CONNORVILLE - History was made Saturday morning at the Buckeye 8 Cross Country Championship at soggy and windy Buckeye Local High School.
For the first time in the history of the league, someone other than St. Clairsville left with the top trophy on the boys' side of the competition. The Indian Creek Redskins placed all five of their runners inside the top 12 and edged the Red Devils by 17 points, 30-47 for the title.
"This is very important for our program," said Indian Creek head coach Jack Fluharty. "We took over this program five years ago and we were always last. A lot of teams made fun of us because we were the worst team, so for our kids to go from where they were to where they are now (Buckeye 8 champions), really says something about our kids and the work they've put in."
The Redskins were led by senior Frank Kamarec who ran a 17:42 to finish second overall. That's not bad for a kid who played both ways during the Redskins' football victory just 12 hours prior to taking the course.
Freshman Allen Keister was second for the Redskins and fourth overall in 17:57 and junior Taylor Gaydosh was fifth overall and third for Creek in 18-minutes.
Freshman Kyle Weaver was seventh overall and fourth for the Redskins and junior Eli Vaughn rounded out the scoring for the Redskins.
"Our kids' attitudes have changed," Fluharty said. "They come to practice each day wanting to work and wanting to work to get better. Plus, we've got some really good young kids, who are providing a lot for our team. We're excited to see what's ahead for us the rest of the season."
The Red Devils, who ran without several members of their top usual top five because of the ACT, were led by junior Alex Timko, who earned his first varsity victory. He battled through monsoon-like conditions during the first mile of the race to post a 17:33 for the victory.
"The weather was really bad, but I got over that and it slowed down in the second mile," Timko said. "You just have to continue to run your race and not worry about the weather. Winning this means a lot. It's pretty special to get my first win. I just have to keep working hard and build on this."
Red Devils' frosh Logan McCort put forth a strong effort. He finished third overall in 17:53.
Harrison Central placed two of its runners in the top 10. Senior Robert Tipton was sixth in 18:01 and classmate Sebastian Cruz was ninth in 18:21.
Buckeye Local was led by Chayse Staten, who ran a 18:13 to finish ninth.
Union Local's Caleb Hayes had a strong run, finishing 10th in 18:28.
The news wasn't all bad for the Red Devils.
St. Clairsville did notch another girls' team title, finishing with 47 points. That total was nine fewer than runner-up Union Local.
"The girls ran well," said Lady Devils' head coach Tony Ciroli. "We've had a couple of girls coming off illness and they still came and ran well. We're coming along. Our top three are really coming along and are getting to where they need to be."
Senior Amy Castle continued her early season success with an impressive run en route to the girls' title. She toured the Buckeye Local High School grounds in a time of 19:06, which was 40 seconds quicker than her nearest competitor, which was her teammate Juliana Madzia.
"I thought I ran really well," Castle said. "I was really happy with my time. I just went out pretty easy and tried to keep a steady pace. I am completely healthy, my back is fine and I think it's going to be a really good season."
St. Clairsville's Joanna Vincenzo was the third Lady Red Devil runner to cross. She broke the line in 10th place overall in 22:36. Freshmen Paige Garan and Mikayla Westlake rounded out the scorers for St.C.
Union Local placed two runners inside the top 10. Leading the way was freshman Hannah Nagy, who was seventh in 21:38. Senior Casey Glenn was ninth in a time of 22:32.
Martins Ferry was third overall with 69 points. The Lady Riders were led by senior standout Sunshine Wrenn who was third in 19:59. Sophomore Jamie Truchan was fourth in 21:02 and junior Lindsay Cunningham was eighth overall in 21:45.
Indian Creek was led by sophomore Addie Winland who was sixth in a time of 21:35. Harrison Central's top finisher was junior Taylor Shaw, who was fifth overall in 21:33.