By Ben Stroup
Zach Kreft, Gavin Shearer, Nathan Holst and Caleb Herriott each nabbed top-10 finishes as Buckeye Valley’s boys cross country team captured top honors at Saturday’s Baron Blast.
Kreft, who has been on fire to start the season, rolled to his second consecutive first-place finish in a school-record time of 16:09.
Shearer finished third overall (17:36.20), Holst was fifth (17:58.40) and Herriott crossed the line sixth (18:08).
The Baron girls, led by Kennedy Cramer and Analise Lajeunesse, were also solid, finishing third — as high as they have in years — with a team score of 82. Cramer closed ninth overall (22:28.20) and Lajeunesse finished 10th (22:32.80).
The efforts of BV’s top runners were nice, obviously sparking the solid team showings, but BV head coach Nate Ritz was pleased with each and every Baron runner on the course.
“I’m very pleased with how we looked,” he said. “I compared (the effort of) every returning runner to what they did in their first meet here last year. Every runner on BV (boys/girls) all ran faster today than they did last year on the exact same course at the same point in the year. The cooler morning helped, but a big reason is the hard work we’ve put in during the off-season.”
Pickerington XC Classic
Liberty’s girls cross country team won the always-competitive Pickerington XC Classic for the second straight season Saturday in Pickerington.
The Patriots, competing in the Panther Division, were propelled by freshman Gracie Sprankle and sophomore Emma Bower, who finished first and second, respectively. Sprankle won in 18:48.1, Bower nabbed runner-up honors in 18:49.1 and senior Claire Linn finished fourth overall in 19:36.7.
Hayes’ girls finished 14th in the Bengal Division, getting a top-20 showing from junior Alicia Rittenour (18th in 21:09.9).
Liberty’s boys finished 10th in the Panther Division and Hayes’ boys closed 14th in the Bengal Division. The Patriots were led by Luke Wojciechowski, who finished 51st among individuals (17:45.9), while the Pacers were powered by Seth Kern (43rd in 19:05.2).
Also: Big Walnut boys 1st and girls 3rd at Whitehall Invitational; Olentangy girls 2nd and boys 3rd at John Fair Invitational.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.