MHS boys place 1st at Broughton; Fort Frye’s Anderson top overall runner

If you ask Marietta coach Dale Leeper, he’ll tell you cross country is all about pack running.

That’s the strategy his boys team implemented at the 15th annual Elizabeth S. Broughton Memorial Invitational Saturday and the result was a meet championship.

The Tigers netted eight finishers in the top 23 which led them to a score of 59, ahead of second place Williamstown’s 77.

“We’re very pleased,” Leeper said. “It’s been a couple years since we’ve had an individual championship here at our home course. It’s just a nice way to do it.”

Jake Haught was the first Tiger across the finish line after 18 minutes, 55.70 seconds to place seventh. Scott Morris followed in 11th place (19:39.50) with Kody Phillips close behind in 13th (19:48.20).

Fellow Marietta runners Collin Doughty, Yogi Tomasch, Nathan Matthews, Max Garrison and Jeffrey Davis all finished between 18th and 23rd, showing off Marietta’s depth.

“Our philosophy is pack running and we packed five guys into that top group,” Leeper said. “That’s what it takes to win an invitational meet.”

Fort Frye runner Jon Anderson finished well ahead of everyone with a time of 17:30.10, 34 seconds ahead of runner-up Brent Ash (18:04.40) of Warren.

“Jon had what he thought was a disappointing race last week,” said Fort Frye coach Jason Lipot. “I know he wanted to do better and he worked hard for it.”

Behind Ash was another Cadet in Ford McElroy, who timed in at 18:13.20. Fort Frye’s next best finisher was Brayson Schilling at 30th, putting the Cadets in sixth place as a team, but Lipot was pleased with the overall performance.

“Our kids trained hard this week,” he said. “I really pushed them this week. I’m excited. The way we’ve started the season is outstanding. They’ve been putting in a lot of effort.”

It’s the second year in a row a Fort Frye runner won the Broughton boys race as last year Anderson’s older brother, Jordan, recorded the best time of the race. Coincidentally, Anderson’s younger brother, Justin, won the junior high boys race this year with a time of 11:07.50 (3200 meters).

Caldwell’s Tanner Harding (18:23.30) and Belpre’s Kyle Windland (18:25.80) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to lead their teams.

Chase Uppole was Williamstown’s top boys finisher. He placed eighth with a time of 19:06.60. Right behind him was Caldwell’s Sean Whetstone (19:14.30) in ninth place.

Meadowbrook’s Brett Bell (sixth, 18:32.50) and Linsly’s Andrew Weiss (10th, 19:24.40) rounded out the top 10.

Caldwell’s Katie Saling was the girls champion, running the race 21:04.10. It’s the second consecutive year a Lady Redskin won the Broughton girls race as Jenna Furr was the top finisher last fall. Fellow Caldwell runner Lindsey Furr came in fourth (22:21.50) as Dugan Hill’s girls finished second as a team to Eastern.

Eastern had Asia Michael (third, 22:17.30), Laura Pullins (sixth, 22:41.20) and Taylor Palmer (eighth, 22:59.40) all finish in the top 10 to pace the Lady Eagles.

Fort Frye’s Mary Kate McElroy was the girls runner-up with a time of 21:32.80.

“We almost had a clean sweep,” Lipot said, smiling.

“Mary Kate, I know she wanted first, but second is awesome for her. She’s a sophomore, young girl, and got beat by an experienced girl it looked like. The heat got to her. She ran a little fast but she’s very positive about it. She’s got her mind on Nov. 1 and state. That’s what we’re working for.”

Fellow Lady Cadets runner Katie Hart recorded a time of 23:03.50 to take ninth place to help give Fort Frye’s girls team a third place finish.

Following Hart was Warren’s Hannah Dugan in 10th with a time of 23:33.80.

Kasey McNamara came in fifth at 22:24.60 to lead Williamstown.

Ravenswood’s Taylor Treadway was the only other top-10 finisher, coming in at 22:49.10 for seventh place.

Marietta’s top runner was Kelsey Hall, who placed 11th with a 23:43.10 mark. Overall, Marietta’s girls placed fourth followed by Williamstown in fifth and Warren in sixth.

On the boys side, Caldwell finished third and Warren was fifth.

Although conditions were very hot and very muggy, Leeper was thrilled with the turnout and overall quality of Saturday’s event.

“In spite of the weather, we always create our own traffic jam out here and we’re really proud of that,” Leeper said. “Between runners and spectators we probably had 1600 people here today. That’s a great turnout.”