FINDLAY – No athletes wants to lose. But if they have to go down, most would prefer to be beaten, as opposed to performing poorly and being left with could-haves and should-haves to stew over afterward.
The Fremont Ross boys cross country team ran well Saturday at the Division I district meet in Findlay. Just not quite well enough. With four teams advancing to next weekend’s regional meet for a chance to continue to the state meet, the Little Giant runners finished fifth, totaling 145 points, 38 points behind Norwalk for a trip to the regional meet.
“I talked about that, that they could run their very best and they still could end up fifth and we were kind of on the bubble,” coach John Elder said. “That’s kind of what happened. I don’t think we ran poorly.
“As a team, they were disappointed, but not hugely disappointed. I think they did the best they could and it just wasn’t their day. I said, ‘Make sure, if you don’t make it, you have no regrets,’ and I didn’t really hear anybody talk regrets. So that was nice.”
While the Little Giants missed the cut as a team, a pair of individuals will continue their seasons.
Having both placed inside the race’s top 16 finishes, Ethan McClory (seventh overall in 16:44) and Zach Edmonds (10th, 16:47) advanced to the regional, where Elder, said the competition for a trip to the state meet will be steep.
When the times of the two districts that ran Saturday are combined together, as they’ll be in the regional, McClory’s time ranked 11th while Edmonds’ is 15th. The regional’s top 12 runners will advance to the state meet.
“They certainly are capable of doing that but it’s going to be pretty competitive, as it should be,” Elder said. “Their work will be cut out for them. They’ll have to run, and they know that.”
McClory and Edmonds won’t be Ross’ only representatives at the regional level, however.
In the girls race, McKela Elder clocked a time of 19:06, placing her fifth overall, advancing her to the regional as well.
“She had a great race,” John Elder said, noting that on the same course earlier this season, McKela ran a time of 19:04, only two seconds ahead of Saturday’s pace which took place “in conditions a lot less favorable.”
McKela Elder also has the cleared path to the state meet berth. Unlike the boys’ regional, which will combine two districts worth of qualifiers together, the girls regional will consist of only the same teams which advanced from the weekend’s district meet.
While only eight will advance to the state meet from the regional, since McKela Elder placed fifth against the same group of runners, John Elder likes her chances to maintaining her place.
“It’s a smaller field, only the individuals and the five teams that made it out,” he said. “She’s sitting fifth on paper, she just has to run like she’s capable of to move on.”
The season for the rest of the Lady Giants, however, came to a close as the team placed 10th out of 14 teams. Among Ross’ other runners, John Elder noted senior AnneMarie Moses, who didn’t join the team until midway through the season, trimmed her previous best time by nearly 90 seconds, saying he wished she’d come out for the team sooner.
“That was the race of the day. It was just outstanding,” he said. “I said to her mom, ‘Too bad we can’t redshirt her.’ She’s a great kid to have on the team and with that kind of effort, it’s great. She’s not a stereotypical runner build, but it was very impressive.”
With the rest of the Lady Giants’ season having ended, and Moses being the team’s only senior, Elder said he is hoping to see a stronger and more competitive girls team next fall, but that is going to be up to the runners themselves.
“(We need) a little bit more dedication, as a whole, so they can have some better consistency,” Elder said. “We had some nagging (injuries), like hip issues. And my conversations with them was like, ‘If you know this is a problem, it’s your job to make the right steps to not let it happen again. Whatever strength exercises you have to do, you need to take the time and get on that.’
“I think the girls team is like the boys were last year, not necessarily thinking they can be that good and not having confidence. I thought the girls would be better this year, but they could still be one year away.”
DIVISION I DISTRICT MEET
BOYS RESULTS – 1. Ashland 55; 2. Defiance 62; 3. Sylvania Southview 63; 4. Norwalk 107; 5. Fremont Ross 145; 6. Tiffin Columbian 156; 7. Bowling Green 157; 8. Maumee 255; 9. Maison Comprehensive 277; 10. Springfield 301; 11. Rogers 309; 12. Bowsher 324; 13. Start 382.
ROSS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS –
- Ethan McClory, seven points, 16:44
- Zach Edmonds, 10 points, 16:47
- Jayden Scott, 41 points, 18:03
- Noah Egbert, 42 points, 18:06
- Brayden Darr, 45 points, 18:10
- Isaias Ortiz, 57 points, 18:53
- Jake Thompson, 60 points, 19:03
GIRLS RESULTS – 1. Perrysburg 83; 2. Notre Dame Academy 88; 3. Ashland 94; 4. Anthony Wayne 100; 5. Sylvania Northview 118; 6. Findlay 157; 7. Oregon Clay 179; 8. Sylvania Southview, 218; 9. Bowling Green 222; 10. Fremont Ross 252; 11. Whitmer 281; 12. Wapakoneta 309; 13. Springfield 390; 14. Lima Senior 453.
ROSS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
- McKela Elder, five points, 19:06
- Allison Taylor, 30 points, 20:37
- AnneMarie Moses, 58 points, 21:35
- Grace Egbert, 75 points, 22:37
- McKenna Englund, 84 points, 24:09
- Ashanti Elkins, 90 points, 24:51
- Nadia Kirksey, 91 points, 24:52