Defiance’s Mhalicki Bronson and Shay Soukup swept the individual titles at the Early Bird Invitational at Defiance High School on Saturday.
Though there were no official team scores kept and no trophies given out, the Defiance boys were first, while the girls finished second, behind Bedford (Mich.).
Bronson won a battle of two of the state’s best, topping 2018 Division III state champ Noah Fisher of Ayersville, 15:15-15:21, while Bryan’s Joshua Taylor finished third (16:17).
Meanwhile, Soukup cruised past runner up Alyssa Dorn of Bedford (Mich.), 19:24-19:37. Bryan’s Audrey Zimmerman finished third (19:38.5).
The Defiance boys garnered 32 points ahead of runner-up Tinora’s 136. Defiance other top finishers were Cooper Morton (fourth), Colin Moats (sixth), Brennan Roehrig (eighth), Josh Horvath (13th), Eli Fortman (14th) and Nathan Morgan (17th). Tinora was paced by Jacob Cramer (10th) and Clay Carpenter (11th).
Rounding out the top 10 teams were Ottawa-Glandorf, third (139), followed by Wauseon (149), Fairview (166), Bryan (197), Edgerton (206), Maumee Valley (211), Fayette (212) and Archbold (238).
On the girls side, Bedford placed three girls in the top nine to finish ahead of second place Defiance, 47-95. Archbold, behind Kyle Sauder’s fourth place finish, was third (111).
After Soukup, Defiance’s five scorers were Abby Horvath (seventh), Mira Horvath (15th), Emily Wahl (28th) and Olivia Moats (44th).
“We were very excited to kick off our season by hosting (367 boys and girls varsity) 700 runners, at our Early Bird Open,” said Defiance girls coach Scott Saner. “It was a perfect day to run and overall, this was a good start to our season. Shay ran very well, finishing first against some really solid runners. Her time was excellent for this early in the season. Abby also had a great run today, running a new personal best time.”
Other top teams were Wauseon (fourth, 114), followed by Pettisville (160), Fairview (170), Bryan (190), Edgerton (195), Evergreen (232) and Ottawa-Glandorf (257).
Elsewhere, at Delphos Stadium Park, Columbus Grove swept the boys and girls titles. The boys put four runners in the top 11 to nip runner up Anna, 45-47. Van Wert placed third (110 points.) Of other local teams in the 15 team field, Ottoville was sixth, Kalida seventh, Antwerp eighth, Swanton 12th and Wayne Trace 14th.
Also locally, Kalida’s Ryan Lucke finished in the top 10, at eighth.On the girls side, Grove topped runner up Van Wert, 52-72. Grove’s Alyssa Ellerbrock won the individual title, ahead of runner up Caylee Phillips of Van Wert (20:17). Anna placed third (108). Of the other local teams in the 12 team field, Swanton was sixth, Leipsic ninth and Antwerp eighth.
Of other top 10 local finishers, Leipsic’s Lola Wensink was fifth and Swanton’s Bobbie Oberle and Brook Oberle were sixth and eighth, respectively.
In another invitational, the Seneca East Invite, Liberty Center girls won the White Division, topping Mt. Gilead, 48-116. The Tiger boys, led by Nathaniel Elieff’s 12th place finish, placed fifth out of 27 teams.
For the first place LC girls, Hope Oelkrug was fourth, Sydney Miller seventh, Dalayna Ashbaugh 11th, Cassie Elieff 12th and Mallory Stark 14th.
Defiance 32, Tinora 136, Ottawa-Glandorf 139, Wauseon 149, Fairview 166, Bryan 197, Edgerton 206, Maumee Valley 211, Fayette 212, Archbold 238, Ayersville (272), Hicksville 318, Evergreen 323, Montpelier 338, Hilltop 375, Paulding 428 and North Central 461
Top 10 Individuals
1. Mhalicki Bronson (D), 15:15.53; 2. Noah Fisher (Ay); 3. Joshua Taylor (B); 4. Cooper Morton (D); 5. Treyvon Hastings (Fai); 6. Colin Moats (D); 7. Patrick Lyell (MV); 8. Brennan Roehrig (D); 9. Emanuel Villanueva (Stryker); 10. Braden Vernot (W).
Bedford (Mich.) 47, Defiance 95, Archbold 111, Wauseon 114, Pettisville 160, Fairview 170, Bryan 190, Edgerton 195, Evergreen 232, Ottawa-Glandorf 257, Montpelier 272, Ayersville 283, Fayette 340, Tinora 348, Paulding 384
Top 10 Individuals
1. Shay Soukup (D), 19:24.91; 2. Alyssa Dorn (B); 3. Audrey Zimmerman (B); 4. Kylie Sauder (Ar); 5. Kate Stuber Pe); 6. Maddy Foster (B); 7. Abby Horvath (D); 8. Makayla Orner (B); 9. Teryn Bour (Ay); 10. Trinitie Woolace (Stryker).