By Ben Stroup
Olentangy Liberty’s girls team represented the area quite well Saturday, nabbing state runner-up honors in Division I during the OHSAA State Cross Country Championships at National Trail Raceway.
Three Patriots finished in the top 20, including sophomore Emma Bower, who crossed the finish line third overall in 17:54.3. Gracie Sprankle and Claire Linn were also outstanding, finishing 11th and 13th in respective times of 18:22.4 and 18:23.4.
The only team more consistent than Liberty was Centerville, which won its second straight D-I state title with 71 points and an average time of 18:36. The Patriots finished with 124 points and an average effort of 18:52.
Centerville senior Lainey Studebaker won her second individual crown in as many seasons, taking top honors in 17:39.0.
Other Liberty contributors included Sarah Colvin (71st in 19:40.7), Meghan Piero (86th in 19:56.3), Emily Matta (118th in 20:41.2) and Rachel Ausec (126th in 20:58.3).
Orange freshman Allison Guagenti, competing as an individual, went from seventh in the region to seventh in the state, following last week’s top-10 showing with a seventh-place effort of 18:13.9.
Olentangy freshman Lex Brookshire was also in action, closing 61st in her first state showcase in 19:32.3.
On the boys’ side, Orange’s Hunter Moore crossed the line in 15:31.5 to finish seventh overall among D-I runners. Olentangy’s Anthony Sasso, meanwhile, finished 65th in 16:23.5
In the Division II race, Buckeye Valley sophomore Zach Kreft battled through illness to finish 146th among individuals in 22:27.2.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.