FAIRBORN — Wednesday’s rain-soaked Fairborn Invitational cross country meet was a chance for a Xenia runner to see just how far she’d come back from a leg injury, and it was also a chance for some of Beavercreek’s younger runners to, um… get their feet wet.
After nearly an hour and a half’s worth of rain was dumped onto the Community Park course by a brief storm, much of the 5-kilometer course was either under water or left very muddy and slick. That left runners covered from head to toe in mud and soaking wet by the time they’d finished the run.
“Did you get wet? Did you have fun?” Beavercreek coach Howard Russ asked one of his runners. His query was met with an excited smile and a fist bump.
“We had to delay some of the races with the showers, but everybody had to run in the same conditions,” Fairborn coach Dwight Bartlett said. As the host coach, he was busy making sure the route markers were picked up and that the park was left in good order, and that was on top of his regular duties as the Skyhawks’ coach. “We had a great turnout today. (Including the middle school boys and girls runners), I think we had about 1,000 runners competing here, so that’s tremendous. I’ve very happy with how things turned out.”
Xenia senior Sarah Hites placed 10th in the varsity girls race. The defending race champion wasn’t disappointed in not repeating, however.
“I’m pretty happy about my finish,” she said. “Last January I got a stress fracture in my femur, so I’m actually really happy with how far I’ve come. I’m not mad about it at all. I think the mud affected my time a little bit, but I think it affected everybody’s time, too. It was hot, but it was a fun race. I like the Fairborn event.”
Sara Marshall of Cincinnati Princeton won the girls race in 21:44, just ahead of Vikings teammate Vanessa Angeles.
“The first mile was in pretty good shape. The hill tears you up a little bit, but then you just have to use the downhill part of the course to your advantage to catch back up. You had to watch out for the deep spots on the course and if you fall — which I did with about 800 feet to go — you just have to get up and keep going. It was fun,” Marshall said.
Huber Heights Wayne’s Jared Wamsley claimed the varsity boys win with a time of 18:21, roughly 10 seconds ahead of Warrior teammate Jacob Miller. It was Wamsley’s first individual win this season.
“It was a hard race. All glory goes to God,” Wamsley said. “I prayed before the race. I’m gonna go pray before I leave here and thank Him. I didn’t ask Him to let me win, but I asked Him to give me what I deserved.”
Bevercreek sophomore Joey Confer was the top Greene County finisher in the boys race at 11th, just ahead of teammates Nick Kowalski and Thomas Gill. Beavers coach Russ said the Fairborn meet served as an experience builder for his younger runners.
“We wanted to give them a feel for the course. We know the (Greater Western Ohio Conference) meet will be here in a couple years or so, so we wanted to give our young freshman and sophomore kids a chance to experience the course early on in their careers, because they’ll be back here,” Russ said.
Greene County high school teams from Cedarville and Yellow Springs were also on hand for Wednesday’s event.
GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Springfield Shawnee 26; 2. New Carlisle Tecumseh 69; 3. Cincinnati Princeton 91; 4. Beavercreek 111; 5. Cedarville 132; 6. Xenia 157; 7. Riverside Stebbins 207; 8. Huber Heights Wayne 210; 9. Dayton Ponitz 216.
GIRLS INDIVIDUAL FINISH (Top 10 out of 113 runners) — 1. Sara Marshall, Princeton 21:44; 2. Vanessa Angels, Princeton 21:44; 3. Sophie Smith, Shawnee 21:59; 4. Rebecca Penrose, Shawnee 21:59; 5. Grace Holmes, Shawnee 21:59; 6. Morgan Huggins, Shawnee 21:59; 7. Vanessa Cappel, Princeton 22:07; 8. Miah DeSantis, Shawnee 22:16; 9. Lily Siebold, Springfield 22:50; 10. Sarah Hites, Xenia 23:05.
BOYS TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Springfield Shawnee 30; 2. Beavercreek 104; 3. Springfield 115; 4. Princeton 142; 5. Wayne 142; 6. Tecumseh 202; 7. Sidney 219; 8. Cedarville 230; 9. Dayton Stivers 243; 10. Tipp City Tippecanoe 272; 11. Xenia 273; 12. Stebbins 301; 13. Yellow Springs 307; 14. Fairborn 328; 15. Urbana 375; 16. Dayton Marshall 409.
BOYS INDIVIDUAL FINISH (Top 10 out of 195 runners) — 1. Jared Wamsley, Wayne 18:21; 2. Jacob Miller, Wayne 18:31; 3. Joseph Sheehan, Springfield 18:51; 4. Joel Rodgers, Shawnee 18:56; 5. Logan Griffith, Shawnee 18:56; 6. Seth D’Allesandro, Shawnee 18:56; 7. Will Geist, Shawnee 19:08; 8. Josh Hayes, Shawnee 19:08; 9. Cameron Phelps, Princeton 19:19; 10. Garrett Gemmaka, Tecumseh 19:26.
John Bombatch can be reached at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2123.