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South Adams runners fared well in the annual Bellmont Cross Country Invitational Tuesday afternoon with Evan Liechty and Brody Shane placing one-two in the boys race and Hannah Moore and Kristen Muselman going three-four on the girls side.
Liechty's winning time of 17:16 keyed the South Adams boys to victory in the nine-team field and Shane wasn't far behind him at 17:22. Bellmont's Evan Boucher completed a 17:32 effort for third while Kyle Fawcett of Adams Central posted a fifth place time of 18:01 and South Adams' Joel Hawbaker ended up sixth in 18:08.
The SA boys finished with a team time of 1:30:23.47 which was about 90 seconds better than second place North Side at 1:32.04.06. Bellmont claimed third at 1:34.59.48 followed by Norwell 1:35.17.04, South Side 1:37:39.58, Adams Central 1:36:54.25, Leo 1:37:31.78, Jay County 1:48.08.55, and Bluffton 1:47:23.93. Those times correlated to team scores of South Adams 42, North Side 54, Bellmont 112, Norwell 122, South Side 137, Adams Central 139, Leo 142, Jay County 213, and Bluffton 246.
Bellmont coach Randy Hisner noted "we ran decent in the meet, certainly a lot better than we did last Tuesday at DeKalb. Evan ran a solid race for his third place individual finish. Adam Corral put together a competitive race as our second man at 18:42 (18th overall) and freshman Adam Garner turned in an impressive home opener as our third man in 19:30."
Hisner added that "third is better than I expected but still we obviously have a long way to go. We are moving in the right direction though."
Other BHS runners were Josh Porter 19:34, Michael Braun 19:57, Kris Piotrowski 20:11, Sean Andrews 20:16, Tyler Fenwick 20:25, Logan Neher 21:34, Aaron Macklin 21:52, Cody Fuelling 23:19, Harrison Jacobson 24:03, Ben Helmrich 24:36, and Adam Ralston 26:53.
Other than the three top-10 finishes by South Adams, the Starfires ended up with the following performances: Simon Sprunger 18:30, Cody Sprunger 19:05, Andrew Steffen 19:11, Clayton Rhoades 19:16, Daniel Velasco 19:25, Mark Smith 20:02, Boaz Marbach 21:09, Brett Affolder 21:46, Charlie Hirschy 21:51, Cole Litwiller 23:57, and Jacob Werst, 25:42.
For Adams Central, Gavin Kaehr was second on the team behind Fawcett with a time of 19:11 and others included Ben Lehrman 19:46, Eli Stoller 19:52, David Teeple 20:02, Maverick Baumer 20:04, Nick Baumer 20:17, Dillon Hartman 20:34, Michael Yoder 21:08, Jim Harrison 21:26, Dylan Krueger 21:30, Colton Frauhiger 21:59, Logan Hanni 24:12, Chance Reynolds 24:43, and Ellison Kaehr 25:06.
The Bellmont girls ran minus sophomore Cadence Faurote, their top runner who was out due to illness, and fell to eighth out of nine full teams in the event.
Tiffany Rauch of North Side was the only harrier to break the 20 minute mark with a winning time of 19:55 while Katie Simmons of Jay County crossed the finish line second nearly a minute later at 20:52. Moore and Muselman ran solid races in 21:08 and 21:24 for the next two spots for the Starfires while Jenna Smith was 11th in 22:16.
Bellmont's top finisher of the day was junior Sarah Garner who was eighth at 22:09. Next for the Squaws was freshman Allyson Norby at 23:52 (28th) while Alexis Harvey was 30th at 24:15. Amanda Noonan took 24:28, a personal best for her, to end up 35th. Bellmont also had three new runners finish their first cross country race ever with Ashley Myers going 31:00, Amber Loshe at 31:18, and Jessica Hedrick at 34:10.
"Sarah ran a nice race to lead us and Ally broke 24 minutes to keep improving. Both girls were faster than last week. Alexis and Amanda both posted good early season times in their first race of the season," noted BHS coach Carl Risch.
Other South Adams participants included Aleesha Goodwin, 25th in 23:29, Allison Amstutz, 37th in 24:50, Sydne Zuber, 52nd in 25:45, and Alexis Ford, 60th in 27:27.
For Adams Central, Kayla Isch was 15th overall in the race at 22:24 and she was followed by teammates Jessica Ripley, 31st in 24:17, Olivia Macklin 32nd in 24:23, Leah Spangler, 39th in 24:54, Mary Fox, 43rd in 25:08, Madison Carroll, 51st in 25:44, Jenae Blackburn, 59th in 27:08, Olivia Mishler, 63rd in 28:01, and Morgan Hill, 72nd in 31:26.
Norwell won the girls event with a time of 1:50.58.20 and 52 points followed by South Adams at 1:53:09.40 and 78 points. Other teams found Jay County at 1:53:20.40 and 84 points, Leo at 1:54:28.36 and 96 points, North Side at 1:57:05.23 and 128 points, South Side at 2:00.43.92 and 152 points, Adams Central at 2:01:08.48 and 155 points, Bellmont at 2:05:46.21 and 155 points, and Bluffton at 2:19.29.55 and 242 points. Wayne participated in the meet with an incomplete team.
The next action for Adams and Wells County teams will be the annual Bi-County Invitational at South Adams starting at 9 a.m.