Houk wins Friendship XC Invitational


By Ron Nunnari - Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com



<strong>Lucas Houk leads the way trailed by Kyle Lethander of Oakwood (left) and Grant Arnold of Carroll (right). Houk won the race in 16:16.4 with Arnold finishing second and Johnson third.</strong>

Lucas Houk leads the way trailed by Kyle Lethander of Oakwood (left) and Grant Arnold of Carroll (right). Houk won the race in 16:16.4 with Arnold finishing second and Johnson third.


Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

Rohan Storaci (10304) amid a pack of runners from Cincinnati area schools.


Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

Alex Palcic (10300) running side-by-side with Northmont’s Matthew Correll (9358).


Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

Madelynn Cochren (10287) and Bailey Koss head down the home stretch.


Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

CEDARVILLE — Wayne senior Lucas Houk took 1st place out of a massive field of 764 runners Saturday at the Cedarville Friendship Cross Country Invitational.

Houk crossed the finish line in 16:16.4 more than six seconds ahead of second place finisher Grant Arnold of Carroll who came in at 16:22.9.

The day started out dreary and overcast but the clouds broke and the temperatures climbed rapidly. The heat took its toll on many runners, but Houk found the course and conditions to his liking.

“It was beautiful. I love the course,” Houk said. “It’s a perfect cross country course. It’s got everything. Today it was just the heat; the weather. This place in November is a beautiful course to run on, but in August and September is a rough one.”

Houk said he felt good getting out of the gate with several competitors forcing him to get off to a faster than anticipated pace.

“It was a little quicker than I had expected, but I appreciated it,” Houk added. “It was the first time that I had been challenged all year. I made some good surges about halfway through and I just kind of remained confident throughout the race.”

As a team the Warriors finished 16th in the 27 team field.

In addition to Houk and Arnold the Dayton area was well represented with four other local runners finishing among the top ten. Dolan Johnson of Oakwood placed 3rd (16:32.8), Kyle Lethander of Oakwood placed 6th (16:40.9). Kevin Agnew of Carroll placed 7th (16:42.1) and Andrew Sarmir of Fairmont placed 9th (16:44.4).

The race drew teams from the Dayton, Springfield, Cincinnati and Columbus areas.

The heat and humidity caused several runners from various to take a walk break at the top of a long incline at mile two.

Wayne’s second fastest finisher was Harley Wells who finished 83rd in 18:21.9. Rohan Storaci finished 115th in 18:38.7. William Stephens was 167th in 19:09.1. Alex Palcic finished 189th in 19:21.4. Vincent Statzer finished in 233rd place in 19:49.6. Patrick Statzer finished 318th in 20:32. Cole Williamson was 324th in 20:34.9. Samuel Carlson was 382nd in 21:13.5. Deontae Brown finished in 480th place 22:11.5. JoMarre Young finished 506th in 22:29.7. Ian Brooks was 572nd in 23:26.6. Luke Johnson finished 633rd in 24:17.8 and Braeden Koss was 651st in 24:40.9.

“I thought we did really well today,” Wayne Coach Todd Anderson said. “We had a little different strategy today. We tried to go out a little bit slower to see if that would make our last mile faster and I think a lot of the kids really appreciated that. They felt like they had a lot more energy at the end and their times showed it. They had some really good times today.”

The big incline posed a challenge for every team on the expansive course across adjacent to Route 72 and Cedarville College.

“This is a true cross country course with lots of hills and lots of turns,” Anderson noted. “There is plenty of room and there were like 700 kids in that race, but there was still plenty of room. It is a very hilly course and it was warm out here today, so it was tough conditions. With the wind today and with how hot it is with no shade, it gets really warm out there running.”

Anderson acknowledged Houk’s management of the conditions led to his victory.

“That was Houk’s best time this year; not quite a personal record yet but pretty close to it,” Anderson added. “He ran a very smart race, held back, was patient and made the moves when he had to.”

Competing for the Wayne girls was Madelynn Cochren who finished 165th in 25:27.7. Brooklyn McFadden finished 203rd in 26:14.5. Abigail Kerestes finished 245th in 27:22.5. Bailey Koss finished 247th in 27:24.4 and Rachel Wise finished 368th in 33:04.5.

Lucas Houk leads the way trailed by Kyle Lethander of Oakwood (left) and Grant Arnold of Carroll (right). Houk won the race in 16:16.4 with Arnold finishing second and Johnson third.
https://www.hhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2018/09/web1_LucasHouk-1.jpgLucas Houk leads the way trailed by Kyle Lethander of Oakwood (left) and Grant Arnold of Carroll (right). Houk won the race in 16:16.4 with Arnold finishing second and Johnson third. Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

Rohan Storaci (10304) amid a pack of runners from Cincinnati area schools.
https://www.hhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2018/09/web1_RohanStoraci-1.jpgRohan Storaci (10304) amid a pack of runners from Cincinnati area schools. Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

Alex Palcic (10300) running side-by-side with Northmont’s Matthew Correll (9358).
https://www.hhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2018/09/web1_MatthewCorrell_AlexPalcic-1.jpgAlex Palcic (10300) running side-by-side with Northmont’s Matthew Correll (9358). Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

Madelynn Cochren (10287) and Bailey Koss head down the home stretch.
https://www.hhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2018/09/web1_Cochren_Koss-1.jpgMadelynn Cochren (10287) and Bailey Koss head down the home stretch. Ron Nunnari | AIM Media Midwest

By Ron Nunnari

Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind

Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind