Rachel Spath of Van Wert runs alongside Delphos St. John's Rylee Pohlman dur ing the Elida Cross Country Invitational on Tuesday.  Spath finished in 8th place and Pohlman 9th as the two girls' teams finished 1-2 in the final standings. (DHI Media/Larry Heiing)
Rachel Spath of Van Wert runs alongside Delphos St. John's Rylee Pohlman dur ing the Elida Cross Country Invitational on Tuesday. Spath finished in 8th place and Pohlman 9th as the two girls' teams finished 1-2 in the final standings. (DHI Media/Larry Heiing)
ELIDA — The Columbus Grove boys and Van Wert girls won high school team titles at the Elida Cross Country Invitational on Tuesday.

Columbus Grove placed their top seven male runners in the first 13 spots to defeat runner-up Van Wert 28-35. Ottawa-Glandorf was a distant third with 111 points, followed by Kenton, Elida, Lincolnview, St. John’s, Allen East, Bath, Lima Senior and Wayne Trace.

Carson Closson (16:28) led the Bulldogs with a third-place finish between a pair of Van Wert Cougars, Hunter Sherer (2nd, 16:04) and Gage Wannemacher (4th, 16:33). Caleb Stechschulte (16:44) from Grove placed 5th, followed by teammate Trent Koch (6th, 16:45), Gage Springer (7th, 17:02) of Van Wert, Derek Birkemeier (8th, 17:04, CG) and Asanke Steyer (9th, 17:10 VW). Tayden Pingle (11th, 17:13), Caleb Morman (12th, 17:21) and Roy Langhals (13th, 17:24) rounded out the top finishers for the Bulldogs.

Marcus Freewalt from St. John’s just missed the top 20 but did manage to lower his time to 17:51 for 21st place. Drew Palte (35th, 19:00), Andrew Bockey 49th, 19:35), Aaron Bockey (20:37), and Zane Stevenson (22:11) completed the Blue Jay boys line-up.

Kohen Cox was the first Lincolnview Lancer to cross the finish line at the Elida Campus course in 18:39. Conner Johnson (19:04), Alex Wyatt (19:30), Warren Mason (19:55), Kaden Hohman (19:56), and Josh Haines (19:58) all broke the 20 minute mark for the Lancers.

Adam Looser (21:33) was the top placer for Ottoville followed by Ryan Looser (25:08) and Austin Landin (27:21).

The high school girls race was a battle as Erin Downing of Columbus Grove led for the first two miles before being overtaken by Ottawa-Glandorf’s Alexa Fortman. Fortman held on to the lead the rest of the way to win in 19:11, Downing (19:37) was second, Kyra Welch (19:50) and Tyra McClain (19:52) both of Van Wert placed 3rd and 4th.

St. John’s senior Rylee Pohlman continued her stellar season placing 9th with a 5000 meter time of 20:49. The Lady Jays had back-to back finishes by senior Kambrynn Rohr (12th, 21:03) and Elayna Will (13th, 21:05). Adara Fuerst (22nd) lowered her personal best time to 21:36, along with Aubrey Milligan 23rd, 21:43), Kitty Kopack (24th, 21:48), Alex Kessen (28th, 22:08), Ava Milligan (22:52), Ella Wilson (26:31), and Chloe Etzkorn (28:33).

Paige Hoersten landed in the top 20 for Ottoville notching a time of 21:24. Her sophomore team mate, Skylar Turnwald (23:46) placed 40th.

Emma Hatcher (24:22),Lillian Mount (25:07), Grace Sadowski (25:15) and Heather Beair (25:44) were top finishers for Lincolnview as the Lancers rested some of their upperclassmen runners.

Van Wert won the girls high school team title with 49 points and St. John’s (75) was runner-up. Columbus Grove (86) was narrowly third over Kenton (88) and Ottawa-Glandorf (104).