The OTHS Panthers boys and girls cross country teams competed in the St. Clair County championship meet at East St Louis’s Frank Holten State Park on Oct. 8.
This meet gave several runners the opportunity to compete at the varsity level that hadn’t previously done so. Both teams did well with the girls taking second place and the boys finishing in third.
All seven girls medaled and were led by three top-10 performances from sophomore Olivia Anderson, who placed fourth in 18:46.50; freshman Avery Taake, who took fifth in 19:49.70; junior Sophie Moffett, who placed sixth.Rounding out the team were freshman Elly Parks, senior Sophie Wichlac, junior Peyton Mutters and freshman Madeline Ahlf.
On the boys side, six of the seven runners earned medals. The team was led by two top-10 performances from junior Nick Novy, who placed sixth in 16:19.70, and Nico Parker, who finished ninth place in 16:31.40. The other medalists were senior Jacob Denley (13th), sophomore Blake Westrater (16th), junior Ben McCoy (18th) and freshman Aidan Cutter (25th), who held off a surging Freeburg runner to capture the race’s last medal. Sophomore Aiden Arney completed the varsity team.
The final race of the day was a combined girls/boys open race with the top seven runners scored in a team competition. The girls captured the team win with a great performance by junior Olivia Ori. She was the first girl to cross the finish line with a time of 19:46.50
She was followed closely by sophomores Catherine Gould (third) and Sofia Lobue (fourth) and junior Hannah Spencer (fifth). The other medalists were junior Brianne Berres, sophomore Sam Suchanek and freshman Briley Clanin.
The boys were paced to second place by two top-10 finishes from freshmen Dominic Goetz (sixth) and Joel Boedecker (10th). The other medalist were sophomores Michael Wilson and Thomas Estrada.
The postseason begins Thursday, Oct. 17, as the teams travel to Alton for the Southwest Conference championship.