HEBRON – Versailles’ Joe Spitzer finished his high school cross country career with a fifth place finish at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state meet on Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
Spitzer finished fifth in the state championship race with a time of 16:01.9. He only trailed Buckeye Valley’s Zach Kreft, Lexington’s Ryan Johnston, Shelby’s Caleb Brown and Lexington’s Kyle Johnston in the Division II boys race.
Despite finishing in the top five, Spitzer said he wasn’t feeling his best on Saturday.
“I just wasn’t feeling good today,” said Spitzer, who has battled through shin splints throughout the season. “Tough conditions and might have gone out a little fast. Still got top five and can’t really complain about that.”
Spitzer was in ninth place at the end of the first mile. He moved up to fourth by the end of the second mile before dropping back to fifth at the end of the race.
“I could tell that through the mile it was kind of going a little fast,” the Versailles senior said. “Just tried to stay with it the second mile, passed a few guys.”
Spitzer’s fifth place finish was four spots better than his performance at the 2016 state cross country meet as a junior when he finished ninth in the state.
“It’s overall been a good career,” Spitzer said. “The second fastest runner in Versailles history … I’m pretty happy with it.”
Spitzer, who finished his cross country career as the second fastest runner in Versailles history behind 2013 graduate Sam Prakel, is ready to turn his attention to a strong finish to his high school career during the track and field season.
“I’ve got some pretty high goals for track season,” he said.
For complete results from the state meet, visit http://ohsaa.org.
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.