2015 Cross Country
Week Six Featured Meet - St. Xavier Invitational

In the DI boys race, we could see a dandy with Dustin Horter of Lakota East and Ethan Shuley of Highlands both running under 15:30.  Dustin has run 15:21 and Shuley has run 15:16.  Mason is not running their top guys at this meet, so the team title looks like St. Xavier and Daviess Country (KY).  Both have identical 1-5 splits of 37 seconds with all five under 17:00.  The problem for Daviess Country will be that theirs starts later and ends later.

In DII boys, Curtis Eckstein of Oldenburg Academy in Indiana has run a 15:17.  No one in DII will come close to that time.  The real battle will be for second with Logan Greco 16:31 and Jacob Robertson 16:33 both of Meade Country, KY battling Cody Chism of Bishop Brossert 16:34, Ryan Estes of Clark Montessorri 16:39 and Josh Wolpert of Badin 16:41.  Meade County should win the DII boys team race.  Ohio teams in the hunt for the DII boys team title include Indian Hill and Badin.

In the DI girls race, it looks like Jessica Hartman will win going away with the race with her best time being 18:28.  Mason will not run their top girls at this meet.  Teams to watch are Lebanon and St. Ursula.

In the DII girls team race, Mariemont led by the freshmen dynamic duo of Marin Valentine and Kate Overbey should win this race.  New Richmond and Monroe should battle it out for second.


Week Five Featured Meet Review - Harrison Inv.

In the girls race, South Oldham's Hallie Searcy won in 19:36.6 while Colerain's Madelyn Frey was runner-up in 19:57.4.  South Oldham and Colerain actually tied for the team championship with both totaling 52 points. By rule, a tie is brokern with the sixth runner, so South Oldham won becuase their sixth finished 43rd while Colerain's sixth was 56th.  This is an important point to emphasize to your runners.  The sixth finisher on your team can play a role in beating another team.  This race points up another facet on cross country coaching.  Turpin and Seton both didn't run their top girls.  Seton's coach, Karen Berling, says they started holding their top seven runners out of some meets during the season last year and it has worked out well for them. Pictured below are the top two finishers in the girls race:  Searcy (L) and Frey (R).

In the boys race, South Oldham's Tanner Dowdy won in 15:55.8 with Cole Dowdy second in 15:58.5.  South Oldham also got third for a powerful 1-2-3 punch.  Elder made it interesting with a 5-7-9-11-14 pack to only lose by five points to the Kentucky powehouse 41-46.  Elder's veteran coach Steve Spencer has emphasized pack running for decades as Elder became known as the purple pack.  A 1-2-3 finish is difficult to overcome but Elder maded it interesting.  Once again we saw a team not running their top people as the expected dual between Dustin Horter of Lakota East and the South Oldham runners never materialized. Picutred below are the two brothers from South Oldham running away from the field.

A total of 465 runners ran in the four races.  Meet director Scott Menze thanks all who competed in this year's meet and hopes that everyone had a great time and a competitive race!



Week Five Featured Invitational Harrison Inv. Preview

The Harrison Wildcats Invitational this Satureday, September 26th is our featured meet of week five.  Varsity girls ran at 9:00 a.m. and varsity boys run at 9:40.  Remember people, it's always ladies before gentlemen.

The varsity boys race could very well see a classic showdown between South Oldhams's (KY) Cole Dowdy who ran fourth at Trinity last week in 15:21.52 and Lakota East's super sophomore Dustin Horter who has run an almost identical time this year at the Queen City Invitational in 15:21.40.  It will be worth it just to go there and watch this classic confrontation.

Image result for lakota east cross country photos

Cole Dowdy                                Dustin Horter

The boys team race looks like a stone cold lock for South Oldham if they bring all their horses.  Elder may be the next best team but doesn't look like a serious challenger to the boys from the blue grass.

In the varsity girls race, Turpin's Sam Bush may well repeat her win from the Milford Inv. last week.  Her closest challenger may well be Seton's Erica Schloemer, a dual we saw earlier at the Queen City Invitational where Bush beat Schloemer by about eight seconds.

Sam Bush                                    Erica Schloemer

The girls team race could reflect more of the same as Turpin and Seton confront one another once again for a team championship.  Turpin won the fight at Queen City Inv. and I look for a repeat here.








Week Four Featured Meet Review

At our featured meet for week four, the Milford Eagles Invitational held at Valley View Nature Preserve, the girls varsity race had 99 finishers with thirteen teams scoring (Trupin entered two teams).  As expeced, the overall winner was Sam Bush of Turpin with a winning time of 19:08.4.  Her top time is 18:53.80 from the Queen City Invitational where she finished as runnerup.  She is picutred below (on left) winning the Milford Eagles Invitational by some 36 seconds along with her teammate (on right) who was thrid in 20:12.3.  Clark Montessori's Rachel Haslen was second in 19:45.2. As expected, the girls team race was close between St. Ursuala and Turpin with St. Ursula edging out the Spartans by seven points 42-49.



The boys race had 100 finishers with 15 teams scoring.  The projected winner in the boys race was indeed Ryan Estes of Clark Montessori who led for most of the race and finished in 16:39.9.  Milford's AJ Erdaty finished second in 16:48.0 leading the Eages to an unexpected win as we projected Walnut Hills to win with Indian Hill second.  Final tallies showed Milford with 71, Walnut Hills with 79 and and Indian Hill third with 89.  Picutred below are the gold and silver finishers Ryan Estes (on left) and AJ Erdaty (on right)



Week Four Featured Meet Preview

Twenty teams in the varsity boys race and 18 team in the varsity girls race are entered in the Milford Eagles Cross Country Invitational at Valley View Nature Preserve.  Over 1200 runners will run in six different races.  http://www.swotccca.com/Documents/EventDocuments/2015%20Cross%20Country%20Milford%20Invitational.pdf.

In the varsity boys race,  I'm projecting Ryan Estes, a sophomore at Clark Montessori, to be the individual race winner and Walnut Hills to edge out Indian Hill for the team championship.

In the varsity girls race, I look for Samantha Bush, a freshman at Turpin, to be the individual winner and for St. Ursula and Turpin to battle for the team championship.

Week Three Featured Meet Review

The biggest surprise to me was Marin Valentine winning the Section II girls race in 20:16.3 and leading Mariemont to the team title as they easily defeated second place Celina 50-81.

Mason Invite_033

Mariemont's Marin Valentine

I guess I shouldn't be surprised since last year Marin was second at the Ohio Middle School State championship running two miles in 11.43.34 and leading Mariemont to the Middle School DIII girls state championship with 34 points.

Mason boys and girls both won the Section I races at Mason as expected.  The girls were led by Maegan Murphy's fourth place finish (19:07.2) while the boys were led by Allen Giordillo's 5th place finish (16:32.0).

Maegan Murphy                        Allen Giordillo

It looks like Mason girls will battle Centerville while Mason boys will battle St. Xavier  for Region 4 championships.




Week Three Featured Meet Preview

The entry count in this meet just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year.  The count has now passed 100 teams and over 3, 500 competitors in 13 races.  The list of teams entered is here.  http://www.swotccca.com/Documents/Champions/Mason%202015%20entries.pdf Most Kentucky and Indiana teams are unable to come to this meet because Ohio changed their schedule and the Mason meet falls on another weekend than it normally did which ruled out Indiana girls powehouse Carmel and others from both states.  We will see Ft. Thomas Highlands at this meet and they should have the individual champion in Ethan Shuley who won our week one featured race at the Moeller Primetime Invitational in 15:32.1 smashing the course record by some 37 seconds.  See week one featured meet review.

This meet is not your typical cross country meet with two creek crossing, a steep hill at the two mile mark. 12 hay bales on the course, and one mile on trails in the woods.  A unique feature of this year's meet will be a creek crossing cam with a 70 inch video screen at the finish line provided by ICRC TV Sports, so spectators can see the creek crossing where the water can be mid-thigh deep.  Here is a picture of the creek crossing taken several years ago.

This year’s Mason invitational will feature some solid competition, with some great fanfare as well.  The meet boasts nearly 3500 runners, and will have athletes from multiple states.  The creek crossing, the hay bales, the “CREEK CAM” and the mulch hill really make the day special.  This is a true cross country course.  The girl’s D1 race will feature the defending state champions, Centerville, and the defending state runner up team, Mason.  This year the word is the Elks will sit their top stars, so the edge goes to Mason, however, look out for Beavercreek, Turpin, Gahanna Lincoln and Dublin Coffmann should be in the mix.   Up front in this race look for Maegan Murphy to be out front, along with Zofkie, from Wapakoneta, Ellie Brush from Mason and Hartman of Lebanon.  With the Carmel girls sitting this one out, it should open the door for some great battles in the front middle of the pack.   The meet is always a blast and should reveal much about the girl’s character as they tackle this tough 5k course. 


The boy’s D1 race will boast the reigning State Champions, the home team Mason, the 3rd place team from last year in St. Xavier and a solid Beavercreek team as well.  The outstanding team of Dublin Coffman is coming down as well, which should really heat things up in the front of the race.  Don’t count out the Elder team either, they look solid this year, returning to their previous glory and the Carroll team looks tough to beat this year as well.   The race up front should be interesting.  Milesplit has a Middletown freshman, Conant Smith listed with an outstanding time of 15:43, then the KY, Highlands superstar will be present @ along with Bons of Coffman at nearly 16 flat.  Pick Central has their top stud Scrape at 16:06 with another Coffman frontrunner and Ewert of Beavercreek right behind.  The Mason course does not easily give up fast times (course record 14:59, only a few under 16 ever) so don’t look for lightning quick times, but these boys could light it up on Saturday if the weather holds.  The team race should be between Coffman and Mason, but it is early and this course does strange things to the competition. 

Week Two Featured Meet Review

Girls winner -Amelia's Maddie Walker  Boys Winner - Lakota East's Dustin Horter

Freshman Maddie Walker won her second rece of the year in winning the Queen City Invitational in her fastewst time of the year in 18:40.3.  She also won the Finishtiming Invitational in 18:47.1.  She appears to be the leader for the VOA Southwest district at this early point in the season.

Dustin Horter also won his second race of the year with his fastest time of the year in 15:21.4 in achieving his goal of setting his career best time at this meet.  He also won the East Classic the previous week in 15:46.2.  At this point in the season, he has the second fastest sophomore time in the USA according to milesplit.


Queen City Boys Team champions  Lakota East - Queen City girls Runner-up Sara Bush

By going 1-3-11-18 and 25 in the 373 runners field, Lakota Easy easily won the Queen City Invitational boys division over Anderson 58-115. 
Turpin girls runner-up Sam Bush led the Lady Spartans to a surprising win in the girls division over top GGCL team Seton 79-94.  Sam was only one of two girls who broke 19:00 in the race covering the 5K distance in 18:53.8

Week Two Featured Meet Preview

Queen City Invitational at Kingswood Park in Mason – Saturday September 5, 2015

Boys Individual Race: Sophomore Dustin Horter of Lakota East is the overwhelming favorite as he is the only Cincinnati runner under 16:00 having run a 15:46.20 at the East Classic which is the second fastest in DI this season. His fastest last year was a 15:38.35 at the GMC championships and he’s made it known that he’s out to beat that time this week at the Queen City Invitational. Last Spring, he ran a 9:13.87 at the State track & field meet in the 3200m and was 5th.   Mason’s Ray Berling’s 16:23.80 at Kings Island last week should get second at this meet followed by his teammate Allen Gordillo who ran a 16:33.10 at the same meet.

Boys Team Race: Mason should have an easy time of it with St. Xavier going to Tiffin. That leaves Lakota East to battle the Comets for the team title. East will have the overall winner but not the depth to seriously challenge Mason who has the horses to win by some 50 points in this 20 team field.

Girls Individual Race: This race will have plenty of the drama lacking the in the boys race with three girls under 19:00 so far this year and within a few second of each other. Amelia’s Maddie Walker ran 18:47.10 at the Finishtiming.com Invitational in winning the race without any serious challengers. Mason’s Elizabeth Brush 18:54.30 and Kings Leah Maschino 18:56.30 battled it out for the runner-up spot at the Moeller Primetime Invitational, and the stage is set for another showdown battle.

Girls Team Race: Mason’s girls went 2, 6, 7, 9, and 11 in the 254 girls race at the Moeller Primetime Invitational with a 18:54-19:31 split. No local team will seriously challenge the Lady Comets this year with the firepower they have assembled. Seton should get the runner-up spot but Kings may have something to say about that. I wouldn’t count out the Ursuline Lions either.

Week One Featured Meet Review

Let’s take a look at how our boys preview came out. We picked Beavercreek’s Ben Ewert to win. He ran a solid race and finished fourth. Ben will be a factor in Southwest Ohio as the season progresses. It’s doubtful anyone could have beaten Highland’s Ethan Shuley who smoked the course with an astonishing 15:32.1 destroying Evan Stifel’s course record of 16:09.49. We said that Hunter Moore of Orange would be in the hunt and he was the runner-up as one of two runners who broke 16:00 on the course. Brandon Morrow of Orange was indeed a top finisher as he came in 8th . St. Xavier’s Austin Angeline also made the top ten award call out with his 5th place finish.   Allen Gordillo of Mason (9th) and Jake Bauer (10th) of Mason also made the podium as predicted. One surprise was Ray Berling (6th) of Mason as their top finisher who we didn’t have listed as a top contender. Troy’s Steven Jones also turned some heads with his 3rd place finish and one of three who broke Stifel’s course record who was not expected to be among the top finishers.

Ethan Shuley of Ft. Thomas Highlands

Turning now to the boys team race preview, we said Mason and Orange would be too close to call with St. Xavier also making their presence felt. The actual results showed Mason (55) beating Orange (91) but St. Xavier 82 also finishing ahead of the boys from Columbus.

Looking at the girls results, we blew it on the overall winner Maegan Murphy. In fact, two of her own teammates Ellie Brush (2nd) and Ailee Henderson 6th finished ahead of Murphy’s 7th place finish. Unhearaled Leah Maschino was a surprising 3rd. Jessie Hartman of Lebanon was up there as expected with her 4th place finish. Beavercreek had two in the top ten with Lauren Shuman finishing top five as expected. Like the boys race the girls winner was dominant winning by 39 seconds in 18:15.9 top put her third on the all time list behind Annie Heffernan’s junior and senior times but ahead of Heffernan’s sophomore time. Like the boys winner the girls winner, Morgan Gigandet of Troy was an unexpected champion with a time of 18:15.90.

Troy's Morgan Gigandet

The girls team championship was not as close as expected with Mason winning with a dominant total of 35 over second place Beavercreek’s 93. Pictured below are the Mason girls champions.

Week One Featured Meet Preview

Primetime Invite 2015 Preview by Matt Hook


When late August rolls around it signals one thing for us – the start of Cross Country all over again. The beginning of the season in southwest Ohio wouldn’t be complete without another Moeller Primetime Invitational presented by Buckeye Running Company. Hosted at the Kings Island Tennis Center, this year’s meet is shaping up to be the best one yet. With up to 30 teams competing, the meet has grown to one of the premier meets in the early season slate. The high school races will start on Friday August 28th at 6:25 and conclude with the Boys Varsity race at 9pm under the lights!


The Boys team field is a loaded one. OH#10 St. X will look to defend their crown for the 4th consecutive year, but they will have to get by a tough group. You have defending state champ and OH#2 Mason leading the pack, but close behind is OH#4 Olentangy Orange. Also racing is OH#13 D2 Carroll. Also in the field locally are the host team Moeller, Kings and Milford among others. From a first glance, this looks like a tough one to call between Mason and Orange, but St. X will surely make their presence felt.


Individually there should be some fireworks up front with Ben Ewert of Beavercreek as the pre-race favorite. The trio of Hunter Moore, Brandon Lane and Brandon Morrow from Orange will not make it easy on him. The front trio of Austin Angeline, Justin Grender and Chris Reischel for St. X should make an appearance towards the top as well as Justin Koehler, Alan Gordillo, Jakob Mueller and Jake Bauer from Mason. The Comets are coming off a nice pack run at the OHSAA preseason invitational where they had a 33 second split from 1-5.

Boys favorite Ben Ewert won USATF 2K Steeplechase - Maegan Murphy is the girls favorite.


On the girls side, the team race should be even more competitive, with a deep and talented field led by the team from Mason. These girls finished runner-up at State last year and are currently ranked 2nd to start this season. OH#5 Beavercreek is also in the race as well as OH#17 St. Ursula and D2 OH# 17 Eaton and local mainstays Ursuline and McAuley. Mason is coming off of a 3rd place finish at the OHSAA meet and SUA had a very respectable 9th place finish. It looks like the early edge goes to Mason, but it won’t be easy.


We are guaranteed a new champion in the girls race this year, as past champion Annie Heffernan is now racing for Notre Dame. Maegan Murphy of Mason looks the be the pre-race favorite after her 4th place finish at last year’s state meet. Teammate Ellie Brush will also be looking for a high finish in this race. Other contenders at the top include Jessica Hartman of Lebanon and Emma Bryant of Vandalia Butler. Rounding out the top of the field you have Erica Schloemer of Seton, Ailee Henderson and Leah Ford of Mason, Jordan Grant and Lauren Shuman from Beavercreek and Christi Caulley from Eaton. This could be a very quick race in the top 10 with plenty of competition to push the pace.


Timing is being provided by FinishTiming, with live results available. Be sure to stop by the Kings Island Tennis Center to take in the spectacle that is running under the lights on a golf course. The 2015 edition of the Moeller Primetime Invitational is sure to be the best one yet!

Southwest District Open Race
Thursday October 22, 2015 at Lakota Plains Junior School

Registration will be on GHG timing and will be CHIP TIMING.

General info:

$75 per team ($150 school/both teams) or $5 per individual; Please make check available to Lakota Plains Athletics; 5500 Princeton Rd. Liberty Township, OH 45011

Coaches please have athletes car-pool, there is a limited number of parking spots on site.   Busses are welcomed and given a priority.  Site is spectator, coach and runner friendly!  Team camping areas are near the finish line – please leave at least ten feet to the course. Please no footballs, soccer balls or Frisbee tossing.A trainer will be available near the finish line. Grant Stanley is our registered Official.

 Awards: - Buckeye Running Company will provide T-shirts for the top 50 runners in each race.

Scoring - Chip timing

Registration - http://www.ghgtiming.com/

Schedule of Races:

5:00 pm     High School Boys Race

6:00 pm     High School Girls Race

Any question: Tom Thompson - tom.thompson@lakotaonline.com

Directions are from I-75   Exit #24, Rt. 129 West. West on Rt. 129 toRt. 747, Princeton-Glendale Road, Exit #21. Turn right (north) on Rt. 747 to Princeton Rd. (approx.1/2 mile). Turn right (east) on Princeton Rd. The Lakota Plains Junior School is on the left approximately 3/4 mile.

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