By Ben Stroup
If Buckeye Valley’s Zach Kreft continues to get faster, it won’t be long until he’s breaking more than his own school record.
The sophomore standout broke his school record for the third consecutive meet Saturday, winning the Bucyrus Elks Invitational in 15:55.63.
Three meets, three wins, three personal-best times to start the season.
“This was the first race this year Zach had someone to run with, which helped push him to an even quicker time,” BV coach Nate Ritz said. “Chad Johnson from Col. Crawford ran neck and neck with him until Zach pulled away within the last mile.
“Zach has come a long way. Last year at this race, he got into the 17’s for the first time and this year he’s getting into the 15’s for the first time. The improvements from not just Zach, but both teams (girls and boys), are attributed to the hard work they have put in this past year.”
Caleb Herriott (ninth in 17:41.05), Nathan Holst (15th in 18:03.50) and Gavin Shearer (18th in 18:13.04) also nabbed top-20 finishes to help the Barons’ boys cross country team nab runner-up honors.
The Olentangy and Orange boys cross country teams represented the county quite well at Saturday’s Granville Invitational, finishing fourth and fifth with respective point totals of 112 and 159.
The Braves’ Anthony Sasso and Zach Balthaser posted their team’s top two times, finishing 12th (16:57.8) and 13th (17:09.4). Alex Garner wasn’t far behind, smoothing out Olentangy’s top three with a 17th-place performance (17:17.0).
Jackson Schiefelbein nabbed the Pioneers’ top finish, crossing the line 23rd overall (17:37.5). Tyler King and Cullen Dickson were also solid, closing 28th (17:50.6) and 30th (17:53.9), respectively.
Westerville North Classic
Jacob Hutchinson finished just one spot out of the top 10 and Matt Halbakken joined him in the top 15 as Big Walnut finished fourth at Saturday’s Westerville North Classic.
Hutchinson finished 11th overall (18:09.39) while Halbakken finished 14th (18:24.09).
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.