DARKE COUNTY – Two juniors who recently earned individual championships are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Arcanum boys cross country runner Tanner Delk and Greenville girls golfer Jada Garland.
At the Greater Western Ohio Conference postseason girls golf tournament, Garland was the individual champion for the American North division with an 18-hole round of 88. She finished 12th overall in the conference standings.
“Neither Jada nor I realized she had won the North individual standings,” Greenville girls golf coach Tracy Haines said. “We were very focused on the overall standings and on the team results. She was disappointed that she was not in the top eight. She played well at GWOC as she has done most of the season.”
Led by Garland, Greenville finished second in the American North team standings. The Lady Wave were just one stroke behind Tippecanoe for the divisional championship.
For the season Garland averages 46.5 strokes per nine holes, which is third best in the GWOC North.
“I always count on her to play well, and she has not disappointed,” Haines said. “Jada is very focused when she plays golf. She is always trying to improve and works after practice and on weekends to improve her game. She also works on her game during the summer although this past summer she was ill and was not able to work on it as much as she would have liked.”
Delk recorded a pair of victories last week, winning Tri-Village’s Patriot Invitational with a time of 17:20 and winning National Trail’s Blazer Invitational in 16:22, which was a personal best time for him.
“Both races Tanner ran very smart and disciplined and let the race come to him,” Arcanum assistant cross country coach Jonathan Junkins said. “Tanner rarely leads the first mile and waits for the race to settle in. In fact at the past meet where he ran his PR, the last mile of the race was his fastest, which is a great feat but not easily accomplished.”
This season Delk has the second-fastest time among all Darke County runners, trailing only Versailles’ Joe Spitzer. His personal-best time is the fastest among all Cross County Conference runners this year.
“Tanner has had a very successful season to date,” Junkins said. “I have always been under the assumption that runners are prone to a bad workout here or a bad race there but us coaches have yet to see that with Tanner. Tanner comes ready for practice every day with the mindset that he is going to make himself a better runner that day.”
Delk has been able to achieve strong results this season thanks to a strong work ethic.
“There are a number of things that make Tanner a strong runner,” Junkins said. “The biggest would probably be his commitment to the sport. Tanner is an athlete that spent many hours over the summer preparing for the season, and I believe that is the foundation for his success this year. Tanner also leaves it all out on the course each race. Giving every ounce of effort he has. It is not uncommon to see Tanner lean over mid-run and get sick with less than a mile to go in a race and just keep on ticking.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.