JACKSON, Ohio — After a two-year hiatus atop the league results, the Gallia Academy girls cross country team came away with the 2011 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League championship Wednesday night at Jackson High School.
The Blue Angels captured their fifth SEOAL team crown in program history, and first since 2008, by posting a team score of 28 — which ended up being 10 points better than runner-up Warren (38). Both Logan and Chillicothe finished the night with 86 points, but the Lady Chieftains earned third place with a the sixth-runner tiebreaker. Jackson and Portsmouth did not record a team score because neither school had five runners compete.
The Blue Angels — who also won SEOAL team titles in 1996, 1997 and 2006 — had four runners finish in the top-9 of the race, which earned each of them All-SEOAL honors. GAHS also had five of the top-14 individual efforts in the 43-girl event.
Senior Peyton Adkins accomplished the rarest of feats Wednesday night, winning her fourth consecutive SEOAL crown as an individual competitor. Adkins posted a winning time of 18:54 and finished almost a minute ahead of the entire girls field.
Adkins is believed to be the first female runner to win four individual SEOAL crowns in the league’s 32 years of participation, though that information could not be confirmed after numerous contacts with media and league officials Wednesday night.
Adkins’ win also gave GAHS the last seven league champions at this event, with Peyton’s sister Lauren winning the individual crown from 2005 to 2007. The Adkins sisters have also accumulated eight all-league honors in cross country.
“I’m really excited about how my race went, and it’s awesome to hear that I possibly made history. That’s not a bad way to end a career in this league,” Adkins said. “More importantly, I’m really happy that we won the league title. That’s how I wanted to end my career in this league. It’s a good day for all of us.”
The other Blue Angel senior, McKenna Warner, also earned her fourth All-SEOAL accolade Wednesday night after placing as the overall runner-up with a time of 19:46. Warner, a Shawnee State University signee, was second overall for the second time in her SEOAL career.
Madison Holley and Hannah Watts both came away with their first All-SEOAL honors, as Holley placed fourth overall with a time of 20:31 and Watts was sixth with a mark of 21:10. Elizabeth Holley rounded out the team scoring by placing 14th overall with a time of 23:20.
“We’re tickled to death with how the girls did today,” said GAHS coach Todd May. “Our seniors served as leaders, and the younger kids stepped it up. It was a total group effort, which makes it all that much better.”
Jenna Bays was 15th overall with a time of 23:38, followed by Madelynn Dennison (27:03) in 32nd and Akeisha Saunders (27:05) in 33rd. Other Blue Angel efforts included Darian Miller (28:18) in 36th, , Katie Saunders (33:44) in 41st, Rylee Stevens (34:27) in 42nd, and Kimmie Ford (35:21) in 43rd.
On the boys’ side of things, Warren won its third consecutive league title after posting a team score of 24. Logan was the runner-up with 44 points, while Gallia Academy was third with 86 points. Jackson (92) and Chillicothe (119) rounded out the top-five. Portsmouth did not have enough runners for a team score.
Wes Cochran of Warren won his second straight individual crown after posting a time of 16:07 — which was more than 30 seconds ahead of runner-up and teammate Kyle Conley (16:38). There were 40 runners total in the boys competition.
The Blue Devils had two runners come away with All-SEOAL honors, as Michael Edelman (18:14) finished sixth and Tim Warner (18:19) placed ninth overall.
Jeremy Wilson (20:50) was next for GAHS in 25th, followed by Quenton McKinniss (20:52) and Casey Lawrence (21:13) in 27th and 28th, respectively. Griffin McKinniss was 35th overall with a mark of 22:14, while Ben Bush (23:17) and Ryan Vallee (23:18) respectively rounded things out for the Devils by placing 39th and 40th.
“The guys were probably the biggest surprise of the day, figuring they were projected to finish fifth,” May said. “They showed as much heart as anybody today, and they did what they had to do and got it done.
“Like I said earlier with the girls, it was a good day for everyone.”
Gallia Academy now sets its sights on the Division II district meet Saturday, Oct. 22, at the University of Rio Grande.
2011 SEOAL cross country championship results
Boys team scores: 1, Warren (W) 24; 2, Logan (L) 44; 3, Gallipolis (G) 86; 4, Jackson (J) 92; 5, Chillicothe (C) 119; Portsmouth (P) no team score or place.
Boys All-SEOAL: 1, Wes Cochran (W) 16:07; 2, Kyle Conley (W) 16:38; 3, Marcus Harding (W) 18:01; 4, Seth Vermillion (L) 18:08; 5, Andrew VanBibber (L) 18:13; 6, Michael Edelman (G) 18:14; 7, Colin Brooks (L) 18:15; 8, Billy Howell (W) 18:16; 9, Timmy Warner (G) 18:19.
Other boys runners (40 total): 10, Jacob Freeman (W) 18:34; 11, Ian Hobbs (J) 18:36; 12, Ian Kilgour (J) 19:00; 13, Kenton Lawson (L) 19:07; 14, Ben Heller (C) 19:15; 15, Scotty Burghy (L) 19:19; 16, Joel Estes (W) 19:26; 17, Christian Perkins (L) 19:28; 18, Chris Truax (W) 19:36; 19, Zack Kammler (P) 19:39; 20, Michael Geiger (L) 19:45; 21, Nick Carver (W) 20:09; 22, Matthew Collins (J) 20:11; 23, Adam Neer (J) 20:26; 24, John Vargo (L) 20:48; 25, Jeremy Wilson (G) 20:50; 26, Brandon Mingus (C) 20:51; 27, Quenton McKinniss (G) 20:52; 28, Casey Lawrence (G) 21:13; 29, Xavier Newsome (C) 21:15; 30, Seth McGuire (C) 21:19; 31, William Rafferty (J) 21:19; 32, Andrew Wilkison (L) 21:38; 33, Mark Hirsh (C) 21:47; 34, Jacob Murphy (W) 22:05; 35, Griffin McKinniss (G) 22:14; 36, Aaron Vannoy (W) 22:28; 37, Andrew Gaughan (W) 22:54; 38, Tyler Shortridge (J) 23:09; 39, Ben Bush (G) 23:17; 40, Ryan Vallee (G) 23:18.
Girls team scores: 1, Gallipolis (G) 28; 2, Warren (W) 38; 3, Logan (L) 86; 4, Chillicothe (C) 86; Jackson (J) and Portsmouth (P) no team score or place. Logan placed third based on best sixth-place runner tiebreaker.
Girls All-SEOAL: 1, Peyton Adkins (G) 18:54; 2, McKenna Warner (G) 19:46; 3, Halle Richards (W) 20:13; 4, Madison Holley (G) 20:31; 5, Hannah Dugan (W) 20:51; 6, Hannah Watts (G) 21:10; 7, Racheal Conaway (C) 21:40; 8, Andra Metzler (C) 22:10; 9, Cassandra Thompson (W) 22:19.
Other girls runners (43 total): 10, Christen Howell (W) 22:49; 11, Haley Shank (J) 22:57; 12, Kristen Gray (W) 23:08; 13, Faith Freeman (L) 23:12; 14, Elizabeth Holley (G) 23:20; 15, Jenna Bays (G) 23:38; 16, Lana Sydensticker (W) 23:48; 17, Jessica Ridgeway (J) 23:57; 18, Sydney Brogue (W) 23:47; 19, Amber Ullman (W) 24:41; 20, Katie Driggs (L) 24:45; 21, Tabitha Bigham (L) 25:05; 22, Mikala Rooker (L) 25:33; 23, Kristen Harden (L) 25:36; 24, Katelynn Sheets (J) 25:54; 25, Sydney Hunter (L) 26:05; 26, Shae Cartee (P) 26:08; 27, Maggie Sturgill (P) 26:13; 28, Emily Starlin (L) 26:24; 29, Olivia Montgomery-Chorey (L) 26:29; 30, McKenzie Stauffer (W) 26:30; 31, Megan Sparks (C) 26:49; 32, Madelyn Dennison (G) 27:03; 33, Akeisha Saunders (G) 27:05; 34, Casandra Parker (C) 27:49; 35, Sydnee Brown (L) 28:07; 36, Darian Miller (G) 28:18; 37, Brooklyn Royalty (P) 28:54; 38, Destiny Hoffman (L) 29:27; 39, Kylie Bethel (C) 32:04; 40, Ashlynn Loveless (P) 33:01; 41, Katie Saunders (G) 33:44; 42, Rylee Stevens (G) 34:27; 43, Kimmie Ford (G) 35:21.