Otsego Invitational Recap

2017 Otsego Augie

Recap: The Viking high school runners had a good meet last Saturday and did some solid work. Our strategy for this meet was more about place than time as this course doesn’t usually lend itself to speed despite being mostly flat (there are just enough speed bumps and sharp turns to really disrupt rhythm). With that strategy in view, both the boys and girls teams did well.

The Lady Vikes kicked off the morning shorthanded, with Hannah still out and Kennedy and Katie both at the fair, so there wasn’t a full team on hand from a scoring standpoint. That said, the girls executed the strategy VERY well. Sarah led the girls again, letting the rabbits sprint out quickly before methodically passing them one by one. She crossed the mile mark in sixth place and continued to surge up to challenge the leader by the final half mile before finally securing a strong second place finish. Trin and Ashley mirrored the effort in moving from 27th to 23rd and 39th to 31st, respectively, over the last two miles. Being able to pass runners after the first mile is a sign of strong running and makes a huge difference in the outcome of meets.

For the varsity boys, they followed up with a similar effort. In their case, they had league rival Swanton to compete against and they matched up well. Three of the top five runners fought through the race and came in just ahead of a rival, and our fifth man came in just after one despite struggling with cramping. This is the type of competition that reminds us this is a team sport, and it’s a great example of teamwork in action. From an individual perspective, the boys were led by Kyle Bowser with a strong top 20 finish, but the day belonged to Augie. In this same meet last year, he dropped a significant amount of time off his PR, catapulting him from the JV squad onto varsity for the rest of the season. He followed up this year by taking nearly a full minute off his personal best and breaking 20:00 for the first time. Alex was right on his heels…just five seconds back…and Kevin, Chan, Tommy and Drew all finished within an 36 second span.

In the open race, Kyle Smith had one of the faster opening miles of the day but stepped funny on the way through the water hazard and had to fight through leg pain the rest of the race. He gutted it out, but Evan took advantage and wound up leading the Vikings in the race. Gavin followed up a 31 second PR last week by taking another 27 seconds off this week and running 4:10 faster than Otsego last year. Chris and Nick also improved their times from last week’s meet.

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Bowser Kyle 19:08 20
Tipping Augie 19:59 34
Majewski Alex 20:04 36
Crisp Kevin 21:04 42
Ruetz Chandler 21:30 46
Pollard Thomas 21:39 48
Donnald Drew 21:40 49
Pennington Evan 21:58 16
Smith Kyle 22:22 18
Rhodus Gavin 22:58 26
Ruth John 23:02 27
Hartzell Chris 23:09 28
Hassen Nick 23:53 30
Utz Ashton 25:20 38
Simon Pete 30:51 43
Schwan Sarah 20:26 2
Welch Trinity 24:38 23
Garlick Ashley 25:27 31
McCormick Alexis 33:46 52

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: The high school team travels to the Tiffin Cross Country Carnival while the middle school competes at the Archbold Invitational.

2017 Defiance Early Bird Open Recap

2017 Defiance Girls TJ
The 2017 Varsity Girls XC team pays tribute to late Athletic Director TJ Rupp at the Defiance Early Bird Open

Recap: You really never know what to expect in the first meet of the year, and this kickoff to the 2017 season was no exception. The Viking Cross Country program came into Defiance with the largest team in recent memory: 35 runners between high school and middle school, including an impressive 16 high school boys. This first meet is always a mixed bag, not only because it’s a challenging course but because it’s so often the first race many of these athletes have ever run. Some runners do surprisingly well, while others turn in times that don’t really reflect their current abilities. Factors behind this can vary from the type of course, to how much they’ve been running over the summer, to just simple inexperience. At the end of the day, it’s just a single race; a benchmark at the start of a long season.

The high school boys kicked off the day with a strong showing, improving on last year’s 16th place team finish out of 17 teams with a 15th place finish out of 20 teams. These results are more impressive when considering the field was much faster and more competitive this year, and the Viking men dropped their top five average from 21:00 to 19:50. The Vikings were led this year by newcomer sophomore Kyle Bowser, followed closely by returning freshman record holder Ben Schwan. Continuing the youth movement on this team were sophomores Alex Majewski and Chandler Ruetz, with new runner Kevin Crisp and veterans Augie Tipping and team captain Tom Pollard rounding out the top seven. Of the nine other runners in the boys race, five were running their first ever high school 5k and six set personal bests.

The high school girls followed up with a very impressive effort, improving from ninth out of 18 teams to eighth out of 19 teams. Junior Sarah Schwan led the Lady Vikes with an eigth place finish in 20:13, taking a remarkable 1:08 off her previous personal best and school record set at last year’s district meet. Kennedy Keller turned in a new freshman record of 21:09 with her 22nd place finish. After missing all of last season with a knee injury, senior Grace Bryson returned to the course already showing the form from late in her 2015 season. Trinity Welch, team captain Katie Fritsch, and Ashley Garlick…all seniors…worked with junior Alexis McCormick to bring the Lady Vikes to within just a few points of rival Archbold, giving a preview of some exciting competition in the coming weeks.

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Bowser Kyle 18:45 56
Schwan Ben 18:58 67
Majewski Alex 20:13 125
Ruetz Chandler 20:22 137
Crisp Kevin 20:52 150
Tipping Augie 20:55 153
Pollard Thomas 21:14 165
Smith Kyle 21:15 167
Donnald Drew 21:24 171
Pennington Evan 21:33 180
Hartzell Chris 23:27 215
Rhodus Gavin 23:25 216
Peete Kyle 23:52 220
Hassen Nick 23:56 222
Utz Ashton 25:07 235
Simon Pete DQ
Schwan Sarah 20:13 8
Keller Kennedy 21:09 22
Bryson Grace 23:25 64
Welch Trinity 24:53:00 99
Fritsch Katie 25:54:00 129
Garlick Ashley 26:00:00 133
McCormick Alexis 30:15:00 175

For the middle school runners, this meet was a whole new experience. They had their first meet at the Lake Invitational just two days before on a very flat course that provided a great introduction to competitive running, but only three of the twelve (Owen, Jolie and Kayla) had run at Defiance before and experienced the hills and trails common to cross country. Kayla’s experience served her well as she moved up from tenth place at the mile to pass two runners in the final 200 meters on her way to winning the middle school girls race. Newcomers Jocelyn Schuster and Emma Majewski ran well as a duo, coming in close together. Lindy, Jolie, Izzy and Trinity combined to bring the Viking girls an impressive ninth place team finish (ahead of both the Archbold and Wauseon teams).

The middle school boys were led by seventh grader Anderson Tipping with a solid performance. Isaac Overfield and Owen Bryson again worked together to come in in close succession, followed by Carson LeRoux and Brayden Bull. Again, this was a short turnaround and a very challenging course compared to the Lake meet just two days prior. The boys ran better than their 15th place finish would seem to indicate, and we look forward to seeing them compete at Archbold.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Gleckler Kayla 14:08 1
Schuster Jocelyn 16:22 36
Majewski Emma 16:29 43
Williamson Lindy 18:21 77
Huffman Jolie 19:20 90
Barkhimer Izzy 20:20 98
Clampet Trinity 20:49 102
Tipping Anderson 14:47 67
Overfield Isaac 16:58 124
Bryson Owen 17:05 125
LeRoux Carson 18:07 133
Bull Brayden 26:43 151

There were a lot of great object lessons in this meet. A few important points can be seen in the finishes of Sarah and Kayla in particular. First, Kayla’s time was nearly minute slower than the Thursday race, a reminder that it’s not always about the time, especially on difficult courses. You run the same course as your competition, and the competitive outcome depends ultimately on place not time. There were actually relatively few PRs set at this meet by experienced runners because it’s not a traditionally fast course. Sarah was an exception to this though; she did focus on place over time, but in so doing actually took an incredible amount of time off her PR. Again, each runner responds differently to each race based on the type of course, where they are in their training cycle, what type of training they’ve done, and several other factors. We train to peak in October, so each race up until that point simply provides lessons and cumulative fitness in support of that plan. This was an excellent first step, and the coaches are excited to see where this season takes us.

-Coach Schwan

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: The high school travels to Otsego this weekend, while the middle school has the weekend off.  It’s also Fulton County Fair weekend, so good luck to the many Viking runners participating in the fair!

2017 Lake MS Invite Recap

2017 Lake girls start
The 8th grade race gets under way at the Lake Invitational

Recap: As mentioned in the meet preview, the Lake Invite is a great first meet for middle school runners. It’s a flat, open course and it separates the 7th and 8th graders out instead of running everyone in one race (the only meet on our schedule that does so). Because it also lacks the intimidation of experienced high school runners and intense high school coaches roaming about the course, it’s a relatively safe environment for the new runner as well as a change for returning 8th graders to be the “big shots” at a meet. This meet is not without its challenges though: the course has changed every single year we’ve participated so we never know exactly what the route is, and the field has gotten more competitive with new schools showing up.

Our middle school team was a green bunch this year, with eight of the twelve runners competing for the very first time in a cross country meet. Three of the four veterans were on the girls team, with Kayla Gleckler matching last year’s fourth place finish with a 13:11…just seven seconds shy of her middle school record time from last year’s NWOAL Championship meet and with almost perfectly even splits. Jocelyn and Emma showed similar patience in posting near even splits for their races. Jolie took advantage of the confidence built during last season to run almost six minutes faster than her previous Lake meet. Lindy performed well in her first race with very consistent split times, and Izzy came across the line as the only returning runner to post a personal record in the first meet of the season. One effort worth calling out belongs to Trinity Clampet, who ran the entire race start to finish. For many new runners, cross country is the first time they’ve done any sustained aerobic activity and it can be a real challenge adjusting to that type of effort. Trinity showed great effort and determination in going wire-to-wire for her very first race.

For the boys, Anderson put forth a really solid run at 13:20, showing similar consistency to Kayla in running almost even splits. Inexperienced runners tend to go out much faster than they can sustain, leaving their second mile much slower, so it’s great to see middle school runners with even splits in their first meet. Isaac and Carson both put in great efforts for their first race, slowing some in the second mile but hanging on for a strong finish. Owen showed the poise of a veteran runner in overcoming an early fall in the beginning of the race and run negative splits on the way to finishing over a minute faster than last year’s time. Finishing up for the Vikings in the 7th grade race was Brayden whose enthusiasm, though it tends to make pacing a challenge early on, will in the long term likely serve to make him a relentless competitor.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Gleckler Kayla 13:11 4
Schuster Jocelyn 14:43 16
Majewski Emma 14:57 23
Huffman Jolie 16:56 42
Williamson Lindy 17:17 20
Barkhimer Izzy 17:49 52
Clampet Trinity 21:56 26
Tipping Anderson 13:20 26
Overfield Isaac 15:28 35
LeRoux Carson 16:02 44
Bryson Owen 17:01 61
Bull Brayden 17:51 49

Middle school cross country is about learning basics, just like any other sport. You have to learn the fundamentals before you can move on to the advanced concepts, and our middle school runners showed us that they’re off to a great start. The foundations they are building now will carry them through the rest of their running careers at Evergreen, and we’re very proud of the work they’ve put in and the well-deserved results they saw in this first meet.

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: After a short turnaround, the middle school runners competed at the Defiance Early Bird Open. Recap coming soon!

Regional Meet Recap


Recap: All good things must come to an end, and so our 2016 Cross Country season wrapped up with the girls team competing at the Regional Championship meet in Tiffin. This was a tremendous experience for the girls in so many ways, even though the race itself wasn’t quite what we had hoped.

The day started off with a great send off, including a riotous rendition of the Evergreen Fight Song by the High School Girls Basketball team.  The girls all got flowers and balloons, and supporters lined the walkway from the school to the bus. There were also signs lining County Road 6, wishing the girls well as the bus departed for Tiffin.

Once the team arrived at Tiffin and got settled, we were able to take in the atmosphere a bit.  It certainly helped to have the HS boys team along as it kept the mood light and made it seem a little more like any other meet, and there were several siblings, Middle School runners and other classmates who joined them.  The team had a decent amount of time to walk most of the course, and as they were jogging the final 1000 meters for warm-up they got a great surprise seeing several Evergreen upperclassmen who drove all the way to Tiffin to cheer them on (the excitement led them to finish their warm up a little faster than normal).

The race itself was almost overwhelming. After watching the Division 2 and Division 1 boys races (which featured only twelve and seven teams, respectively), seeing 22 teams and over 170 total runners line up and sprint across the opening field was quite the sight.  Because this was the first time we had ever run this course, it was difficult to know how much the course actually affected the times.  From what we heard from other coaches and runners, times overall were slower than expected, and everyone’s pretty confident the weather actually played a part. With the unexpectedly warm temperatures, it seemed the air was just a little thicker than usual; so much so that an alarming number of runners were collapsing in the final 100 meters of the race.  A significant hill in the final mile of the race certainly didn’t help matters either.

Regardless, the Lady Vikes ran with guts and persistence, and they represented Evergreen at the Regional Championship for the first time since 2007.  As a team, they finished at the back of the pack…but with the experience and hunger this season has inspired, I don’t think any of us will be surprised to see that improve next season.

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Fritsch Heidi 25:28 166
Fritsch Katie 25:00 158
Garlick Ashley 24:47 154
Kelbold Hannah 28:44 174
McCormick Alexis DNF
Schwan Sarah 21:23 64
Welch Trinity 23:03 118

This was a tremendous experience for our high school runners, and a great way to close out the season.  As we head into the off season, things may be a bit quieter on this site, but we’ll try to keep information up to date here as needed.  Congratulations to all of our Evergreen Viking Cross Country runners on an excellent season!

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.


District Meet Recap


Recap: The District course was tough…but the Vikings proved tougher.  This was certainly the most emotional meet of our season for not only the athletes but also the coaches and parents.  The course itself didn’t necessarily seem slow so much as just not fast. There were some turns in the last mile that were momentum killers, and there was a significant wind on some stretches, but ultimately it just seemed to be a slower race across the board.  The effort level without corresponding PRs seems to bear this out.

The Viking Men came in knowing they were a long shot to advance and looking to simply put up a good fight. They did just that, improving their overall team finish from 14th overall last year to 9th overall this year (and just two points behind eighth place).  This was the best showing the team has had going back to at least 2003 (the furthest back we have records).  Ben led the team once again, just missing qualifying as an individual by less than a second.  It wasn’t for lack of effort by any means; the 16th place runner just had a better kick this day.  Phoenix ran great in his last high school meet, finishing in the Top 25 (compared to 64th last year). Both Ben and Phoenix did an excellent job of getting off to a strong start and then working their way up through the pack. Tom followed up with the only personal record on the boys side, attacking after the first mile in taking over 10 seconds off his second and third miles from the week prior.  You could tell watching him that he was having his best day as he looked strong from start to finish.  Augie has been keeping pace with Tom the last few weeks but wasn’t having the day Tom had, yet he still put together a strong race finishing just 13 seconds off his PR on a day when PRs were tough to come by. Alex got off to a little slower start this week, and though his second mile was the same and third mile was actually faster it wasn’t enough to overcome the slow start in terms of overall time. Chan had the opposite challenge, starting strong but fading a bit in the last mile as the conditions wore on him. Jared split the difference, starting slower then having a great second mile before fading a bit at the end.  The reality is that you rarely ever get everybody at their peak performance on the same day. Conditions and experience worked against us a bit, but it didn’t keep us from a strong showing as a team and it will make these men better runners in the coming seasons.

The Lady Vikes came in with a single goal and focus: qualify for Regionals.  Much as with the previous week at the NWOAL Championship, they came in knowing that they should finish in fourth just by virtue of their previous performances, but gunning for second or third because they refused to settle for a “sure thing.”  While Liberty Benton wasn’t going to be within their reach, Genoa and Riverdale were putting up team averages just a few seconds faster than Evergreen.  We actually ran a “mock District meet” using times from the league meets from the week before. The results were Liberty Benton, Riverdale, Genoa and Evergreen, with Ada a distant fifth.  As it turned out, Genoa brought a very strong performance to beat out Riverdale (although the top four places were otherwise the same), and Ottawa Hills brought a strong race to challenge just nine points behind us in fifth.  Sarah and Trinity both set new PRs despite the tough conditions, with Sarah not only breaking her own sophomore record but also setting a new school record. The duo made good on their goal at the beginning of the season to both qualify for Regionals by finishing ninth and sixteenth, respectively.  Ashley ran strong in the third spot, tracking down several Genoa runners in the last half mile.  Katie would be the first to tell you she didn’t have her best day, but as is the measure of good teams and strong teammates, she held on and fought through to a solid finish knowing her team was counting on her.  The key to holding off Ottawa Hills to qualify as a team Heidi as our fifth runner finishing ahead of their fourth. Heidi showed incredible determination through the second half of this race and it paid off.  Hannah pushed through the conditions to finish just seven seconds off her PR, and Alexis rounded out the team effort with a new PR of her own (her first of this season).

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Majewski Alex 21:32 71
Mitchey Jared 22:49 78
Pollard Thomas 20:36 52
Ruetz Chandler 21:46 73
Schwan Ben 18:17 17
Tipping Augie 21:10 65
VanOstrand Phoenix 18:51 25
Fritsch Heidi 25:15 40
Fritsch Katie 24:58 39
Garlick Ashley 24:18 32
Kelbold Hannah 26:46 47
McCormick Alexis 28:00 53
Schwan Sarah 21:21 9
Welch Trinity 22:20 16

This was a tremendous day for the Evergreen Viking Cross Country team. The boys finished off their season with the best team finish on record, and the girls met their goal of qualifying for Regionals for the first time in nine years.  Lots of hugs, smiles and tears this day…a great day to be a Viking!

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.


NWOAL Championship Recap


Recap: What a fantastic way to close out the regular cross country season!  The Viking XC team followed up an impressive performance last week at Hudson with an even more impressive one at the NWOAL Championship Meet.  Out of the 26 runners who participated, we had 20 Personal Records, one season best, five All League performances, four class records and one school record.

The High School girls kicked off the meet with an extremely strong performance. Coming in to the meet, we expected to be competitive with our league rivals, and while a fourth place finish wasn’t quite what we expected it certainly wasn’t because we failed to perform at our best.  Sarah led the Lady Vikes again with a new sophomore record time only a second behind the school record, and in so doing finished atop the NWOAL Second Team All League team. Trinity followed up by tying her season best time just six seconds behind the junior record, putting her at the head of the NWOAL Honorable Mention All League team. Katie and Ashley turned in their usual strong PR performances, with Ashley returning from injury to take almost 40 seconds off her time. Heidi provided one of the most exciting results of the day, smashing through a PR that had stood since her sophomore year prior to injury. She has worked and fought throughout this season, and it was great to see her finally push through to her best run.  Hannah continued her dramatic improvement, taking another full minute off her PR (she has now dropped 5 minutes from Defiance), and Alexis rounded out the Top 7.

The High School boys followed the girls with another great effort in a very crowded field that was almost double the size of the girls race.  Ben bettered his own freshman record in earning a place on the NWOAL Honorable Mention All League team. Phoenix bettered his own PR as well, finishing in the Top 25 in his last NWOAL meet. Kyle PR’d with his second straight sub-20 performance, and Tom and Augie worked together to break the 21-minute barrier for the first time.  Alex ran his personal best for the sixth straight meet, and Chan axed another 41 seconds off his PR. Jared fought through a pretty tough race, just ahead of Ashton who returned from injury to set a new PR. Gavin and Pete finished us out for the Viking Men, with each just missing their personal best from the week before. Overall, the men moved up a spot from last year, finishing in 7th place despite having one of the youngest teams on the course.

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Majewski Alex 21:10 70
Mitchey Jared 22:52 83
Pollard Thomas 20:55 65
Rhodus Gavin 23:58 88
Ruetz Chandler 21:18 71
Schwan Ben 18:02 16
Simon Pete 26:27 91
Smith Kyle 19:34 45
Tipping Augie 20:57 68
Utz Ashton 23:20 86
VanOstrand Phoenix 18:33 25
Fritsch Heidi 24:48 35
Fritsch Katie 23:52 30
Garlick Ashley 24:01 31
Klebold Hannah 26:39 40
McCormick Alexis 29:52 45
Schwan Sarah 21:24 8
Welch Trinity 22:32 15

The Middle School runners took the cue from the High School and ran their best.  Kayla took the top spot for the Viking Girls again, taking an impressive 23 second off her previous mark to set a new school record. Kennedy was hot on her heels the whole race, bettering her 8th grade record by an incredible 38 seconds and joining Kayla in claiming NWOAL All League honors. Jolie battled through significant cramps throughout the race to take another 6 seconds off her PR, bringing her total improvement since the beginning of the season to an incredible 6:30!  Izzy rounded out the girls’ effort by taking over minute off her own PR.

For the boys, Chris and Evan again pushed each other from start to finish, with Chris just edging out Evan in the final sprint for a 32 second PR that was over two minutes better than last year’s NWOAL time. Evan was finally able to break through and set a new personal best after chasing all year after last year’s gutsy league meet effort. Owen ran a very strong race, breaking the 15 minute barrier for the very first time, and Will held on despite having an off day to post his second best time ever.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Barkhimer Izzy 16:49 43
Gleckler Kayla 13:04 10
Huffman Jolie 16:12 39
Keller Kennedy 13:09 12
Bryson Owen 14:56 48
Hartzell Chris 14:12 37
Pennington Evan 14:16 39
Thomas Will 15:41 52

Again, what a way to close out the regular cross country season.  Great performances all around.

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: The High School teams travel to Owens CC Findlay campus for the District Championship, with the top four teams and top 16 individuals advancing to Regionals in Tiffin.  Our girls team has an excellent shot at advancing for the first time since 2007, so stay tuned for more information!

Hudson Invite Recap


Recap: Just when we think we’ve seen it all from these runners, they give us an amazing performance like this.  As coaches, we got the feeling that the team in general was a bit fatigued and might not be at their best for this meet; maybe it was all the homecoming hype or just that last trudge through a week of training before the final surge at Leagues and Districts. On top of that, this was a new meet for us on an unfamiliar course.

Well, our feelings missed the mark…by a long shot!  This turned out to be the most successful meet of our season so far in terms of performance.  Out of 25 runners we had 19 PR’s, 3 season best times, 3 class records and one school record!  This was just a great meet all around, especially given how many schools were running.  The Middle School races both included over 250 runners (which made for a consistent string of runners to work on passing!).  Despite the numbers, the races kept pretty close to the official schedule.

For the High School boys team, we continued to close the gap across the varsity squad.  All seven finished under 22:00 for the first time this season, and six of the seven turned in a new PR. Ben returned after missing last week with an injury and lead the varsity team, missing his PR by just four seconds.  Phoenix had a very strong race, falling in with a pack of Defiance runners that kept an excellent, consistent pace.  Tommy and Augie doubled up and ran together pretty much start to finish, with Tommy only just edging Augie at the end.  Likewise, Alex, Chan and Jared stayed in close contact throughout the race.  This type of pack running is an excellent sign of good team running as they worked to a 17th place finish, and it will help even more as they compete going forward.  Three Vikings also ran in the JV/Open race, which in this particular meet included kids, coaches, and even costumes.  Kyle not only accomplished his goal of breaking 20 minutes for the first time, he smashed through it by over 20 seconds. Gavin fought through some leg main to take nearly a full minute off his personal best, and Pete was all smiles on the way to a PR of his own.

The Lady Vikes ran a very strong team race as well. Even missing Ashley this week due to injury, the girls managed a solid 12th place finish. Sarah bettered her own sophomore record with a top 30 finish, while Trinity fought through a difficult second mile to finish in the top 50.  Where Katie and Ashley usually push each other through races (they usually finish within a few seconds of each other), Katie seized the opportunities the course gave her and dropped almost 40 seconds off her best time.  Heidi followed her sister’s lead and posted her best time of the season, just missing her PR.  Hannah turned in another PR performance as a solid number six runner, and Alexis took a huge step forward with a season best time, just missing her PR by nine seconds.

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Majewski Alex 21:48 137
Mitchey Jared 21:59 140
Pollard Thomas 21:02 130
Rhodus Gavin 23:56
Ruetz Chandler 21:58 139
Schwan Ben 18:13 44
Simon Pete 26:12
Smith Kyle 19:39
Tipping Augie 21:03 131
VanOstrand Phoenix 18:37 62
Fritsch Heidi 25:34 98
Fritsch Katie 24:00 72
Kelbold Hannah 27:43 116
McCormick Alexis 28:30 123
Schwan Sarah 21:29 27
Welch Trinity 22:50 50

The Middle School races were huge and exciting.  The boys ran an incredibly strong team race. At the beginning of the season, the spread between Chris and Owen was over two and a half minutes.  This weekend, that spread was only 42 seconds, and it wasn’t because Chris had a bad day; both Chris and Owen ran personal bests at Hudson. Moreover, Evan ran a season best, pushing Chris the whole race, and Will saw a lot of hard work in practice pay off as he cut almost two minutes off his PR.

The girls also put in a strong team performance. Kayla finished 7th overall out of 280 runners, setting a new 7th grade and EMS record.  Kennedy fought through to a top 20 finish and a new 8th grade girls record.  Jolie showed great determination moving up to third on the team in this race and taking another minute off her PR (she has now taken over six minutes off her time from her first meet at Lake!). Even with a bit of an off day, Morgan still ran a solid race just 11 seconds off her PR from the week before, and Izzy continued her streak of four straight PR races.  Overall, the girls finished 19th out of 28 teams.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Barkhimer Izzy 18:00 185
Foster Morgan 16:56 155
Gleckler Kayla 13:27 7
Huffman Jolie 16:18 126
Keller Kennedy 13:47 17
Bryson Owen 15:27 161
Hartzell Chris 14:45 134
Pennington Evan 14:51 138
Thomas Will 15:16 153

Full Event Results
 are available on Athletic.net.

Up Next: NWOAL Championship Meet! This will be the final meet of a great season for our Middle School runners, and the run-up to the District meet in Findlay for our High Schoolers.  Our Viking runners are excited to represent Evergreen and compete against their league rivals!

Clay Invitational Recap


Recap: Everybody looks for the PR’s, but sometimes the successes come without flashy numbers no the clock.  This was one of those meets.  We got a pleasant surprise when the weather actually cooperated; instead of a chilly rain, we got a mix of clouds and sunshine with great temperatures.  The course was wet enough from Friday’s rain to be rather muddy in spots, but the athletes said it wasn’t really much of a factor.

The Lady Vikes ran extremely well as a team in this race.  When Sarah and Trin heard slower than expected mile times, then simply shifted focus from hitting a specific time to moving up by places. The ability to recognize early on that a PR is not in not likely and instead refocus on another aspect of the race is an important sign of maturity, and they executed it well.  Katie, Ashley and Heidi were actually at their fastest mile and two mile splits of the season (more on that shortly), and moved up well through the end of the race.  Alexis returned from missing last week with an injury to post her best time of the season. The result of their efforts was a 7th place team finish in a combined Division 2 and Division 3 race.

For the Viking Men, the times tell an interesting story.  We were down three runners this week with Augie, Ben and John out, so all the men ran in the varsity race. Alex cut another 11 seconds off his PR, and Tom and Ashton both tied their PR running the same time as Widewater last week. Jared and Phoenix were 2:39 and :56 faster, respectively, than their times from last year’s Clay meet.

Looking at the mile and two mile splits, nearly every runner on both the boys’ and girls’ teams was ahead of their PR pace (which for many was last week at Widewater). Whereas last week’s course had hills and a water hazard, the Clay course remains completely flat for that final mile.  We did not measure the course, so we can only speculate as to whether the mile marks and overall length were accurate. Regardless, everyone appeared to be running well, and those who did not PR were within 30 seconds of it.

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Majewski Alex 22:00 114
Mitchey Jared 23:13 119
Pollard Thomas 21:20 98
Rhodus Gavin 24:47 131
Ruetz Chandler 22:53 118
Simon Pete 27:30 137
Smith Kyle 20:14 73
Utz Ashton 23:24 122
VanOstrand Phoenix 19:09 43
Fritsch Heidi 25:49 62
Fritsch Katie 24:51 49
Garlick Ashley 24:59 50
McCormick Alexis 31:10 88
Schwan Sarah 22:27 16
Welch Trinity 23:13 24

There were a lot of strong finishes that reflect the performances we’ve been seeing during some of our more intense workouts. These Viking athletes are running well and primed to peak at just the right time as we head into Leagues and Districts.

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: High School and Middle School travel to the Hudson Invitational in Michigan. This is our first time at this meet and should be a great gear up to the NWOAL Championship the following weekend.

Fayette Invitational Recap


Recap: Last year’s meet at Harrison Lake was a soaker, and this year proved to be cast from the same mold. It was so wet Saturday that the high school meet at Ottawa-Glandorf was cancelled at the last minute over concerns that running on it might cause trouble for a meet scheduled five weeks later (we ran the course anyway).  Despite the rain last year, the middle school course proved a fast one, and that was even more so the case this year.

For the girls’ race, the Lady Vikes had multiple records fall at both the personal and school level.  Kayla finished fourth overall, setting a new 7th Grade and overall Evergreen Middle School record of 13:34 and taking an impressive 46 seconds off her personal record!  Kennedy also set a new 8th Grade record of 13:53, besting her previous school record of 14:02.  Not to be outdone, Jolie took an incredible 4:49 off her PR, Izzy improved by 30 seconds, and Morgan competed in her first race of the season.

On the boys’ side, Owen turned in a great effort in taking over a minute and a half off his PR.  Chris also shaved 22 seconds from his personal best, and Evan turned in his best performance of the season so far.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Barkhimer Izzy 19:26 95
Foster Morgan 17:48 83
Gleckler Kayla 13:34 4
Huffman Jolie 17:53 86
Keller Kennedy 13:53 12
Bryson Owen 16:06 91
Hartzell Chris 15:12 80
Pennington Evan 15:49 87

What has been a slow and frustrating meet for the high school is clearly not so for the middle school as they had an excellent showing across the board.

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: Liberty Center Widewater Invitational. Consistently mentioned as a favorite among the Viking runners, this one should be a treat!

Archbold Invitational Recap


Recap: Wet, wet, wet.  In years past, the Archbold meet was always sweatshirt-cold at the start and blazing hot by the end.  Not this year. It was overcast from start to finish, and right on cue the rain started pouring as the Middle School girls kicked off their race.

Kayla and Kennedy again worked together through this race, pacing and pushing each other until the final half mile when Kayla pulled a head to a new personal record time.  Kennedy was only a second behind her season best and was over 40 seconds faster than last year. Izzy also ran really well in her first ever cross country race!

On the boys side, Chris continues to see the results of his hard work over the summer as he set a new personal record and ran over two minutes faster than his time at Archbold last year. Owen just missed his PR by two seconds, and Will turned in another solid effort.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Barkhimer Izzy 19:56 82
Keller Kennedy 14:37 13
Gleckler Kayla 14:20 11
Hartzell Chris 15:34 86
Bryson Owen 18:17 137
Thomas William 17:24 125

A very solid outing by our Middle School runners heading into a fun meet next weekend.

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: The Middle School travels to Harrison Lake State Park for the Fayette Invitational (hopefully with no rain this year!).