It was a tough day at the office for the West Holmes boys, as the Knights finished just outside of the top 10 at the 84th annual boys State Cross Country Championships Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
In the Div. II boys race, Cully Gordon and Sam Boyd led the Knights to an 11th-place team finish. Gordon finished 40th in 16:36.03. It was the fastest time the senior had turned in at his three state appearances. Boyd ran 49th, clocking in at 16:43.26.
St. Vincent-St. Mary senior Mick Iacofano won the Div. II meet in 15:32.98. Woodridge took the team title with 83 points. Defiance narrowly nipped Shawnee for second, 109-110. Granville finished fourth with 112. The Knights had 287, 10 points behind Notre Dame Cathedral Latin.
"I was hoping to get in the low (16:)30s. This was my best time here," Gordon said. "I enjoyed having Sam pushing me. I know it's helping me and I know it's helping the team. It's a win, win win."
Boyd enjoyed his state cross country experience.
It went well, but it was a hard pace at the beginning," Boyd said. "You're at state, everyone's hyper. Everyone's here for a reason. You know it's going to be fast.
"It's good to know I've got another year," he added. "I'm glad I could help the team get here, and helped these seniors have a good last season."
West Holmes coach Kevin Beachy was hoping for a top-10 finish, but will take the 11th-place.
"They ran well. They ran their best times of the year That's all you can ask at the state meet," Beachy said. "They looked good, and that was a very fast race. That helps these guys. It did make it hard to maneuver anywhere.
"These guys have been buds all year. They started running together this summer. It's been building momentum and we finally got over the hump as a team, and got here. It's nice to see."
"It feels great. This has been the greatest moment of my sports career," West Holmes senior Nate Ewing said after clocking in at 17:51.12. He finished 120th. He was fourth on the Knights, behind Gordon, Boyd and Tim Young (99th, 17:28.77).
"It felt amazing to be here," Young said. "I ran as hard as I could. I went out as fast as possible just to be able to stay with people."
In the Div. II girls competition, West Holmes junior Emily Molnar finished 35th in a time of 19:26.6.
"I had a lot of high hopes for this race, because that's the way I am," Molnar said. "I executed what we wanted to do, I should've kicked more at the end, but, I definitely gave it my best. If you take away my Wayne-Holmes time, this would be my fastest time of the year, so I cant be disappointed with that. I wanted to break 19, but that's just something I'll have to do for next year."
"I thought she ran well," Beachy said. "She ran pretty much what she'd been running all year."
Molnar admitted to being nervous, which hurt her at the beginning of the race.
"I reminded her she's been to state in basketball, and she's run how many races in her career," Beachy said. "She was a little tight at the beginning, but I was happy with the way she ran."