With three all-conference varsity runners leading the way, Washington’s boys finished in third place in the team standings at the GAC Central cross country meet, which took place Thursday on the Washington High School campus.
Ft. Zumwalt East’s boys and Holt’s girls claimed the varsity team titles.
In the boys standings, Ft. Zumwalt East scored 28 points followed by Ft. Zumwalt South with 55, Washington with 62 and Ft. Zumwalt North with 74. Holt did not have a team score.
Holt had 30 points to claim the girls team title followed by Ft. Zumwalt South with 41 and Ft. Zumwalt North with 57. Washington and Ft. Zumwalt East did not have a team score.
“Hosting a meet is always a big concern for coaches. When you are hosting a meet, you can’t spend as much time with your kids as you normally would. You hope that you have trained them right and you hope they are doing the right things getting ready for their race,” said Washington Coach Mike Olszowka. “Our kids preformed incredible across the board. We kept nine medals (including junior varsity) here in Washington. We had time drops that are almost hard to believe. We can go back to last year and see 90-second improvement, which is pretty amazing. We can also go back three weeks to our home meet and still find one-minute drops. The kids are peaking at the right time.”
The top 14 finishers in each race earned all-conference honors, places one through seven on the first team and places eight through 14 on the second team.
Leading the Blue Jays in the varsity boys race was Travis Elbert, who finished in third place in a time of 16:29.
Tate Kitchell placed fifth in 16:49 to earn first-team all-conference honors.
Also running to all-conference honors was Parker Neptune, who finished 14th in 18:03.
Also for Washington, Josh Luck finished 17th in 18:24 and Jacob Huxol placed 28th in 19:11.
Ft. Zumwalt East’s Sean Conlin won the varsity boys race in 15:40.
The Lady Jays were led in the varsity girls race by Ashton Leslie, who finished seventh in 20:15 to secure first-team all-conference honors.
Josie Plowman also earned all-conference honors, placing 13th in 20:37.
Also for Washington, Cheyanne Leslie finished 20th in 21:43 and Morgan White placed 24th in 23:27. Alex Ready did not finish.
Holt’s Chandler Carreon won the varsity girls race in 18:33.
“We had very high hopes going into this meet. We cranked out our best practice of the year Monday and you could see it on the kids’ faces,” Olszowka said. “They get it, they understand what and why, they totally believed in what they were doing and it carried over to today. Their momentum will hopefully carry us through another week.”
Washington had four junior varsity medalists, two in the boys race and two in the girls race.
For the Blue Jays, Clayton Duchatschek finished third in 18:32 and Andrew Tchiblakian was fifth in 18:38.
Also running were Joe Omer (18th in 20:21), Nathan Mauldin (34th in 21:29) and Scott Klein (37th in 21:44).
For the Lady Jays, Lexi Geisert placed sixth in 22:38 and Kelsey Sullentrup was 14th in 24:04.
Also running were Riley Johnson (15th in 24:04), Leah Krafft (16th in 24:05), Kailey Fortner (21st in 25:10), Hayley Laubinger (22nd in 25:12), Ashley Gratzer (23rd in 25:40), Lauren Kopp (24th in 25:53), Leah Whitworth (33rd in 28:17) and Erin Ready (34th in 28:17).
“There are too many people to thank to get everyone. Mr. (Bill) Deckelman goes out of his way to bring events like this to WHS, then he gives us the tools to put on the best possible event for our kids and anyone else who attends,” Olszowka said. “We had a huge crowd on campus that got to see a great race on a very viewer-friendly course. For one night, the kids felt like they were the most important thing at WHS. It was an awesome atmosphere.”