Wallis was the inspiration for those 11 p.m. and even midnight summer training sessions, when the temperatures were cooler or they had to wait for teammates to get off work.
“We would do that every night over the summer. That’s how we trained,” Wallis said. “I’m really impressed with how they’re doing this year. I’m really proud of the guys.”
Cedarville beat runner-up Fort Loramie 27-46 on Saturday as the Indians placed their top five runners inside the top 10.
Joining Wallis was Herron (fourth, 17:05.4), sophomore Caleb Sultan (sixth, 17:22.2), junior Drew Mason (seventh, 17:26.9) and senior Trent Koning (ninth, 17:39). Freshman Isaac Wallis (18th, 18:03.5) and sophomore Ben Ormsbee (19th, 18:12.6) rounded out the top seven.
Next up for Cedarville is the regional championships Saturday in Troy.
“Being number one we’ve got a target on our back,” Herron said. “We have to keep pushing and try to be the best we can at every meet.”
To comply with COVID-19 guidelines on the Elvin R. King’s cross country course, each boys and girls division was split into two races – Race A and Race B – to reduce the number of runners competing at the same time.
In the D-II boys meet, junior Dylan Lauck won the Race A district title in 15:41.9 for a 12.5-second victory. The Big Orange also won the district title behind junior Tate Yoder (third), sophomore Owen Harrison (12th), senior Josh Spinner (14th), senior Hayden Kennedy (16th), sophomore Michael Jones (17th) and junior Ayden Estep (20th).
Shawnee finished fourth in Race A to qualify for regional. The Braves were led by junior Jordyn Dillavou’s sixth-place finish. He was followed by senior Noah Schafer (22nd), senior Dylan O’Brien (28th), sophomore Xavier Hines (34th), freshman Jonah Kiess (36th), sophomore Lansen McCoy (42nd) and freshman Aiden Kocher (86th).
In D-II girls, Shawnee junior Audrey DeSantis won the Race A title in 18:25.8. The next runner crossed the line 33.2 seconds later.
“I was hoping people would stay with me longer than a mile,” DeSantis said. “It is kind of nerve-racking because I don’t know how far people are behind me.”
Northwestern – paced by junior Madison Little’s ninth-place finish – took third to qualify. Joining her at regional are sophomore Kayley Yontz (21st), freshman Alyssa Christian (28th), junior Natalie Boehmer (31st), junior Madison Lyday (37th), freshman Kensie Hayes (41st) and sophomore Anna Prack (49th).
In D-III girls, West-Liberty Salem had the top four runners in Race A and scored 25 points for a 25-point victory over runner-up Versailles.
Freshman Addison McAuley won the district title in 18:49.5 and was joined by freshman Ashley Yoder (second), senior Katelyn Stapleton (third), senior Madison Bahan (fourth), freshman Taylor Kennedy (17th), freshman Claire Longshore (18th) and junior Mahdilyn Weaver (37th).
Cedarville’s girls finished third in Race B, behind senior Ellyn Coe’s third-place finish, to advance as a team along with sophomore Aleena Cook (17th), senior Abigail Shephard (22nd), sophomore Rachel Tarwater (25th), sophomore Anna Mark (26th), junior Elizabeth Dunham (29th) and senior Abi Tarwater (34th).
Yellow Springs sophomore Cheyan Sundell-Turner, Triad freshman Shalyn Smiles and Emmanuel Christian Academy freshman Jasmine Bell qualified as an individuals.
In D-III boys, Emmanuel Christian Academy junior Jacob Kittles and Mechanicsburg freshman Will Negley both advanced.