The West Liberty-Salem girls cross country team earned its seventh consecutive DIII state berth Saturday at the Troy Southwest Regional meet. The Big Orange ranked #5 in the latest DIII state coaches poll was edged out by #2 state-ranked Ft. Loramie by 1 point to place second overall. The top three teams qualified for next week’s state meet.
The duo of Ashley Yoder and Malia Miller powered the Big Orange with top-10 finishes. Yoder placed 6th (19:46) and Miller 7th (19:51). Breece Gullet ran for 15th place (20:31) and Addison McAuley and Gwen McCullough recorded top 25 finishes with McAuley placing 22nd (20:49) and McCullough 23rd (20:52). Taylor Kennedy placed 37th (21:33) and Claire Longshore 51st (22:13).
“The girls left it all out on the course today against two top 10 state-ranked teams,” said WLS head coach, Ann Vogel. “I’m so proud of the fight and determination they showed throughout the race. Qualifying for the state meet is always tough, and today’s race is a testament to their work ethic, love for their team, and commitment to the tradition of the Big Orange program.”
WLS will compete at the OHSAA State Championships Saturday at The Fortress in Obetz starting at 11:45 a.m.
West Liberty-Salem boys, #3 in this week’s OATCCC D3 State Poll, finished Regional Runner Up at the D3 Troy Regional. It’s the second consecutive year finishing Regional Runner Up and will be the teams 5th consecutive trip to State. It also marks the program’s 21st state appearance.
Sr. Owen Harrison 3rd 16:44.7; Fr. Garrett Wallen 13th 16:58.5; Jr. Joey LaRoche 20th 17:16.5 PR; Fr. Dylan King 21st 17:17.0 PR; So. Troy Bradley 29th 17:34.3; So. Quentin Rudolph 33rd 17: 40.2; Fr. Brevin Louden 46th 18:09.1
Comments from head coach Mike Louden:
“I’m very proud of the way this team responded after all of the sicknesses that has run its course through the program this week. Qualifying to state for the 5th consecutive year is a testament of this team’s fight and character. In fact, today we ran without Asher Knox the team’s #2 runner who didn’t compete because of illness. Just happy for the whole team stepping up in his absence and running an outstanding team race. We’re hopeful he’ll be back next week to help us at the state meet. Senior Owen Harrison ran an almost flawless race moving up methodically from 35th at mile 1 to finish in 3rd to lead the team. Freshmen Garrett Wallen rose to the occasion and delivered a top-15 finish, which is incredible for a freshmen. Junior Joey LaRoche and Freshmen Dylan King both had remarkable races and set career personal bests. Troy Bradley also ran a solid race rounding out the scoring for the Big Orange. Quentin Rudolph and Brevin Louden ran great races despite coming off of illnesses.”
Here’s the link for tickets and here is the link for directions and more information about the state meet at The Fortress in Obetz.
Congratulations to our middle school Big Orange teams! Boys State Champs and Girls State Runner-up!
The Big Orange girls cross country team won its fourth consecutive DIII SW Regional title Saturday in Troy. Senior Megan Adams was the individual race champion.
The Big Orange will compete in the OHSAA DIII State Championship race Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at The Fortress in Obetz. State meet tickets are available at OHSAA.org
The Big Orange boys cross country team placed second at the DII SW Regional and qualified for this year’s OHSAA state meet. The boys will race at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 6th at The Fortress in Obetz.
The Big Orange boys placed 12th in the DII State Meet. Junior Dylan Lauck earned All-Ohio honors.
Jr. Dylan Lauck 12th 16:10.9 (3rd straight year making the podium) All-Ohio
Jr. Tate Yoder 43rd 16:48.7
So. Michael Jones 106th 17:40.7
So. Owen Harrison 114th 17:47.8
Sr. Josh Spinner 119th 17:52.3
Sr. Hayden Kennedy 122nd 17:57.7
Jr. Ayden Estep 154th 18:51.9
Season Record: 71-21
Meet Record: 8-11
Total Runners: 168
State D2 Standings
River View 192
Van Wert 232
McD Northwest 263
West Liberty-Salem 278
The West Liberty-Salem girls cross country team capped off an undefeated season, with its first state title in school history Saturday at the OHSAA DIII State Championships at the Fortress Obetz. The Big Orange held off the 4 time defending state champion Minster and state powerhouses Liberty Center and Fort Loramie for the convincing win.
1st WLS 55, 2nd Minster 83, 3rd Liberty Center 115, 4th Fort Loramie 126, 5th Gilmour Academy 163, 6th Mount Gilead 185, 7th Maplewood 224, 8th Mineral Ridge 275, 9th Colonel Crawford 283, 10th Versailles 291, 11th Woodmore 302, 12th Anna 322, 13th Ft. Recovery 323, 14th Ottawa Hills 349, 15th Liberty Union 381, 16th St. Henry 392, 17th Smithville 421, 18th Grandview Heights 432, 19th Cardington-Lincoln 459, 20th Caldwell 479.
Four Big Orange runners earned First Team All-Ohio status with Megan Adams leading the way in 5th place in 18:43. Freshmen Ashley Yoder and Addison McAuley placed 8th and 10th respectively in 18:49 and 18:56, and Katelyn Stapleton placed 18th in 19:20. Madison Bahan earned Second Team All-Ohio placing 31st in 19:30. Rounding out the WLS placers were Taylor Kennedy in 89th place 20:49, and Claire Longshore 127th in 21:51.
Adams and Stapleton have become the first Big Orange athletes to earn All-Ohio in three consecutive years.
The team caps off the season being ranked #3 in all divisions in Ohio and #58 in the nation.
Six West Liberty-Salem cross country student athletes earned 2019 OATCCC All-Ohio Academic honors at Saturday’s state cross country championships. To be eligible student athletes grades 10-12 must have a 3.5 or higher grade point average and compete in the state meet. Earning this recognition for the Big Orange are Grace Adams, Megan Adams, Madison Bahan, Lydia Moell, Katelyn Stapleton and Mandilyn Weaver (pictured below)
The Big Orange girls cross country squad finished as the state runner-up in the Division III race at National Trail Raceway, capturing their highest state finish in school history.
“The girls showed so much composure today,” said longtime head coach Ann Vogel. “We were in fifth after the first 800, but they just kept working their way through the pack. They are a veteran team and they knew what to expect. I couldn’t be more proud of them. That last 800 was phenomenal. Everyone gave it their all.”
Minster and Ft. Loramie jumped out strong, but the Big Orange turned it up over the final half of the race to jump in the thick of the championship chase.
WL-S trailed Ft. Loramie by 44 points and Minster by 16 after the first mile. At the two-mile mark, the Big Orange were 26 points behind Minster and 13 from Ft. Loramie.
The Big Orange remained in third at the 2 1/2-mile mark, sitting 21 points away from Minster and five from the Redskins.
“The race played out very well for us,” said Megan Adams. “We just kept working hard to move up as the race went on.”
Megan Adams was one of three Big Orange runners to earn all-Ohio honors with top-30 finishes.
Also for the Big Orange, Madison Bahan was 52nd (20:08.6), Lydia Moell finished 68th (20:26.9), Mandilyn Weaver placed 124th (21:48.9) and Maggie Davis finished 128th (21:54.9).
The Big Orange girls are very familiar with competing with the cream of the crop in the state. Five of the seven runners that ran Saturday were instrumental in the track and field team’s state championship last spring.
“These girls expect to win,” said Vogel. “I didn’t think we would be state champs in track last spring, but these girls have very high expectations. They wanted to win today and that’s all they talked about. They gave it their all and I couldn’t ask for anything more out of them.”
Saturday’s race offered a lot of individual pride for the Big Orange runners as many of them overcame adversity to turn in stellar outings.
For Megan Adams, as of a few weeks ago, she wasn’t even sure if she would be able to run anymore this season. She suffered a broken foot early on this fall and was sidelined for most of the regular season.
“To be able to finish third is an amazing feeling,” she said. “I had a broken foot, but God blessed me with a quick recovery and gave me the ability to get back to my teammates.”
“Megan is pure guts,” said Vogel. “I remember her riding a bike in a boot while we practiced at Ohio Caverns. She just wanted to be there with her teammates. Her resilience has been amazing. She is one of those special kids that only come around every once in a while.”
Stapleton enjoyed a feeling of redemption after not being able to finish in the state meet as a freshman two years ago.
“I am so happy with how I finished,” she said. “I didn’t finish this race as a freshman, so it feels really good to be able to accomplish this.”
“Katelyn’s maturity and growth has been tremendous,” said Vogel. “She knew what she had to do and went out and did it. She passed 10 people in the last 800.”
Grace Adams, one of two seniors on the team along with Moell, also left a lasting legacy on the program with her all-Ohio performance.
“Grace has improved so much,” said Vogel. “She really took on the role of a leader and was a great example for the rest of the girls.”
Grace Adams and Moell became the 9th and 10th runners in program history to qualify for four consecutive state meets.
Rounding out the top 10 teams in the Division III standings Saturday were Liberty Center (161), Mt. Gilead (165), Centerburg (224), McDonald (252), Gilmour Academy (264), Columbus Grove (286) and Maplewood (289).
Springfield Catholic Central’s Addie Engel ran a blistering time of 17:46.9 to win the Division III race. Her time was a new course record. Her twin sister Bridget was fourth (18:44.5).
Waynesfield-Goshen’s Taylor Spencer also put on a standout showing with a sixth-place finish (18:52.2).
All of us at Born and Raced in West Liberty would like to thank our community, businesses, volunteers, friends and family for the love and support they've shared with our West Liberty runners in 2017.
From road races, track and cross country meets, All-Ohioans, to our Big Orange youth running program, West Liberty is truly a running community. Here are some of 2017's best photos of our runners. May 2018 bring you health, happiness, and miles and miles of good running!