By ARIEL STAHLER
DGKN sports writer
The course for the Wayne/ Holmes County Invitational was changed this year to give runners an opportunity for speed, and it worked in favor for Dalton High School’s boys and girls cross country teams, which placed third and fourth respectively at the meet, which was held Oct. 8 at Orrville High School.
“It was a really nice meet,” said Dalton’s head coach Jodi Augspurger. “The course was different from previous years because they took the hill out of it and had the athletes run through the woods, so it was really fast. Most of our athletes ran one of their best times of the season.”
For the girls team results, Wooster placed first, Norwayne came in second, West Holmes finished third, Dalton took fourth and Waynedale completed the top five. In the individual standings, Emberlynn Nolt came in 10th place with a time of 19:43.9, which set a new school record. Samantha Theil finished 21st at 20:55.6. Mackenna Theil (21:28.8) placed 23rd and Brianna Chenevey (21:30.2) came in 24th place. Analeia Hershberger finished 27th with a time of 21:47.6. Myah Lehman took 30th place at 21:54.8. Ava Fivecoat placed 35th at 22:02.2. Kendal Nussbaum came in 42nd place with a time of 22:46.2. Janae Hostetler finished 45th at 22:50.8. Jordan Nussbaum placed 50th with a time of 23:34.1. Rachel Wertz came in 85th place at 29:20.2.
Wooster also took the top spot in the boys team results. West Holmes was second and Dalton placed third, with Waynedale and Smithville finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Carson Steiner came in 6th overall in the individual results with a time of 16:52.7. Caleb Hofstetter finished 14th at 17:18.6. Ely Hutson was 23rd with a time of 17:48.7. Judah Hershberger placed 27th at 17:58.5. Jacob Fink came in 42nd place with a time of 18:48.3. Brandon Steiner was 61st at 19:19.2. Kaydin Fone came in 100th place with a time of 21:59.7. Tristan Turner finished 103rd at 22:53.1. Nolan Miller was 113th at 27:39.0.
The meet gave Dalton a look at some of the competition for the upcoming WCAL Championships.
“Regarding WCAL, on the girls side there are three very good teams – Waynedale as returning champions, Norwayne with the No. 1 runner in the county and Rittman with a team of strong athletes,” said Augspurger. “These teams will also be vying for District top spots, as well. On the boys side, on paper it looks like Rittman should win the WCAL, but we haven’t actually seen them yet this season. On the other hand, our two strongest contenders throughout the season have been Smithville and Waynedale. This past week, our athletes closed the gap between those two teams and could find themselves right there. We’ve improved a lot over the last two weeks. Provided that we can stay healthy, both our girls and boys teams will be in the mix.”