State Cross Country: Shawnee’s DeSantis back on podium

WL-S girls fifth, boys sixth in Division III team race

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

OBETZ — Audrey DeSantis is bringing another medal back to Springfield.

The Shawnee High School senior climbed the podium on the state’s biggest stage for the third straight season, finishing 16th in a time of 18 minutes, 46 seconds in the Division II girls race at the Ohio High School Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Fortress Obetz.

“I’m a little disappointed, but I’m happy to get a medal and get on the podium,” DeSantis said. The senior finished 21st as a freshman, ninth as a sophomore and 17th last season.

“It was a good race, but it just felt really fast,” she said.

Shawnee senior Jordyn Dillavou finished 50th in 16:40 in his fourth straight trip to the state meeting.

“It wasn’t really the time I wanted,” Dillavou said. “I tried to run a smart first mile and pick people off, but was just too far back. I couldn’t really do much. There’s nothing you can really do about it. I’m ready for track.”

He finished 28th each of the past two seasons and was disappointed he wasn’t able to finish with All-Ohio honors for the third straight year.

“It’s rough thinking that was my last race, but I’m ready for college,” Dillavou said. “Hopefully, it’s not my last race. It’s rough, but I’ll come back strong for track.”

In the D-III boys race, Emmanuel Christian Academy senior Jacob Kittles finished 141st in a time of 18:18.1.

“It was a crazy experience,” Kittles said. “It was crazy to get here. My season didn’t start out so well and being able to peak at the right time was amazing.”

He finished 16th at the regional meet at Troy last weekend to qualify for the state meet. The goal was to enjoy the moment, he said.

“I loved the course and it was fun to run with everybody,” Kittles said. “It was completely different from regionals. It was so much more exciting and nothing like I’ve ever experienced before, running with people with so much talent. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Mechanicsburg finished 19th as a team in the D-III boys race. They were led by sophomores Matthew Westfall (89th, 17:19) and sophomore Will Negley (90th, 17:20.1).

Cedarville junior Caleb Sultan finished 53rd in 16:55.9 and sophomore teammate Isaac Wallis placed 80th in 17:12 in the D-III boys race.

The West Liberty-Salem girls placed fifth in the D-III girls race with 179 points. Tigers senior Megan Adams was the D-III runner-up in 18:22, while sophomore teammate Ashley Yoder placed 20th in 19:10.

“We were shooting for the top five,” said Tigers coach Ann Vogel. “The only thing I’m disappointed in right now is that it’s the last meet of the season. They left it all out on the course. … We just talked about keeping the faith, having fun and emptying the tank here and I think they did all of those things.”

Adams finished her career as the first Tiger to finish All-Ohio four straight seasons. She passed several runners in the last mile to finish runner-up.

“I knew I needed to fight for my team and fight because it’s my last race, so I may as well end on the best race that I can,” she said.

Vogel was also honored with the OHSAA Sportmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award, which is given to one coach in each sport that “reflect the values of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity through their professional responsibilities and are role models for student-athletes and others,” according to the OHSAA.

“It’s very humbling to be honored by your peers and I’m just so appreciative to work with so many wonderful people in our school and in the coaches I coach against,” Vogel said.

The West Liberty-Salem boys team placed sixth overall in the D-II boys race with 220 points. Tigers senior Dylan Lauck placed 16th in a time of 16:06.

In the D-II girls race, Graham freshman Hailey Nash placed 69th in 19:59.

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