The 2013 cross country season started in the heat of summer training and wrapped up this weekend with the OHSAA State Championship Meet in Hebron.
In between, there were many impressive individual and team performances put forth in the Ohio Valley.
The Times Leader staff - with the help of area coaches - is proud to announce its annual all Times Leader boys and girls cross country teams.
Pictured is the 2013 all-Times Leader Cross Country Team. Front row, from left, are Bellaire’s Shaye Beckett, Taylor Stoner and Danielle Stoner; St. John Central’s Fallon Doyle; Shadyside’s McKayla Kinemond; Martins Ferry’s Jamie Truchan; Union Local’s Megan Bateman; top row, from left, Bellaire coach Chris Arno; Martins Ferry’s Jeffrey Lucas and Jacob Bishop; St. John Central’s Aaron Ebbert and Garrett Holubeck; and St. Clairsville’s Alex Timko, Logan McCort and Kevin Simpson.
The captain for the girls' squad is St. John Central junior Fallon Doyle, while St. Clairsville's Alex Timko leads the boys' unit.
Bellaire's Chris Arno has been awarded the Coach of the Year after leading his youthful Lady Big Reds to a most impressive season.
Here's a capsule look at the honorees:
FALLON DOYLE, St. John Central - This junior had yet another brilliant season for the Lady Irish and head coach Zach Foster.
Doyle was the champion at Newcomerstown and Meadowbrook; finished second at the OVAC and sixth at the Midwest Catholic Championship.
She had yet another brilliant postseason, finishing second in both the district and regional, earning yet another trip to the Division III state meet where she earned all-Ohio once again with a 8th place finish and time of 19:06.53.
"Fallon saw some phenomenal competition this season, which we feel prepared her well for the postseason," Foster said. "Fallon has an unrivaled work ethic in every facet of her life and is an intense competitor. It's a unique opportunity to get to coach someone like her."
JAMIE TRUCHAN, Martins Ferry - This Lady Purple Riders' junior had a brilliant season for Coach Chrissy Lewis' squad this fall.
Truchan was an all-OVAC competitor and finished second in Class 4A. She was a regional qualifier thanks to finishing ninth in the district meet. Prior to October, she was the champion of the Buckeye 8, Belmont County, OVCCL, Martins Ferry and Cambridge Invitationals.
"Jamie is just an overall great person," Lewis said. "She does whatever she is asked to do, works hard and never complains."
DANIELLE STONER, Bellaire - This junior had another strong season and maybe her best campaign as a Lady Big Red.
Stoner earned an individual trip to the regional and led the team there for the first time in her career. She was also an all-OVAC performer and one of the top finishers in the Class 3A race.
"Last year, Danielle missed qualifying to the regional by one spot and we think it motivated her this season," said Arno. "She's very aggressive on the course and in practice. She helped motivate our younger runners during some intense speed sessions, which paid off huge dividends in our team performance."
TAYLOR STONER, Bellaire - There was a time, toward the end of last school year, when Arno wasn't even sure this freshman dandy would be able to run because of injuries she sustained in an automobile accident.
The younger of the Sisters Stoner duo not only competed, but did so very well and at a high level. She was an all-OVAC performer and qualified to the regional as an individual.
She was the champion of the Shadyside Invitational and was a high placer in the Buckeye 8 championship.
"Taylor is very resilient," Arno said. "At the beginning of the season, she came out with avengeance. She suffered some nagging injuries during the middle of the season, but re-grouped to qualify for the regional. She has been a true inspiration to our team."
McKAYLA KINEMOND, Shadyside - This Lady Tigers' sophomore had a strong season despite battling a "painful high ankle sprain" in the last month or so of the season, according to her coach Stu Rynkievich.
Kinemond still managed to secure a trip to the Division III regional meet and was an OVAC placer in Class 1A/2A. She ran a season best time of 20:55.
"McKayla is a mentally tough runner," Rynkievich said. "She has great potential and she's a great leader for our team."
MEGAN BATEMAN, Union Local - This Lady Jets' frosh really turned it on and had an impressive first season for Coach Joey Meholovitch's squad.
Bateman was fourth in the OVAC Class 4A race, posted a personal-best time of 21-minutes in the OVCCL and narrowly missed a regional trip with a 17th place finish in the district.
"Megan definitely has some natural running talent," Meholovitch said. "Throughout the season, she was in the mix for being our top female runner and then she had probably her best three races of the season in the last three. Overall, it's a nice start for such a young runner. We're extremely proud of her and can't wait until next season."
SHAYE BECKETT, Bellaire - This Lady Big Reds' frosh has the inate ability to turn it on and off in terms of her personality off the course to her competitive nature on it.
Beckett used that and became a consistent second or third runner for the Lady Big Reds. She was a top 10 finisher in Class 3A of the OVAC. She competed in the regional meet.
"Shaye is a quiet person, but on the course she is very tenacious and consistent," Arno said. "Although plagued with aches and pains for the majority of the season, she captured medals in every meet. Heading into each race, we knew that we could depend on her regardless of the competition level. She was a huge part of us making it to the regionals and we look for big things from her in the upcoming years."
ALEX TIMKO, St. Clairsville - This senior completed a very steady and solid prep career with yet another fine season for the Red Devils.
Timko was a key cog in four consecutive OVAC Championships and was the top runner for St. C. this season and repeated as Buckeye 8 champion, earned all-OVAC, finished ninth at the district to qualify to the regional meet as an individual.
"Alex comes from a family of runners," said St. C. head coach Tony Ciroli. "I've had the great opportunity to coach all three of Cindy and Kevin Timko's kids. Actually, I've been coaching a Timko since 2004, so I will definitely miss him and his family next year. They've really helped our program throughout the years."
JACOB BISHOP, Martins Ferry - This freshman had a brilliant first season of long-distance running for Lewis' Purple Riders.
Bishop earned all-OVAC by finishing 14th overall and was an individual qualifier to the regional meet. He was the runnerup in OVAC Class 4A. He was the runnerup at the Belmont County and OVCCL, finished fourth in the Buckeye 8 and was third in the district.
"Jacob is an amazing talent," Lewis said. "He decided that he wanted to be the best he could be and did everything in his power to be that."
AARON EBBERT, St. John Central - This Irish ace had a strong season both on and off the course for Foster's team, which advanced to the Division III regional.
Ebbert was seventh in the OVAC Class 1A/2A meet and was 16th at the Meadowbrook Colt Carnival where he posted his personal-best time of 17:24.
"Aaron is a great kid who is multi-faceted," Foster said. "He trains very dilligently, but is also very active in the community and in the school he's a very dedicated student. It really makes you proud as a coach to see an athlete be successful in the sport, but even more so when they are well-rounded and have a positive effect on their communities."
GARRETT HOLUBECK, St. John Central - This Irish standout made a successful transition from sprints to distance this season.
Holubeck finished eighth at Newcomerstown and third in the OVAC Class 1A/2A field, posting his personal best time of 17:21.
"Garrett is a fantastic athlete," Foster said. "It's a hard transition going from being a sprinter to running cross country. He also plays basketball and bowls in the winter, so he's been a very dedicated athlete for our school. He also excels in the classroom and is an Eagle Scout, so, like Aaron, he's really well-rounded."
LOGAN McCORT, St. Clairsville - This Red Devils' sophomore had yet another strong season for Ciroli's Red Devils this fall.
McCort finished fifth at Buckeye 8, 25th at OVAC, fifth at the district to earn a trip to the regional.
"Logan showed a lot of progress from last season," Ciroli said. "He's dedicated to running and works hard both in and out of season."
KEVIN SIMPSON, St. Clairsville - This talented freshman had a strong rookie campaign for Ciroli's squad.
He finished third at the Buckeye 8, 31st at the OVAC and 11th at the district, earning a trip to the Division II regional meet in Pickerington.
"As a freshman, Kevin showed a lot of potential," Ciroli said. "He's got a chance to be an outstanding athlete in the upcoming years."
JEFFREY LUCAS, Martins Ferry - This Purple Riders' frosh also made an instant impact for the Ferry squad.
Lucas placed 10th in the OVAC Class 4A race and ran a personal best mark of 17:50. He was eighth at the Buckeye 8, 10th in the OVCCL, seventh at Belmont County and narrowly missed a regional trip.
"Jeffrey is another talented freshman," Lewis said. "He has a lot of speed and desire to do well. We're excited about his future."
CHRIS ARNO, Bellaire - This Big Reds' coach recently completed his 18th season at the helm of the program.
Bellaire claimed the Buckeye 8 championship, finished second in the OVAC Class 3A race and OVCCL. It was the champion of the Belmont County and Shadyside Invite. And the Lady Reds became Arno's seventh squad to reach the regional meet.
"Our girls really worked hard to get back to where our program used to be," Arno said. "This honor is reflective of their hardwork and willingness to learn. My assistant coach, Ann Arno, was also very instrumental in this year's success."