OBETZ — Tippecanoe sophomore boys cross country runner Landon Kimmel and Covington senior Asher Long finished high on the podium at the state cross country championships Saturday at Fortress Obetz, while Piqua junior Noah Burgh was nearly brought to tears with his performance.
Kimmel sets high standards for himself.
But, even he was happy after a third-place finish in the D-I race in 15:02.16.
And while last year’s 25th place finish at the state meet would have pleased most freshman, it didn’t please Kimmel.
But, he had an opposite reaction after Saturday’s race.
“This feels so much better,” Kimmel said. “I really ran well. This is a great way to end the season.”
And as he re-entered the stadium, Kimmel was in fourth, before chasing down Samuel Ricchuiti of Dublin Jerome, who finished fourth in 15:02.30.
“We have had some battles, mainly in indoor track,” Kimmel said. “It is just an honor to be running with him.”
Ben Grabelman of Westerville North won in 14:51.70 and Eli Llg of Massilon Jackson was second in 14:59.70.
And Kimmel didn’t mince words about next year.
“To win,” he said. “And maybe to get a state record.”
He led Tippecanoe to a 17th-place finish.
Other Red Devil runners were Luke Schwiterman, 90, 16:33.0; Ethan Berning, 125, 16:55.90; Everett Muhlenkamp, 143, 17:05.80; Dimitri Hartman, 145, 17:06.80; Will Hept, 155, 17:17.80 and Elias Stienecker, 171, 17:51.0.
Burgh, a junior, had the best Piqua finish in a number of years, taking 24th in 15:48.80 to earn All-Ohio honors.
“To be honest, to make All-Ohio after all these years running cross country, it just makes me want to ball my eyes out,” Burgh said. “I am really happy with the way I ran,”
He said the finish was the toughest part.
“I was in pretty good position,” he said. “The last mile is tough though. But, I am pretty sure I was in the top 30. Next year, I want to finish top three at district, top six at regional and top 20 at state — because all those get medals.”
Long took third in 15:41.0.
Luke Snyder of Rittman won in 15:23.10 and Landon Eyre of White Oak was second in 15:26.10.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Long, who will run for Findlay next year, said. “It was my final high school race. I am so pleased with the way I ran. I really appreciate my teammates and everyone who came over here to cheer me on.”
Long had the lead at the two-mile mark.
“Really, there were seven of us right there together,” Long said. “I guess I was the first one to touch the two-mile board by a couple milliseconds. I ran the race to win it, but those guys are good. This was a great race for my final high school cross country race.”
Tippecanoe sophomore Morgan Collins wasn’t far from earning All-Ohio honors that come with a top 30 finish.
She took 40th in 19:32.50 in her first appearance at the state meet.
Troy Christian freshman Elisabeth Waltz never expected to make it to state at the beginning of the season.
But, she capped her debut season of high school cross country with a great experience to build on.
She finished 87th in 20:25.50.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]