GREENVILLE – Tanner Delk ran his best time of the year on Saturday to win the first Blackhawk Invitational at Chenoweth Trails.
The Arcanum senior cruised to an easy win in 16 minutes, 0.4 seconds on the muddy and hilly course that mirrored much of what The Gauntlet 5k race course looked like back in the summer.
“It was treacherous, muddy, hilly, but it was fun,” Delk said. “It was probably what a true cross country is like though. It was definitely a challenge.”
He shattered his previous best time of 16:42.3.
“It’s been hard so far to put up a really good time this season because it has been rainy and muddy on all the courses we have run,” Delk said. “This was my first really solid time so I am very happy with it. I feel really good about it for this course.
“Our whole team ran well,” he added.
Indeed, the Trojans took the top team spot with 20 points as all seven runners finished in the top 15 of individuals. After Delk, Landon Kreusch was in second place with a time of 17:20.4. He was followed by Ethan Moores (18:05.3) in fourth place, Griffin Cates (18:05.5) in fifth place, Dakota White (18:37.4) in eighth place, Tyler Pfahler (19:33.4) in 12th place and Luke Brinksneader (20:23.1) in 15th place.
The rest of the team standings for the boys race included Ansonia in second place with 70 points. Union City (Ind.) was third with 84 points, host Mississinawa Valley was fourth (87) and Tri-Village was fifth (117).
“I think it went very well,” Mississinawa Valley athletic direct Chloe Shell said of putting on their first-ever event. “Chenoweth Trails was more than helpful to (Coach) Sarah Smith and I in planning the course and getting everything together. We also had some really good volunteers that came out today and helped us by being pointers and running the concession stand and just supporting the school and the kids.
“From what I have heard, most of the teams seemed to like it,” she continued. “They enjoyed the course. They thought it was fun and challenging and everyone seems willing to come back next year, so hopefully we will come back bigger and better next year.”
For Delk, he does have a goal of returning to the state meet this season. He went as an individual last year and placed 42nd overall in the Division III race at National Trail Raceway in Hebron. He has loftier goals this season though.
“I want to get back to state and do better than I did last year,” Delk said. “It was not my best race for sure, but not too bad. It was my first time at state for cross country and it was definitely exciting to be there because that was the goal for the whole season just to get there.
“It was a crazy competition though and I was not used to that,” he continued. “It’s a different course for sure with the racetrack and all and all the people too. I’m not used to that, but it is definitely motivating me this year. It gives me something to work toward.”
Delk, a senior, started running in the seventh grade, he said. He does plan to run in college, but he’s not sure where just yet.
“We did a fun run at our school in the seventh grade and it was first time for me ever running a race,” Delk said. “I enjoyed it so I just tried out for the junior high cross country team and have been doing it ever since. I love the sport and it is a good atmosphere to be part of. I’m just excited for the rest of the season. We have a strong team and looking forward to seeing what we can do. We all put in so much time and effort in the off-season and we’ll just see what we can do.”
For the Ansonia boys, Logan Warner was the top runner placing third overall in a time of 17:56.3. He was followed by Garrett Kaiser (19:57.7) in 13th place, Chad Millikin (20:29.4) in 17th place, Cody Williams (21:01.2) in 20th place, Michael Hall (21;18.0) in 21st place, Trenten Case (21:20.1) in 22nd place and Andrew Thornhill (21:55.4) in 23rd place.
Mississinawa Valley’s runners were Dalton Marker (18:37.3) in seventh place, Jacob Dircksen (19:58.6) in 14th place, Roman Dircksen (20:28.2) in 16th place, Michael Rammel (22:08.6) in 27th place, Jacob Dirmeyer (23:21.4) in 31st place, Shawn Wogoman (23:48.1) in 33rd place and Davian Trump (29:18.2) in 38th place.
For Tri-Village, Harley Ketring was the top placer finishing in 18:08.1 for sixth place. Matthew Holzapfel (20:46.0) placed 18th, Ryan Stephan (25:37.1) was in 36th place, Cameron Armstrong (26:21.5) was in 37th place and Kamran Stucky (31:08.3) finished in 39th place.
In the girls race, only three teams competed with Ansonia winning with a score of 28. Arcanum was second with 45 points and Preble Shawnee had 51 points in third place.
The top individual for the girls race was Reagan Hoggatt of Union City. She completed the course in a time of 20:52.2. Hannah Myers of Preble Shawnee was runner-up in 21:09.9 followed by Arcanum’s Lydia Shannon (21:22.7) in third place.
Also for Arcanum, Aidan O’Brien (223:09.2) came in ninth place, Elora Sudduth (23:09.8) was in 10th place, Chloe Eberhard (24:40.6) finished in 12th place and Mekenna Gunckel (34:37.3) finished in 27th place.
For Ansonia, Olivia Wright (21:58.6) placed fifth followed by Emily Wright (22:14.3) in sixth place, Mariah Troutwine (22;20.0) in seventh place, Lydia Snyder (22:26.9) in eighth place. Kierra Reichert (24:54.5) in 14th place, Deanna Moody (32:32.1) in 24th place and Kristine Shaner (33:11.6) in 25th place.
Tri-Village had four individuals compete in the race and Mississinawa Valley had one. For Tri-Village, Meredith Butsch (24:31.1) finished in 11th place, Lissa Siler (24;46.3) was in 13th place, Samantha Combs (27:39.3) came in 16th place and Emma Printz (28:26.3) finished in 18th place.
Madison Hayes (34;17.0) finished in 26th place for Mississinawa Valley.
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.