Saturday morning’s heat and humidity took its toll on runners at Bryn Du during the Granville Invitational — some more than others.
It didn’t seem to affect the Watkins Memorial girls, who placed second out of 17 teams behind Josie Woosley, or Warrior sophomore Andrew Jordan who finished fourth out of 190 runners. Host Granville, meanwhile, was third in the girls race and fifth in the boys race out of 21 teams in its first race of the fall.
“I didn’t mind (the heat),” said Jordan, who ran 17:00. “Some people let it get into their head, and that just helps me do better. The Pickerington North runners ran 16:20 last week and were a lot slower today. I ran 18 seconds faster than last week, and I want to run a PR every race.”
Woosley was third out of 154 girls in 20:08., behind the 19:15 of victorious Sarra Taylor, of London, and the 19:21 of Ann Heurman, from champion Upper Arlington. Her time was slower, but Woosley was happy with her effort.
“It was hot and humid, but I’m used to it in training and prefer it over the chill and cold,” Woosley said. “I was not worried about my time, more about the race with these other girls. You can learn from a good race like this, go back and train hard.”
Watkins scored 98 points behind the 28 of Upper Arlington, one of the top teams in Ohio. Granville was third with 106.
“It was pretty hot, but the mindset was that it wasn’t too hot and to keep going,” said Alyssa Atkinson, who led the Blue Aces with her 13th place in 21:10. “A lot of other teams had done a lot of other races, and we just wanted to see what we could do. I didn’t want to go out too fast, just stay within myself.”
Micaela DeGenero was 15th in 21:13, and admitted it was hard to adjust to the heat.
“We had been practicing in the heat, but it was a little hot for our first race,” she said. “For our first race, we did very well and met our expectations. By the end of the season, we should be really strong.”
In a showdown of top Division I Central District teams, Olentangy won the boys race with 76 points to 82 by Pickerington North. Granville was fifth with 170 and Watkins Memorial ninth at 225.
Junior Ryan Black led the Blue Aces with his 16th-place finish in 17:33, while senior All-Ohioan Tyler Otterstedt endured a rare off-day and was 21st in 17:51.
“Ryan won the district as a freshman, and broke his leg on a bike last year, but came on strong at the end of the season,” coach Dave Agosta said.
Otterstedt got a little sick during the race, but knows better things are ahead.
“I was in the lead pack and at 5:15 at the mile mark, but then I hit a wall; I jogged up the hill behind the mansion, then jogged down it,” he said. “For whatever reason, I was a little nervous coming in, and it was a bad day. I’ll move on from it and go out and get them next week.”
“Tyler is very mature; he knows you’re not as good or bad as your last race,” Agosta said.