St. Clair’s boys runners continued their string of success Tuesday at the Sullivan Cross Country Invitational.
Tyler Stark picked up his second individual victory of the season, outpacing the field with a time of 17:08, 19 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jered Nolie, of Bourbon. With five runners in the top 10, the St. Clair boys won first place with a team score of 27. Bourbon placed second with 45, followed by Sullivan with 79 and Cuba with 90. Washington and Union each only fielded one or two runners and did not qualify for a team score.
For the Bulldogs, Colin Brown finished third with a time of 17:35. Pepper Stark placed fourth at 18:15. Ryan Herman and Bailey Gardner finished ninth and 10th, both under 20 minutes.
“Tyler ran another solid race for his second win of the season,” St. Clair Head Coach Ben Martin said. “The rest of the boys stepped up. Bailey Gardner was our No. 5 runner and he ran his best race of the year; he was 15th with about 600 meters left and ended up 10th.”
The Bulldogs are two for two in team wins on the season after also defeating Sullivan in St. Clair’s home meet, the Franklin County Rundown, 10 days earlier.
Austin Duff and Austin Harger finished 22nd and 23rd for St. Clair, just three seconds apart at 21:17 and 21:20 respectively.
Washington’s lone runner, Pavel Buechter, earned a medal for fifth place with a time of 18:20.
Union’s Matthew Reidel finished 14th with a time of 19:43. His teammate, Dominick Beine, came in 19th with a time of 20:36.
“We did great,” said Union Head Coach Bridget Klenke. “We had seven medalists in total. Meghan Bergner (medaled) for (the) varsity girls. Matt Reidel and Dominic Beine medaled for (the) varsity boys.”
In the girls race, the course was altered mid-race after the lead pack missed a turn early in the second lap. As a result, the race was approximated at 2.77 kilometers instead of 3.1.
Westminster finished in first place with a score of 21. Sullivan placed second with 63, Washington third with 66, St. Clair fourth with 77 and Cuba fifth with 129. Union again fielded just two runners and did not qualify for a team score.
Washington’s returning Class 4 state champion Mikayla Reed did not compete at Sullivan in preparation for Saturday’s race at Forrest Park.
Isabella Francois, of Westminster, finished first at 18:51. Maggie Jones, of Sullivan, was the only non-Westminster runner to crack the top five, coming in second with a time of 19:03 after passing Amanda Espy at the finish line.
Union’s Meghan Bergner placed sixth with a time of 20:19.
Washington had two runners in the top 10 with Allison Meyer finishing seventh at 20:23, followed by McKenna Jacquin in ninth at 20:24.
St. Clair’s Alyssa McCormack rounded out the top 10 with a time of 20:33.
Washington runners Lilly Nix (21:11), Samantha Montgomery (21:33), Kristen Monzyk (21:38) and McKenna Deckelman (22:17) finished 14th, 17th, 19th and 24th.
St. Clair’s remaining runners, Olivia Pratt (21:02), Arin Halmich (21:05), Chloe Merseal (21:41), Erin York (22:08), Elexis Wohlgemuth (23:19) and Alana Hinson (23:41) placed 11th, 13th, 20th, 23rd, 25th and 26th.
“On the girls side, Alyssa McCormack continues to run well,” Martin said. “I was very happy Chloe Merseal got her first varsity medal, she has worked hard all year.”
Union’s only other runner, Addison Kriete, finished 28th with a time of 24:09.
Union ran others in the subvarsity races.
“Andrea Jacquin took first in the JV girls race followed by second-place Pauline Waller,” Klenke said. “Andrea ran a very smart race and I am so excited to see her continue to grow as a runner. Her times just keep getting faster. Pauline looked really strong throughout the whole race. JV boys Hayden Monroe and Gavin Pichard both medaled.”
Between varsity and JV, St. Clair runners accounted for 19 total medals on the day.