Alder athletes place during state cross-country

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Luke Malone of Jonathan Alder is pictured during the Division II state cross-country meet on Saturday. He placed 30th in the boys race. (Photo submitted)

Jonathan Alder High School was represented by both its girls and boys teams during the Division II state cross-country meet on Saturday.
The Lady Pioneers placed 16th out of 20 squads during their race at National Trail Raceway.
Lexington claimed top honors with 83 points, followed by Granville-170, Tallmadge-175, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary-184, Oakwood-211, Poland Seminary–215, Beaumont-228, Ontario-231, Woodridge-254, Tipp City Tippecanoe-267, Springfield Shawnee-275, Bexley-285, Chagrin Falls-287,
Minevera-293, Buckeye Valley-323, Jonathan Alder-337, Fairfield Union-386, Vinton County–387, Celina-391 and Lima Shawnee-417.
Morgan Hicks of JA was the highest individual placer for area runners.
She found her way to the awards stand (top 30) with a 15th-place effort of 18:47.2.
As a result, she earned All-Ohio accolades for the season. She is only the second Lady Pioneer to earn state honors in the sport.
Maddie Davis accomplished the honor in 2018.
“Morgan ran outstanding and I think you could make an argument that it was her best race of her cross-country career so far,” said coach Justin Creps. “She was very close behind several area runners who were significantly further ahead of her earlier in the season.
“Morgan’s progress this year has been really fun to watch and it’s great to see a lot of hard work paying off. She’s become a consistent sub-19 (minute) runner, which we’ve never really had before.”
Other Lady Pioneer runners were as follows:
Davis, 85th, 20:11.1; Reggan Gray, 113th, 20:43.2; Eliza Streit, 122nd, 20:53.0; Avery Wynk, 141st, 21:22.1; Avery Pierce, 149th, 21:33.3; and Emma Kennedy, 154th, 21:41.2.
A total of 176 athletes competed in that meet.
“The girls’ 16th-place finish was the second-best in the team’s history,” said Creps.
The Lady Pioneers placed 13th last year.
“Overall, I was really pleased with how the girls ran,” said Creps. “With no seniors in our varsity line-up, we will have high expectations next season.
Jon Alder’s boys placed 18th in their D-II race.
Woodridge earned championship team honors with 37 points.
Unioto was runner-up with 115, followed by Heath-160, Bay Village-166, Defiance-187, Carroll-229, Waynesville-232, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary-236, Poland Seminary-236, West Liberty-Salem-274, Hebron Lakewood-313,
Sheridan-318, Madiera-320, McDonald Northwest-329, Chardon Notre Dame Catherdral Latin-344, Huron-354, Cloverleaf-362, JA-388, Lexington-391 and Waverly-402.
Luke Malone of Alder was the 30th runner to cross the finish line and led the Pioneers. His time was 16:28.1, earning him earned All-Ohio honors.
Additional JA runners were as follows:
Zack Hicks, 121st, 17:32.6; Colyn McDaniel, 130th, 17:44.5; Michael Gray, 136th, 17:51.6; Jonas Watkins, 149th, 18:04.4; Caleb Freyhof, 152nd, 18:05.3; and Sergey Dutt, 157th, 18:08.2.
The D-II boys meet featured 182 athletes.
“I am so proud of our boys who placed one spot higher than their state ranking heading into the meet,” said Creps. “They had to overcome a lot of adversity this season, with several key runners moving from the district. A few of our boys ran through some very painful injuries.
“It took everything we had to get back to states for a third consecutive year,” he said. “Although this was our lowest ranking of the three years I think I am most proud of this year because of all this group had to overcome to get here.
“Luke Malone earned all-state honors placing 30th and became the first Alder runner in school history to accomplish that in back-to-back seasons in the sport of cross-country.”


Morgan Hicks of JA is pictured during the Division II girls state cross-country meet. She placed 15th. (Photo submitted)



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