Saturday was a big day for Delaware County cross county squads at the Midwest Meet of Champions in Hilliard.
Buckeye Valley junior Zach Kreft (15:21) won the event, hosted by Hilliard Bradley, and Olentangy Orange senior Hunter Moore (15:25) finished a close second.
“(It’s) great for the county to have two kids who potentially can win state titles,” Pioneers coach Adam Walters said.
Kreft re-set his own BV school record.
“This is a great confidence booster for (Kreft) as we get into the key part of the season and I would say it’s the biggest win he’s had so far in his racing career,” Barons coach Nate Ritz said.
The Pioneers finished third overall in the 26-team race and the Barons finished 15th.
Meanwhile, Orange sophomore Allison Guagenti finished second with a time of 18:30 in the girls race to lead her team to a seventh-place finish out of 17 teams.
Sophomore Andrew Schroff (20th, 16:29), junior Jack Schiefelbein (27th, 16:38) and seniors Matt Hartzell (35th, 16:53) and Josh Brooks (45th, 16:59) rounded out the top five finishers for the Orange boys.
Sophomore Lindsay Ott (17th, 19:46), junior Zoe Bond (21st, 19:58), sophomore Grace Frye (47th, 20:32) and junior Kayel Pugazhenthi (98th, 22:09) rounded out the Pioneers’ girls top five.
Junior Gavin Shearer (73rd, 17:19), sophomore Cameron Hurt (106th, 17:49) and juniors Nathan Holst (111th, 17:52) and Nathan Heiser (116th, 17:54) rounded out BV’s top five.
“This was a meet we had circled on the calendar where we wanted to focus on and challenge our leaders,” Ritz said. “We were happy with the results and hope to use this as a great experience for the guys as we head into bigger meets in the postseason.”
Next up, the Barons will run in the 14th-annual Harding Invitational in Marion and the Pioneers will compete at the Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington. Both events are scheduled for Saturday.
Big Walnut, Delaware Hayes and Olentangy Liberty are scheduled to join Orange in Worthington.
NORTH UNION INVITATIONAL
Freshman Lane Graham topped the Buckeye Valley girls cross country team with a time of 21:47, good for ninth Saturday in Richwood.
“The girls ran very well and also are looking stronger as we begin to inch closer to our conference and district races,” Ritz said.
Sophomore Kennedy Cramer (22:09) and junior Susie York (22:16) finished 16th and 17th for the Barons, who finished third as team at the event.
Juniors Analise Lajuenesse (22:42) and Nina Hilt (22:48) finished 24th and 25th to round out BV’s top five.
Next, the Barons will run in the 14th annual Harding Invitational Saturday in Marion.
PANTHER CROSS COUNTRY INVITATIONAL
Freshman Colbi Borland had a time of 19:45, which was good for seventh in the Division I race Saturday at Pickerington North.
Borland’s effort led the Big Walnut girls cross country team to an eighth-place finish out of 17 teams.
Sophomore Ruth Armburst (27th, 20:59), junior Leksi Murnieks (53rd, 21:48), sophomore Joceyln Lucas (97th, 23:21) and sophomore Hannah Moroz (116th, 23:57) rounded out the Golden Eagles’ top five runners at the event.
The BW boys finished 13th out of 16 teams in the Division I race – led by junior William Hefner (43rd, 18:09), senior D.J. Werner (99th, 19:23), freshman John Grumney (146th, 20:14) and freshman Cole Mattos (155th, 20:22).
Next up, the Eagles will compete at the Backwoods Festival in Thornville Wednesday.
PAUL PRIMEAU INVITATIONAL (FROM FRIDAY)
Two Olentangy Liberty runner finished in the top 10 to pace the Olentangy Liberty boys cross country team’s first-place finish in the Gray Division boys meet at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills.
Junior Logan Boone finished third and sophomore Joseph Johnson III finished seventh to pace the Patriots with times of 16:36 and 17:08, respectively.
Five other Liberty runners finished in the top 25 for the race, including 16th-, 17th- and 18th-place finishes for freshman Nick Ireland (17:25), sophomore Adam Clark (17:26) and senior Ryan Milligan (17:36).
Junior Nicholas Anderson (20th, 17:39) and sophomore Andrew Boggs (22nd, 17:41) rounded out the top scorers for the Patriots.
Also: Delaware Hayes, Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty were scheduled to compete in the Erin L. Nance Invitational in London Saturday, but the race was postponed until today because of rain. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m.
Emma Brown’s hat trick led Olentangy, which scored five first half goals, to an 8-1 victory at Talawanda Saturday in Oxford.
Brown added a pair of assists to go with her big game scoring.
Allison Martin also had a big day, scoring twice and assisting on two more, and Elise Harder had a goal and two assists and Kylie Hageman added a goal and an assist for Olentangy.
Sierra Bailey scored Talawanda’s only goal, which came in the second half, and Hannah Kresse stopped 10 shots in goal.
Grace Cory rounded out the scoring for Olentangy and Brooklyn Morris added an assist.
Olentangy hosts Dublin Scioto today at 6 p.m.
Delaware Hayes split a pair of matches, falling to Sylvania South in straight sets before knocking off host Marion Harding in straight sets Saturday.
The Pacers (9-10) got the job done without their leader in kills, sophomore Sydney Krewson, who is out with a sprained ankle sustained Friday in practice.
“(To) see the girls adjust and go after it was great,” Delaware coach Liz Kaylor-Palmer said. “This is a tough team and regardless of what they face, they give it their all.”
Freshman Hadlee Bruns, whom Kaylor-Palmer called “a leader” Saturday, had four kills and an ace in the win over Harding and four kills in the loss to the Cougars (25-20, 25-23).
Junior Lauryn Rocassin led the Pacers with 10 kills and seven assists as the Pacers downed the Presidents 25-8 and 27-25. Rocassin was solid in the loss to Southview with four kills, nine assists and an ace.
Kaylor-Palmer said that Krewson is expected to miss at least 7-to-10 days.
Delaware is back it Thursday night at 7 p.m. when it visits Dublin Jerome in OCC-Cardinal action.
Also: Gahanna Lincoln 2, Big Walnut 1 (22-25, 25-15, 25-14); Hilliard Davidson 2, Big Walnut 1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-20); Buckeye Valley 3, Bexley 0 (25-9, 25-16, 25-15); Olentangy Orange 3, St. Francis DeSales 1 (25-17, 25-22, 15-25, 25-17).
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.