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Oak Ridge boys cross country team nips Valle for district crown
The Blue Jays placed five runners in the top 20 and advanced to the state meet
The Oak Ridge boys cross country team spent time relaxing Friday night. It celebrated the district title Saturday afternoon.
"There's a lot of team bonding," Oak Ridge junior Corvin Schoen said about the Blue Jays. "Last night we went to the movies and Fazoli's. We saw 'Real Steel.'"
Schoen didn't think much of the movie, but he liked what he saw Saturday. The Blue Jays nipped Valle Catholic by two points to win the Class 1 District 1 title at Jackson City Park.
"Every single spot there counts," Oak Ridge coach Jason Niswonger said. "We were staggered a lot, and if one of their guys passes one of our guys, we're tied and it goes to the sixth man. Their sixth man beat our sixth guy by one spot. It was that close."
Valle's Nicholas Klein and Oak Ridge's Ethan Seyer waged a battle for the district title. Klein held a slight lead at the mile, and Seyer tried making a move during the second mile.
"After the 2-mile, I was wanting to surge about four times and try to get him," Seyer said. "I did surge. I just couldn't gain as much ground as I would have liked. At the turn of the second mile, I'd say I was 10 yards [behind]. I was about where I wanted to be, I just couldn't catch him that last mile."
Klein fended off the challenges to win the title in 17 minutes, 23.12 seconds. Seyer took second in 17:39.06.
"You're not a runner if you can't get to the state meet and not be pleased with yourself," Seyer said. "There's no doubt I would have liked to win this race with time left over, but I got second to a heck of a good guy. I'm pleased. I'll be there with him next week. That's what counts."
Advance junior Braden Bien, who was vying for his third trip to the state meet, tried to stick with Klein and Seyer.
"I like to keep my first mile pretty fast," Bien said. "I've been working on my second mile because that's my worst mile. The two people in front of me, I use them as my pace. Try to stay as close to them as I can."
Bien maintained a comfortable lead in third place, which is what he prefers.
"I would rather have them be back a little bit and have someone in front of me who's fast that I can keep my pace up with them," he said after finishing third in 18:03.82.
Then the showdown for the district team title was on. Schoen crossed fourth and teammate Jake LeGrand took sixth.
"I was hoping to stick with Ethan and up by Braden," Schoen said. "It didn't happen. Braden, he got that confidence from conference, and that's how he was able to take me easily here at district."
Valle had three runners finish before Oak Ridge's Austin Wunderlich took 15th, and Jacob Seabaugh finished 20th to lock up the district title for the Blue Jays.
St. Vincent had two runner qualify for the state meet in the program's inaugural season. Senior Stephen Graf took seventh, while junior Jonathon Mienhardt was eighth.
Delta also snared a pair of state berths. Junior Dwight Nance was 12th and freshman Caleb Amelunke took 13th. Meadow Heights sophomore Ryan Foltz finished 11th. The top 15 individuals earn trips to the state meet.
Team -- 1. Oak Ridge 44; 2. Valle Catholic 46; 3. St. Vincent 68; 4. Delta 114; 5. Advance 131; 6. Meadow Heights 156; 7. Viburnum 163; 8. Southern 198
Top 15 -- 1. Nicholas Klein (VC) 17:23.12; 2. Ethan Seyer (OR) 17:39.06; 3. Braden Bien (A) 18:03.82; 4. Corvin Schoen (OR) 18:25.23; 5. Jonathan Eunpu (L) 18:33.03; 6. Jake LeGrand (OR) 18:36.75; 7. Stephen Graf (SV) 18:44.62; 8. Jonathon Mienhardt (SV) 18:46.59; 9. Matthew Naeger (VC) 18:51.20; 10. Matthew Bauman (VC) 18:52.55; 11. Ryan Foltz (MH) 19:14.33; 12. Dwight Nance (D) 19:20.87; 13. Caleb Amelunke (D) 19:28.43; 14. Jack Rozier (VC) 19:32.18; 15. Austin Wunderlich (OR) 19:40.14
Local top fives
Oak Ridge -- 2. Ethan Seyer 17:39.06; 4. Corvin Schoen 18:25.23; 6. Jake LeGrand 18:36.75; 15. Austin Wunderlich 19:40.14; 20. Jacob Seabaugh 19:57.40
Advance -- 3. Braden Bien 18:03.82; 25. Tyler Middleton 20:30.67; 26. Curtis Gilliland 20:39.31; 37. Richard Nixon 21:33.90; 44. Ben Trout 22:48.81
St. Vincent -- 7. Stephen Graf 18:44.62; 8. Jonathon Mienhardt 18:46.59; 17. John Lipe (SV) 19:46.55; 19. Zach Schumer 19:55.26; 22. Mark Kutz 20:08.14
Meadow Heights -- 11. Ryan Foltz 19:14.33; 23. Steven Bright 20:22.89; 35. Chris Bollinger 21:20.33; 40. Ben Davie 22:16.09; 58. Kyle Greable 31:39.46
Delta -- 12. Dwight Nance 19:20.87; 13. Caleb Amelunke 19:28.43; 21. Jesse Nance 20:04.18; 34. Jeremiah Peikert 21:15.09; 39. Frank Rozmirsky 21:53.94
Zalma -- 45. Dennis Gregory 23:14.00; 48. Nate Counts 23:36.35; 54. Andrew Hovis 27:44.25; 59. Rylan Ford 39:43.16