By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor
Emily Rothhaar’s trademark ponytail was working in full force on Saturday.
Waving goodbye on every stride down the stretch.
The Willard junior made her move midway through Saturday’s Blue Race at the Ontario Bill Brown Invitational and ran away with first place by nearly 10 full seconds (20:43).
She had some company up front amongst the race medalists, as Jillian Schloemer motored her way to ninth place at 21:50. Willard’s remaining top-seven runners posted a one-minute and 35-second split between them, beginning with top-20 performances by Amy Del Angel (16th--23:14) and Felicia Rosvanis (18th--23:38). Araceli Huerta (24:24) had the final scoring run at 22nd, while teammates Alyssa Strayer (24:34) and Kyrie McDevitt (24:49) were the next runners to cross in 23rd and 24th, respectively.
Willard placed third of four in the Blue Race with 62 points, as Fredericktown (35) topped New London (50) for first. Pleasant took fourth with 86, while Clear Fork, St. Pete’s and Lucas featured runners, but not complete teams.
Clay Gahring ran his way into the medalist core in the boys Blue Race, as the WHS junior crossed in 18:10, good for seventh place in the 103-runner field. Blake Smith (18:26), Justin Gillmor (18:34) and Garrett Risser (18:47) also broke into the top-20 at 11th, 15th and 18th, followed by Nick Bauer’s 27th place time of 19:14.
Nate Cofer (19:40) and Landon Schaffer (19:42) garnered 34th and 34th, overall for WHS, which took third amongst a seven-team field with 75 points.
Fredericktown completed the Blue Race sweep with a 40 in the boys race, led by individual champion, Wyat Harmon’s 16:52. New London was right behind at 44, featuring their freshman trio of Carson Coey (17:22), Curtis Joppeck (17:54) and Donnie Albaugh (17:56) in third, fourth and fifth.
Northmor was fourth at 85, with Lucas (146), Pleasant (162) and St. Pete’s (201) holding down the fifth through seventh spots. Also fielding runners were Clear Fork, Mansfield Christian and Hillsdale.
Other WHS runners for the girls and boys teams went as follows: Girls--29th: Sylvia Maciel (25:24), 33rd: Taylor Chaffins (25:53), 37th: Lesley Burton (26:43), 41st: Yazmin Estrella (27:10), 44th: Zoey Hartz (27:54), 52nd: Sami Bauer (29:47), 54th: Maria Perisic (35:22), 55th: Cindy Vazquez (35:33), 56th: Regan Hartz (35:45); Boys--40th: Prescott Lillo (19:50), 42nd: Cortez Cary (19:53), 49th: Branden Carlson (20:14), 53rd: Blake Thompson (20:29), 54th: Brandon Dye (20:37), 64th: Josh Haynes (21:00), 66th: Gavin Buurma (21:14), 75th: Devin Brant (22:07), 84th: Tyler Hall (23:26), 88th: Braden Shook (23:52), 91st: Kaleb Walton (25:12), 95th: Gavon Sweet (26:19)
Ethan Slone’s PR run of 12:03 not only put him third, but also helped the Willard junior high boys come within one point of second place at Ontario. Juan Figueroa was eighth (12:18), followed by scoring runs from Aaron Stephens (13:28), Jordan Sweet (13:43) and Josh Schiffel (13:54) at 22nd, 28th and 31st overall.
Aldo Juarez (14:09) and Parker Sell (14:25) were in the Flashes’ top-seven, while Fernando Huerta (14:29), Casey Sallee (15:26), Seth Foresman (15:33), Riley Barnett (17:37) and Jose Juarez (18:19) also ran.
The Lady Flashes were fourth of 11 in their race, with Ella Schag taking 10th (14:50). Jacklyn Harris (15:36) and Kayleigh Bowers (16:05) were 23rd and 32nd, followed by Debbie Vazquez (16:27) and Danielle Bowmar (16:36).
Other runners included Kalei Kennedy (18:30), Odalis Lopez (19:06) and Karla McMillen (22:19).