Woodmore freshman Courtney Burner finished second at the conference championship meet each of the last three seasons.
She established a personal best at the Northern Buckeye Conference championships at 19 minutes, 55.93 seconds Saturday.
“I trained really hard,” she said. “I had ambitions to push harder and I was going to work to PR on that course. I felt great. I had in my mind that I wouldn’t give up and I’d push no matter what, even if it killed me. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Genoa freshman Carly Gose was third (19:59.45) while Jodi Bays was ninth (21:20.83). The top seven finishers are recognized first-team and the second seven second-team.
Burner, who set her previous personal best (20:00) at the same course at a regular season invitational four weeks ago, was passed after leading entering the final 100 meters as an eighth grader.
“I was not going to let that happen,” she said of maintaining her spot Saturday. “It will motivate me to get first and PR again. Just be the best I can. I want to make it to state this season and get more girls to join the team.”
Kaleb Perez was seventh (17:13.20), Ryan Avers eighth (17:17.17), Joey McTague 15th (17:45.21), Matt Robleski 16th (17:52.53), Grant Matwiejczyk 29th (18:41.92) and Jordan Buck 33rd (18:55.38) as Woodmore’s boys finished third.
Clay Parlette was ninth (17:22.92), Kyle Farrell 14th (17:40.17), Jared Lesniewicz 19th (17:55.37), Stewart Coffman 26th (18:19.85), Michael Snider 31st (18:48.81) and Drew Keenan 37th (19:11.90) as Genoa was fifth.
Maddie Jackson was first (19:39.01) as Eastwood won the girls championship.
Brandon Avers was first (16:21.28) as Otsego won the boys title.
Sandusky Bay Conference Championships
Every Oak Harbor runner was at his best as Tyler Sievert was seventh (16:59.41), Jake Wistinghausen ninth (17:12.77), Zach Seaman 13th (17:23.85), Tim Poiry 18th (17:43.67) and Bryce Buderer 25th (17:58.09) as Oak Harbor’s boys finished second.
“We knew St. Mary (Central Catholic) was going to be close (for second),” Rockets coach Eric Buckman said. “We knew we’d have to compete with them. I told the kids to run with them and we knew what we had to do. Every kid stepped up and reached their goal.
“Tyler breaking 17 was huge. It was a great day for the school and for the team.”
Oak Harbor finished tied with the Panthers for second but Tristen Epling (18:15.47) broke the deadlock. Sievert, Buderer and Epling each established a personal best.
The top seven runners are first-team while the next seven are second-team.
“For Tyler to be in the top seven is huge,” Buckman said. “I can’t remember a meet with seven kids in the 16s. It say something about how competitive the conference is. The kids on the second team had fast times, too.
“We face as good of competition here as we will at districts. It makes you better when you compete against the best.”
The Rockets are seeded fifth in their district race.
“Sixteen-fifty-nine puts Tyler right on a qualifying spot,” Buckman said. “He’s on the bubble. I think he could qualify (to regionals). With my kids running PRs, we’re going to have to basically PR straight through to qualify. This is a stepping stone for us for next year whatever happens.
“I don’t know if we’ll qualify but we’ll compete. If we don’t qualify this year, I have a hard time believing we won’t qualify next year.”
Jason Bailey was 20th (17:45.85), Nick Reineck 24th (17:57.54) and Ty Gallogly 28th (18:13.38) as Port Clinton was fifth.
Abbi Pitts was eighth (21:01.41), Hannah Weaver 10th (21:02.40), Kennedy Gulas 12th (21:04.25), Claire Zielinski 18th (21:16.81) and Kayleigh Householder 27th (21:57.05) as Port Clinton’s girls finished third.
Defending champ Port Clinton finished one point behind Perkins, which had all seven varsity runners set a personal best.
“St. Mary surprised us all a little bit,” Redskins coach Del Culver said. “When it’s the conference championships and four or five teams have a chance to win it, it brings out the best in all of us. (Port Clinton) brought their best and it just wasn’t good enough to win. I’m very proud of them.”
Trinity Gephart was third (20:25.44) with a personal best, Allie Dresser sixth (20:57.09), Maria Boers 22nd (21:32.32) and Madelaine Newman 24th (21:40.55) as Oak Harbor finished fourth. Gephart shaved 30 seconds off a time that earned her second last season.
Jenna Hinds finished first (19:14.41) as SMCC won the girls championship.
Edison’s Stephen Shephard was first (16:22.89) while Perkins won the boys crown. The sister of former Pirates coach Chris Smith, who died in a car accident over the summer, distributed the awards to the kids.
Toledo Area Athletic Conference Championships
Danbury’s Shawna Vienhaus (22:56.85) and Dylan Buckley (19:12.87) each finished 13th for the girls and boys, respectively.
Faith Vargo was 21st (23:09.11), Mollie Knighton 31st (27:02.03), Andrea Dodd 32nd (27:43.02) and Lilly Kennedy 33rd (27:47.91) for the Lakers.
Danbury’s girls were third while Toledo Christian won the boys and girls crowns.