trophy with 123 points. West Liberty-Salem (175) moved up a spot from last year to finish third. Ft. Loramie (191) captured the next spot.  Madeira and Liberty Center each scores 206 points with fifth place going to Madeira based on their sixth place runner’s finish.

Rittman’s sophomore Luke Snyder (15:23) (runner up last year) held off Mowrystown Whiteoak’s junior Landen Eyre for a three second victory with Eyer improving three places form last year. Covington’s senior Asher Long (15:41) placed third improving twenty two spots from 2022.  Mount Gilead junior Will Baker (15:45) moved up fifteenth places from last year for fourth.  Ottawa Hills’ senior Riley Nixon (15:52) improved seven spots from last year to finish fifth.

Columbus Grove improved five spots from 2002 to take home the championship trophy with 122 points. Mount Gilead last year’s champions took home the runner up trophy with 128 points. Maplewood finished third with 166 points. West Liberty-Salem (171) improved nine spots from 2022 to finished fourth.  Versailles (197) rounded out the top five teams.

Peninsula Woodridge’s senior Reese Reaman improved two spots from last year to capture the Division II Girls title with her 17:52 clocking.  The Plains Athens’ sophomore Sophia Szolosi improved sixth spots from 2022 to finish a strong second in 17:58.  Waynesville ‘s senior Samantha Erbach runner up last year captured the bronze in 18:25.  Canal Fulton Northwest’s sophomore improved nine spots from last year to place fourth in 18:30.  Lexington’s sophomore Brailey Slone (18:38) moved up fourteen spots from last year to finish fifth.

Minerva improved three spots from 2022 to take home the championship trophy with their 144 points.  Peninsula Woodridge (157) improved five spots from last year to hoist the runner up trophy. Lexington repeated as the bronze finisher with 166 points.  Tallmadge finished fourth with 171 points.  Ottawa-Glandorf moved up one spot from last year to place fifth.

Fairfield Union’s junior Andrew Walton improved fourteen spots from 2022 to become the Division II Boy’s State Champion with his time of 15:00.  Last year’s gold medal winner Alliance Marlington’s senior Colin Cernansky took home the silver in 15:21.    Peninsula Woodridge’s senior Sam Su (15:41.2) improved twenty three spots to capture the bronze.  Sheridan’s junior Tate Ruthers (15:41.3) improved six spots from last year to finish fourth.    Van Wert’s junior Owen Scott finished fifth in 15:42.

Alliance Marlington three-peated with their 108 points.  Peninsula Woodridge took home the runner up trophy with 123 points. Lancaster Fairfield Union captured the bronze with 136 points.  Bay Village Bay placed fourth with 161 points while Chagrin Falls Kenston (181) finished fifth.

West Chester Lakota West’s junior Evelyn Prodoehl moved up five spots from 2022 to win in 17:23. Cincinnati Ursuline Academy’s senior Bentley Thomas

Captured the silver in 17:51. Dublin Coffman’s sophomore improved thirty six spots from last year to capture the bronze in 17:59.  Olentangy Orange ‘s sophomore Brooke Chapman (18:10) moved up twenty seven spots from last year to place fourth. Avon’s sophomore Kaitlyn Reese (18:12) improved fifteen spots from last year to finish fifth.

Perrysburg finished fourth last year won the Girls Division I team crown with 102 points.  Hilliard Davidson repeated as the runner up with 124 points.  Last year’s team champion Mason captured the bronze with 175 points based on their sixth place finisher with Shaker Heights also scoring 175 points.  Wadsworth finished fifth with 197 points.

Westerville North’s senior Ben Gabelman fourth last year took the top spot on the Division I podium with his 14:51 clocking.  Massillon Jackson’s junior Eli Ilg improved over a minute and thirty five places from 2022 to capture the runner up spot in 14:59. Tipp City Tippecanoe’s sophomore Landon Kimmel improved twenty two spots from last year to capture the bronze in 15:02.  Dublin Jerome’s senior Samuel Ricchiuti ran twenty three seconds faster than his last year runner up finish placed fourth in 15:02. Upper Arlington’s senior Thomas McMahon ran ninety one seconds faster than last year to place fifth in 15:14.

Massillon Jackson improved six team spots from 2022 to capture the team trophy with 86 points.  Last year’s team champions Mason won the runner up trophy with 148 points.  Olentangy Orange placed third with 172 points.  Last year’s team runner up Cincinnati St. Xavier finished fourth with 178 points.  Rocky River (191) was fifth

Check out complete results - https://oh.milesplit.com/articles/341360/results-ohsaa-state-cross-country-championships

RUNOHIO photos - https://www.runohio.com/index.php/photos/2023