Prep notebook: Cedarville boys cross country ranked No. 1 in D-III state poll

Cutline: The Cedarville High School cross country team runs during a recent practice at the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course in Cedarville. The Indians are ranked No. 1 in the Division III state poll. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Earlier this spring, the Cedarville High School boys cross country team started training at midnight.

With no track season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indians' focus shifted to improving upon last season’s fifth-place finish at the Division III state cross country meet.

“It really helped us cope with it,” said senior Ethan Wallis. “I was really bummed about missing track season, so to keep training, it was difficult at times, but we’re here.”

“We really wanted to train hard this year, so we all went out together,” senior Payton Herron said. “It gets a lot colder (at night), so we didn’t have the sun beating down on us.”

The hard work is paying off this fall. The Indians are ranked No. 1 in the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Division III boys state poll for the first time in program history.

“It’s exciting,” Wallis said. “(Payton) and the other guys worked really hard over the summer. It’s been really exciting to have them put in the work that I’ve been trying to put in with them.”

The Indians won their first race of the year at the Benjamin Logan Early Bird XC Invitational. At the Northwestern Warrior Cross Country Classic, the Indians finished with a perfect score. Wallis was first, followed by sophomore Caleb Sultan, junior Drew Mason, Herron and senior Trent Koning.

Cedarville also won the Bellbrook Invitational before finishing second at the Cedarville High School Invitational last weekend to Carroll.

“It was a humbling experience for the boys,” said Cedarville High School cross country coach Kris Williams.

The Indians barely missed out on a trip to the state meet in 2017 and finished 15th as sophomores. That’s when Wallis dedicated himself to cross country and began training year-round, Williams said. He’s won two races this season.

“It’s paying off,” Williams said.

It’s also helped push his teammates to greater heights, Herron said.

“(Ethan) really helps with pushing us to be better throughout the season and that’s why we are where we are,” Herron said.

Williams knew the top ranking was possible with the talent returning to the team this fall.

“They determined in March when we lost track season that they were going to put the work in,” Williams said. “They went after it. I gave them a program to follow, they pretty much stayed right on it … I’ve been impressed with what they’ve done.”

In order to win the state championship, the Indians have to get five runners under 17 minutes, Williams said.

“A lot of that depends on weather and course, obviously,” Williams said. “You’ve got to have five guys who run their best race on the same day to win the state. They know that. It’s not guaranteed. They know what they have to do to prepare for it. That’s their goal -- to get five guys to run their best race on the same day and let the cards fall where they may.”

The key is staying humble, Wallis said.

“I feel like we get a little overconfident and that’s why we lost it our freshman year,” Wallis said. “We’ve got to stay humble. It’s not guaranteed. You’ve got to work for it.”

Boys soccer: Greenon High School senior Trent Green scored five goals against Catholic Central on Sept. 17 to become the Knights' all-time leading scorer. He broke the previous mark of 82 set by Eric Griswold in 1999. Green has 90 career goals, including 24 this season for the unbeaten Knights (10-0-1, 4-0-1 OHC), who are currently ranked No. 1 in D-III in the Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association local poll.

Boys golf: Northeastern High School senior Hunter Buck earned Ohio Heritage Conference North Division Player of the Year honors this season. Buck was co-medalist at the OHC North Division tournament, tying Fairbanks' Alex Crowe with a 77. Buck scored 147.5 regular season points to earn POY honors.

In the OHC South Division, Greeneview won the league title and placed three on the first team — Mason Witt, Myles Witt and Ian Rinehart. Catholic Central’s Jack Bramel and Southeastern’s Zack Mosier also earned first team honors. Triad’s Cole Pond and Mechanicsburg’s Cole Reiser also earned first team honors in the North Division.

● Tecumseh’s Pierce Grimpe shot a 73 to win the Central Buckeye Conference Postseason tournament at Lakeland Golf Course, earning first team All-CBC Honors in the Kenton Trail Division. Kenton Ridge’s Travis Houseman also earned first team honors in the Kenton Trail. Graham’s Grant Woodruff and Mason Huffman, Urbana’s Tate Armstrong and Northwestern’s Nikolai Mardovin earned first team honors in the CBC Mad River.

Girls golf: Southeastern’s Hope Manning placed second at the OHC tournament with an 82, earning first team All-OHC honors. Greenon’s Makenzie Gossett, Mechanicsburg’s Mazie Reece and Greeneview’s Rachel Strickle also earned first team.

● Tecumseh’s Lyndsey Back and Shawnee’s Isabella DeMayo earned first team honors in the CBC Kenton Trail, while Northwestern’s Callie Langston, Graham’s Morgan Pine and Urbana’s Katie Trudo earned first team honors in the CBC Mad River.

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