The Archbold boys cross country team ran away from the competition to win the District 3 championship at the Division III district meet, Saturday, Oct. 20, at Liberty Center.
The Streaks finished with 54 team points. New Bremen was second with 86; Lima Central Catholic took third with 88, and Ayersville finished fourth with 130.
“The boys winning the district was a great accomplishment of our season,” said Brannon Wurster, AHS head coach.
“The goal was to make the top four, but we knew we had it in ourselves to accomplish more than just a top four.
“You could tell by (the boys’) body language and the look they had that they wanted it.
“You could not have asked for a better finish from all of our guys. They all helped each other accomplish the goal of a district title, and it also was a huge confidence booster for us as a team knowing that from here on out we do have what it takes to compete at a high level.
“As a coach, it’s great to watch the athletes develop confidence as the season goes on, because you can see the growth and maturity start to come out as they use it as motivation to be even better the next week.”
The top four teams and individuals who finished in the top 16 advance to the regional meet at Youngstown, Saturday, Oct. 27. The Div. III boys race is scheduled to be run at 11 am.
Archbold had two boys finish in the top 10. Bryce Tinsman finished second with a time of 16 minutes, 38 seconds.
Alex Hurst was fourth in 16:41.
Zeb Frank was 14th in 17:33, Ben Eggers was 17th in 17:49, and Matt Kinsman was 19th in 17:56 to finish the scoring for AHS.
Pete Schoenhals was 41st in 18:33, followed by Nathan Wachtmann, who was 42nd in 18:34.
Antwerp’s Sam Williamson won in 16:25.
“Looking ahead, we know that we are going to be up against some tough competition as a team and as individuals,” said Wurster, “but like every other week, we have to think to ourselves on what we need to do to be successful and then go out and do it.
“We are going to take this week to continue to focus our minds on being able to go out and run the best race that we are capable of running, and to build up our confidence so that we believe in ourselves that we are capable of competing at the next level.
“We have a couple of goals. The first goal is to qualify for state as a team, and secondly, try to get a few to qualify as individuals as well.
“When it comes down to race day, the Archbold guys will be focused and ready to persevere toward the next step.”
The Pettisville boys team finished fourth in the District 1 race to advance to the regional at Tiffin, Saturday, Oct. 27, 11 am.
Minster won with 55 points, followed by St. Henry with 60, Lincolnview, 96, and Pettisville, 123.
Dominic Frey led the Birds into the chute, finishing ninth in 16:41.
Tanner Rufenacht was 19th in 17:08, and Dan Sauder was 31st in 17:37. Kyle Lantz was 33rd in 17:41, and Jeremy Mann finished the scoring for PHS, placing 34th in 17:44.
Tim Iott was 37th in 17:56, and Austin Dykstra was 39th in 18:04.
Minster’s Eric Dahlinghaus won in 16:01.
AHS, PHS Girls
The Archbold girls placed sixth and Pettisville was ninth in the District 2 race.
Neither team had individuals advance to the regional meet.
For Archbold, Ellie Sonnenberg was first to finish, placing 24th in 21:23. Tressa Parsley was 33rd in 21:41, and Kassidy Garrow was 36th in 21:46. Mara Beck was 38th in 21:54.
Demetria Martinez finished the scoring for AHS, placing 44th in 22:21.
When describing the AHS girls team, Wurster had one word.
“Heart. The season the girls have had was tremendous. They have gone through many ups and downs with a few injuries, and not even once did they even consider to quit,” he said.
“They fought all season long to try to be the best they could be, and when we came to districts we had a shot to advance to regionals. We fell just a little short.
“But every girl walked off that course with their heads held high because they left everything they had on the course.
“This group of girls has just been such a special group who encourage each other, and are always there for one another each and every day.
“I’m proud of each and every one of the girls on this team. They showed their character all season long, and I believe they have started to help build upon something special.”
Samantha Shinhearl was the first Blackbird to finish. She placed 41st in 22:05. Grace Friend was 48th in 22:44, Amber Dykstra was 59th in 23:57, Taylor D’Alelio was 63rd in 24:22, and Carley Hoffmire was 66th in 24:52.
Jaelyn Rufenacht placed 69th in 25:50, and Emily Eicher was 72nd in 26:32.
Coldwater’s Sarah Kanney placed first out of 80 runners, finishing in 17:43.
Coldwater won with 32 points, followed by Liberty- Benton with 40, Edgerton, 102, and Fairview, 144.
The top four teams and individuals finishing in the top 16 at the Tiffin and Youngstown regional meets advance to the Div. III state meet at National Trail Raceway, Hebron, Saturday, Nov. 3, 11 am.