GAC Central Cross Country

Washington runners, middle of hill from left, Tate Kitchell, Travis Elbert and Ian Smith run at the GAC Central cross country meet at Washington High School.

Ft. Zumwalt East’s boys and Ft. Zumwalt South’s girls claimed team titles Thursday at the GAC Central cross country meet.

The event took place on the campus of Washington High School.

The top 14 finishers in each varsity race earned all-conference honors.

Ft. Zumwalt East won the boys team title with a score of 34. Ft. Zumwalt South finished second with 61 points followed by third-place Washington with 79, Ft. Zumwalt North with 90 and Holt with 95.

Ft. Zumwalt South took the girls team crown with a score of 29, edging second-place Holt with 30 points. Washington finished third with 73.

Washington had four all-conference runners, three boys and one girl. Earning GAC Central honors were Josie Plowman, Ian Smith, Travis Elbert and Tate Kitchell.

“I’m very proud of the way all our kids ran. In the past three weeks, we have had significant time drops on the same course,” said Washington Coach Mike Olszowka. “The kids are digging in hard and the improvements are coming at the right time. We had several all-time PRs (personal records) on a very difficult course.”

Varsity Boys

Washington had three all-conference runners in the boys race.

Leading the way was Smith, who finished sixth in a time of 17:10. Elbert placed seventh in 17:13. Kitchell ended 12th in 17:34.

Also running for the Blue Jays were Daniel Lock (26th in 19:09), Andrew Tchiblakian (28th in 19:21) and Jacob Huxol (29th in 19:36).

Sean Conlin of Ft. Zumwalt East won the race in 16:10.

Varsity Girls

Plowman led the Lady Jays in the girls race with a ninth-place finish in 21:01.

Also running for Washington were Ashley Overman (16th in 22:07), Ashley Garrard (17th in 22:12), Desiree Hofstetter (20th in 22:36), Jessica Brown (22nd in 23:58) and Kassy Briggs (23rd in 24:11).

Ft. Zumwalt South’s Teylar Adelsberger won the race in 19:23.

JV Results

Washington’s girls finished fifth in the junior varsity standings. The boys did not field a JV squad.

Leading the Lady Jays was Lexie Geisert, who finished fifth in 22:58.

Also running were Ashley Gratzer (17th in 25:15), Brittany Reynolds (24th in 25:57), Lea Krafft (26th in 26:18), Erin Ready (30th in 29:05) and Leah Whitworth (31st in 29:06).

“The cross country team would like to thank the teachers who helped administer the meet, Mr. (Bill) Deckelman for bringing the GAC championships to WHS, the Jaywalkers, the soccer team and all of the other students and parents who came out to support us. It made a huge impact on our runners,” Olszowka said. “It was one of the things the kids talked about all night and even at practice the next morning. Little things that other sports get to take for granted and that some sports never get make the biggest difference to kids who have never had it. Thank you to everyone who made this event a success.”