The Olentangy Orange boys cross country team got better as the race wore on, moving up from seventh after one mile and fifth after two all the way to third — the highest finish in program history — in Saturday’s Division I state cross country championship at Fortress Obetz.
The Pioneers, led by top-20 showings from Saketh Rudraraju (sixth in 15:18) and Matthew Schroff (17th in 15:45.1), closed with 172 points. Only Massillon Jackson and Mason had better scores, finishing first and second in the state with respective point totals of 86 and 148.
Other Orange contributors included Bradyn Allender (38th in 16:01), Sahil Kandhari (99th in 16:41.3) and Brannon Moser (11th in 16:48.5).
Big Walnut’s Emil Stanford and Olentangy’s Roman Corbett competed as individuals. Stanford finished 92nd overall in 16:34.3 while Corbett crossed the line 118th in 16:51.8.
In the girls’ D-I race, Olentangy Liberty finished seventh in the final team standings while Orange sophomore Brooke Chapman finished fourth among individuals in 18:10.5.
Top Patriot performers included Julia Bockenstette (13th in 18:27.7), Elena Aldrink (40th in 19:03.2) and Madeline Pohmer (81st in 19:46.3).
Other area standouts included Olentangy Berlin’s Grace Heitkamp, who finished 16th in 18:32.4; and Orange’s Mairin O’Brien, who closed 52nd in 19:17.1.
In the girls’ D-II race, Buckeye Valley’s Kaitlyn Davidson finished 52nd overall in 19:41.9.