BETTSVILLE — Fremont Ross’ Louis Guardiola may have been the favorite heading into the larger Joe McKown Division at the Lakota Myron Cline Invitational on Saturday.
The junior had run 16:00 earlier in the season and placed among the Top 50 in the Div. I race at the Tiffin Carnival, an event that consisted of more than 7,000 participants from Michigan and Ohio.
After trailing Guadiola by as much as 20 meters for a majority of the race, Bellevue senior Andrew Beier passed the Little Giants’ standout in the final stretch to win on Saturday with a time at 16:19.23 and help the Redmen edge Ross, 63-68.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for (Guardiola) and I knew I had to basically kill myself in the race to beat him,” Beier said. “I was told to stay back and stopped myself from going too fast at the beginning.
“I had it in my mind for the entire race that I was going to beat him and stayed in a good position.”
Despite the Little Giants placing three runners among the top 10, Bellevue packed with all its remaining scorers in the top 24 with Dylan Hall-Farmbrough at the No. 2 scoring spot in eighth (17:07.56).
“Both teams are getting better and better and I know that the boys want to win a league championship, something that hasn’t been done here since 1985,” Redmen coach Lee Booze said. “The boys also had a nice comeback from Dylan Farmbrough, our No. 2, who is coming off a stress fracture.”
The remaining Redmen scorers were Cory Huddleston at 16th (17:25.36), Austin Guthrie 17th (17:33.18) and Alex Drummond 24th (17:57.6).
For the Bellevue girls, who defeated Liberty-Benton 42-50 for the larger Julie Harrison Division title, Whitney Schalk placed third (19:49.87), Ericka Hosang fourth (19:58.54), Madison Scagnetti seventh (20:09.41, Michaela Fox 12th (20:30.46) and Sarah Bedell 19th (21:18.13).
“The girls ran really good to compete against Liberty-Benton, a state calibur Division III school,” Booze said. “Whitney Shaulk ran her first race in the 19’s and Lindsey Yontz, a first-year senior had a great day.
“We had a lot of PRs (personal records) and it was just a fun meet.”
For the Oak Harbor boys, who ended third at 78, Jake Wistinghausen placed 10th (17:11.9), Tyler Sievert 11th (17:15.59), Zach Seaman 13th (17:21.66), Tim Poiry 18th (17:33.18) and Bryce Buderer 28th (18:04.91). Buderer set a personal best by more than one minute.
Rockets coach Eric Buckman said seeing the development of his team is indescribable, having coached some of the runners since the junior high level.
“We had two season-bests and three PRs today,” Buckman said. “We were runner-up in the SBC (Sandusky Bay Conference) last year and the year before and if we can get these guys down in the 16s we can compete with Perkins (reigning conference champion).”
Reigning girls SBC Champion Port Clinton, ended third at 108, with Kennedy Gulas placing eighth (20:17.51), Hannah Weaver 23rd (21:27.41), Claire Zielinski 24th (21:27.84), Abbi Pitts 29th (21:43.78) and Tori Koebel 32nd (22:02.98).
The Redskins boys ended sixth (150) with Woodmore seventh (152), Genoa ninth (182) and Clyde 10th (277).
The Comets were led by a 15th place from Clay Parlette (17:25.1) with the Wildcats Ryan Avers and Kaleb Perez at 19th (17:34.52) and 20th (17:35.31), respectively. David Leone was the top Port Clinton finisher at 22nd (17:47.49) with teammate Alex Drummond 24th (17:57.6).
Oak Harbor’s girls ended fourth (115) with Genoa seventh (199) and Clyde eighth (217).
Trinity Gephart paced the Rockets at 10th (20:22.51) with Allie Dresser 14th (20:50.31), Maria Boers 21st (21:22.34), Madelaine Newman 36th (22:14.1) and Andrea Cecil 48th (22:32.03).
The Comets’ top finisher was Carly Gose at ninth (20:19.46), while the Lady Fliers placed Chloe Ruttschaw 17th (21:10.92).
Woodmore’s Courtney Burner placed sixth but the Lady Wildcats did not facilitate a full team.