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Dalton cross country teams win WCAL, make school history

From left, Dalton seniors Bailey Chenevey, Anna Maglott, Allison Hirst and Miki Fath.

Dalton’s cross country coach Jodi Augspurger was named Coach of the Year Saturday at the Wayne County Athletic League championship.


Dalton’s boys and girls high school cross country teams ran into the history books Saturday when they both placed first at the Wayne County Athletic League championships in Creston.


CRESTON  A freezing frosty fall morning greeted middle and high school athletes Saturday at Brooklyn Park. They warmed up their muscles and did what they have been training for all season – they ran. And they ran right into the school’s history books. Both of Dalton’s girls’ and boys’ teams won their races Saturday at the 2020 Wayne County Athletic League championship.

“We made a little mark in Dalton High School history since it’s the first time both the girls’ and boys’ teams have won the WCAL in the same year,” Dalton High School Cross Country Coach Jodi Augspurger wrote in an email following the county meet.

Waynedale placed second, followed by Smithville, Norwayne and Chippewa in the girls’ races. Chippewa placed second in the boys’ races, followed by Smithville, Waynedale and Hillsdale.

“Several of our athletes received All-County recognition: Brianna Chenevey who finished in sixth place and Emy Nolt who finished in seventh place as well as Mitchell Kutz (16:39.28) who finished in second place and Evan Hodkinson (16:40.85) who finished in third place,” Augspurger said.

Waynedale’s Johnathan Varner (16:24.00) and Rittman’s Pyper Gibson placed first in their races.

“Brianna Chenevey (sophomore) set a new school record with her time of 20:14.7 and Emy Nolt (freshman) now boasts the second fastest time of 20:21.2,” Augspurger wrote. “And, several of the athletes (girls and boys) ran their personal bests of the season.”

Dalton junior Molly Soehnlen placed 10th with a time of 21:43.33 and Dalton senior Bailey Chenevey was right behind her in 11th place with 21:56.66. Alyson Jackson, Ava Fivecoat and Janae Hostetler were in the Top 20.

Dalton freshman Carson Steiner placed eighth with a time of 17:55.92. Dalton senior Jordan Wenger came in 12th place (18:34.43) and Dalton junior Karey Lehman placed 13th with 18:37.93.

Younger runners also fared well in their races. Dalton Middle School’s Caden Schmeltzer placed third (11:22.72) in the 3200-meter run and Dalton’s Jacob Fink placed ninth. Norwayne Middle School’s Parker Metsker placed first (10:55.37). Dalton Middle School’s boys team placed second after Norwayne.

Dalton seventh grader Myah Lehman placed seventh (14:09.83) in the girls 3200-meter run. Smithville’s Kaitlyn Carr placed first (12:35.14).

Augspurger was named Coach of the Year.

Dalton’s high school teams enjoyed running away with the WCAL win but now they are speeding toward a bigger finish line as they continue to progress.

“It was a good day!” Augspurger wrote. “Now, we have to start preparing for Districts.”

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