The Wellington Dukes cross country team traveled Sept. 15 to the Galion Cross Country Festival.
“Although their times were a bit off due to the hot and humid conditions, our runners still managed to finish in good places against their competition,” said coach Bill Watters.
In the middle school race, seventh-grader Scott Hook (14:07) finished strong in 27th place out of 208 runners. For the middle school girls, Violet Haas (15:51) placed 28th out of the 172 girls in her race, Naudika Boden (17:18) pushed through the intense heat to place 61st, Rebecca Barnes (19:39) was 123rd, and Hunter Legg (20:52) placed 140th.
In the high school race, Emily Watters (25:18) was the first Duke to run across the finish line, placing 42 out of 243 women. Next for Wellington was Austin Krouse (28:11), who earned 134th.
Running with a strained Achilles, Kaitlyn McKinley (29:28) never gave up and crossed the finish line in extreme pain. Alyssa Krouse was close behind with a time of 29:33.
In the open race, Philip McKee (23:06) was the first Duke to cross the finish line, followed by Gabe Gayheart (24:31) and Jerimiah McKee (25:25).
In the team race, Henry Haas (19:40) led the Dukes, finishing the 3.1-mile course in 71st place. Next was Sam Becher (20:07) placing 90th of the 173 runners. Nick Martinelli (20:51) placed 114th, Troy Cole was right behind him (20:51), and Logan Evans (21:00) was just seven runners behind Cole.
“This was a tough race on a monotonous course on a very hot and humid day. I have never seen so many competitors fall out of a race due to heat exhaustion,” said assistant coach Diane Hook. “I am very proud of the way all Wellington runners fought and finished.”
Next for the Dukes runners is the Vermilion Invitational on Saturday at Vermilion High School.