By Josh Brown
GALION — Troy’s Morgan Gigandet did something no Trojan girls cross country runner has done in decades.
The Troy sophomore ran a personal-best time of 17:56, breaking the 18-minute barrier and finishing third in a loaded field at the Galion Cross Country Festival Saturday as the Trojans finished eighth out of 24 teams.
Still, many of the Trojans wanted better.
“Nearly all the girls on the team ran solid races. A few were expecting more from themselves, but it’s hard to complain when they just set a personal best,” Troy girls coach Kevin Alexander said. “That’s the mentality of most cross country athletes, thinking that they could have always done better even though they just had a great performance.
“Watching Morgan break the 18-minute barrier was exciting. A Troy girls hasn’t accomplished that since Nessa Arnold in the mid-1980s.”
Megan Myers was 15th (19:24), Kate Pence was 28th (19:51), Haley Huelsman was 87th (21:25) and Abby Pence was 104th (21:47).
“Having Megan and Kate both finish in the top 30 of a loaded field is a testament to their continued growth as distance runners,” Alexander said.
On the boys side, the Trojans finished 20th out of 26 teams. Stephen Jones finished 10th in a time of 16:01, Parker Hench was 95th (17:34), Andy Smith was 118th (17:57), Pete Sheehan was 138th (18:36) and Adam Falknor was 140th (19:01).
The boys had another strong showing against some of the best competition in the state,” Troy boys coach Philip Matthews said. “Six of the seven runners ran their career PRs, which shows how hard they’ve been working and how much they really went after it today.”
EATON — Newton’s Brady McBride won convincingly at the Eaton Invitational cross country meet Saturday morning, beating Minster’s Ben Butler by more than 30 seconds and leading his Indians to a fifth-place finish as a team in the Division III boys race.
The Covington Buccaneer girls, meanwhile, picked up a team victory, putting a pair of runners in the top 10 and scoring 56 points to runner-up Russia’s 74.
McBride ran a time of 16:19.59 to win, with Butler second in 16:52.77. Ryan Mollette was ninth (17:46.25), Atley King was 17th (17:58.11), Tristen Benedict was 43rd (18:56.54) and Brett Sullivan was 54th (19:54.14) as the Indians posted 124 points.
Covington’s boys were seventh with 183 points, led by Ryan Ford in 23rd (18:19.53). Troy Christian was 11th with 273 points, led by Isaac Flora in 35th (18:41.56). Bethel was 14th with 354 points, led by Chase Heck in 66th (20:36.94).
For Covington’s girls, Carly Shell led the way in fourth (20:05.2) and Paige Boehringer was eighth (20:28.32). Anna Dunn was 17th (21:08.62), Ashlyn Plessinger was 19th (21:18.46) and Kelsey Dysinger was 21st (21:42.15).
Newton’s girls were eighth with 230 points, led by Macy Flanary in 10th (20:46.24). Bethel was 10th with 291 points, led by Kaitlyn Balkcom in 59th (24:37.18). Troy Christian’s Hyla Pitsenbarger was 99th (32:52.85).
Clash in Casstown
CASSTOWN — The host Miami East Vikings ran into one stumbling block at the Clash in Casstown volleyball tournament Saturday — nationally-ranked Henry Clay — finishing third overall in the tournament.
Miami East began the day against Adams Central, winning 25-18, 25-16. Jonni Parker had 13 kills and Lindsey Black had 20 digs. Then against eventual winner Henry Clay, the Vikings lost 25-23, 25-13. Parker had nine kills and 11 assists and Black had 26 digs.
In the final round against Tippecanoe, Miami East won 25-15, 25-16. Kyndall Hellyer had five kills and two aces, Parker had six kills and two aces, Jillian Wesco had four aces and Black had 18 digs.
“The girls had a great tournament today,” Miami East coach Brian Bensman said. “They’re really coming together as a team.”
Tippecanoe, meanwhile, began the day with a 25-21, 25-18 victory over Bishop Ready. Aubrey Cox had seven kills and three blocks in the match, Alyssa Crusey had six kills and two aces, Taylor Prall had four kills, Kara Trimbach had 19 assists and Jordan McMahan had 11 digs.
The Devils then lost to Belmont 25-23, 25-12. Crusey and Cox each had five kills and Prall had four, Trimbach had 15 assists and McMahan had 10 digs. And against East, Crusey had seven kills, Cox had four and Laura Rosselit had 10 assists.
* Boys Soccer
Bethel 4, KR 2
SPRINGFIELD — Handing an undefeated opponent its first loss.
Playing well on a field it’s typically struggled at.
Bethel’s boys soccer team overcame a lot on Saturday — a perfect tuneup for its biggest match of the season in five days.
Evan Hawthorn had a hand in all four of Bethel’s goals, and the Bees (7-1-1) scored two goals in the final 25 minutes Saturday at Kenton Ridge to hand the Cougars a 4-2 loss.
“We came away with a great result this afternoon,” Bethel coach Bob Hamlin said. “Kenton Ridge was undefeated and at home, which has always been a tough place for us to play. We kept the pressure on, but they tied the score at 2-2 with about 25 minutes to go. I am very proud of our kids from that point on, as they stood up to the challenge and scored twice.
“We had a total team effort today, but I felt that Ben Lawson came into the game and played his best to give us a big lift defensively.”
Offensively, though, Hawthorn dominated. He scored on an assist from Collin Rust to tie the score 1-1 at the half, then he assisted a goal by Tyler Brueckman early in the second half. After the Cougars (5-1-1) tied the score, Hawthorn buried a penalty kick for the eventual game-winner, and then he assisted an insurance goal by Zach Cohee.
Now Bethel prepares for a Thursday night showdown at home against Cross County Conference leader Franklin Monroe for the top spot in the league.
Newton 6, JC 1
PLEASANT HILL — In a rare Friday soccer matchup — and on Newton’s Homecoming night, no less — the host Indians team got four goals from Nick Honeycutt and put away Jackson Center for a 6-1 victory under the lights Friday night.
Treyton Lavy added a goal and an assist, Kyle Maslowski scored a goal, Jack Yoder had two assists and Luke Tebics and Seth Courtney each had one assist in the win.
Newton (5-2-2) travels to Troy Thursday for a 6 p.m. start.
Other scores: Troy Christian 4, Preble Shawnee 1. Yellow Springs 5, Lehman 0.
* Girls Soccer
M-U 8, Brookville 0
BROOKVILLE — After a disappointing result against Carlisle early in the week, Milton-Union’s girls soccer team has made absolutely sure it hasn’t been disappointed again.
The Bulldogs (8-1-1) posted its second straight eight-goal victory Saturday, scoring six first-half goals and cruising to an 8-0 win at Brookville.
Danielle McFarland piled up four goals and an assist on the day, posting a hat trick in the first half alone. Madison Brandon added two goals and an assist, Taylor Jacobs and Kristen Dickison each had a goal and two assists and Karissa Baird had two assists.
Milton-Union travels to Waynesville Tuesday in a battle for Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division supremacy — both teams will enter the matchup with 3-0-1 division records.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.