Stewart, Arnold captain all T-L CC team
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The cross country season featured plenty of impressive performances.
Many of those were posted by area harriers and those efforts are reflected in the annual all Times Leader Team, which features competitors from The Times Leader’s coverage area.
Shadyside’s Chase Stewart and Harrison Central’s Jasmine Arnold, both of whom turned in brilliant seasons, were named the captains of the team, which includes eight girls and seven boys.
Here’s a capsule look at the team:
CHASE STEWART, Shadyside — This Tigers’ junior came into the season with high expectations and simply delivered.
Stewart was one of the area’s premier runners all season and was the lone male from the immediate area to qualify to the OHSAA State Championship meet. He got there by virtue of a fifth-place finish in the regional. He was the Division III Eastern District Champion. Prior to the postseason, Stewart was the fourth-place finisher in the OVAC and was the OVCCL champion, too.
“From start to finish, Chase had an amazing season,” Shadyside head coach Jenna Coyne said. “He set goals and accomplished them one at a time. We enjoyed his attitude. He took every workout seriously and treated every day as important as the next. While his attitude and determination are things that we really enjoy, the fact that he has another year is our favorite part.”
JASMINE ARNOLD, Harrison Central — This talented freshman wasted no time in making a huge impact on the area running scene.
Arnold qualified for the Division II state meet after finishing 10th in the district and 12th at the regional. In Hebron, she placed 58th overall. She was the Buckeye 8 and OVCCL champion.
“Not only is Jasmine dedicated, but she’s very respected by her teammates and supports all team members,” Harrison Central head coach Doug Drapp said. “She has an excellent work ethic and is very dedicated. I am really looking forward to next season.”
MARCUS CLARK, Martins Ferry — The Riders’ veteran had another brilliant campaign for Coach Chrissy Lewis’ team.
Clark was an individual regional qualifier after he placed sixth in the district. Prior to reaching the postseason, Clark was 19th in the OVAC, earning all-conference in the process. He was the Buckeye 8 runnerup and placed third in the OVCCL as well.
“Marcus had a great season,” Lewis said. “He’s a kid who is used to success and he works hard to be great at everything he does. This season Marcus got to shine and he placed well at all of his races. He has the attitude that he can always do better, so he keeps striving for excellence, which is one thing that separates him from other runners.”
SAM WEHR, Barnesville — Not even a leg injury was going to deny this Shamrock standout during the course of the season.
Wehr earned all-OVAC recogition and qualified as an individual to the regional meet thanks to his ninth-place finish. He also helped the Shamrocks advance there as a team, too.
“Sam matured and got stronger every year,” Barnesville head coach Mark Brown said of his senior standout. “He was able to overcome an injury and finished the season strong.”
COLE MEYERS, Barnesville — This Shamrocks’ senior was a model of consistency during the season for the Shamrocks.
Meyers, who didn’t compete in cross country last season, finished 13th in the district to qualify to the regional and serve as the Shamrocks second runner in helping them to the regional as a team.
“Cole had a great season,” Brown said. “He has a lot of natural ability as a runner.”
ZAC ORZOLEK, St. Clairsville — This Red Devils’ junior had a very impressive season despite battling through some late-season injuries.
Orzolek, who competed in Australia during the summer, was the Buckeye 8 champion and OVCCL runnerup. He was 38th overall at the OVAC and qualified as an individual to the regional meet. He did that while doubling as a soccer player.
“Zac had an outstanding year in both cross country and soccer,” St. C. head coach Tony Ciroli said. “He came into the season fit and ready and run.”
ZACHARY BANKS, St. Clairsville — This Red Devils senior put forth the best season of his career this fall.
Banks was fifth at Buckeye 8, seventh at the OVCCL and qualified for the regional as an individual by virtue of a 19th place finish. He was 50th in the OVAC overall.
“Zach ended his season on a high note by qualifiying to the regional,” Ciroli said. “He’s had a great four years as a strong competitor. He worked hard all season and will be an athlete to keep an eye on as he transitions to swimming.”
KEISHI ARNOLD, Harrison Central — The Huskies leader turned in a strong campaign for Drapp’s team this season as the number one runner.
Arnold was Harrison Central’s top finisher in the OVAC and in the OVCCL where he placed sixth overall. He was third in the Buckeye 8 league championship. He also qualified for the regional by virtue of finishing 17th at the district in Division II.
“Keishi was our lead runner all season,” Drapp said. “He has an excellent work ethic and is very dedicated. Wee’re definitely excited to have him back next year.”
CLAY MOORE, Bellaire — This Big Reds senior was the leader for Arno’s team this season.
Moore helped fuel the Big Reds to the OVCCL championship by finishing ninth overall. He was also 29th in the OVAC.
“Clay was our number one runner for most meets this year,” Arno said. “He’s provided a tremendous boost to our program since he joined us two years ago. He’s a leader on the course and one that our younger runners can look up to. He will be hard to replace, but his impact on our program will be felt for years to come.”
KATIE JAMES, Shadyside — This sophomore had a brilliant freshman campaign and continued to make positive strides this season for Coyne’s team.
The Tigers’ leader was a state qualifier after she placed third in the district and 13th in the regional to earn a trip to National Trail Raceway. She was fifth in the OVCCL and earned all-OVAC acclaim thanks to a 23rd-place overall finish last month.
“Katie is a very talented runner and her season was nothing shy of what we expected,” Coyne said. “She does exactly what is asked of her each time she’s at practice or a meet. She would run through a wall if you asked her to. She doesn’t stress. She just runs and I fully expect her to continue having fun with running and I know she will continue to be successful.”
LIVI BEARD, River — This Pilots’ sophomore rose from the depths of relative unknown to become one of the area’s premier female runners.
Beard was the OVCCL runnerup, fifth at the OVAC and fourth at the district to earn a trip to the Division III regional meet. She was also the Belmont County champion and finished second at the Cambridge Invitational.
“Livi had an outstanding season,” River head coach Amy Shreve said. “Her strength and determination definitely made her a force this year. She’s grown as a runner and understands what it takes (to be successful). She’s worked hard toward achieving her goals and she’s an absolute delight to coach.”
OLIVIA WALTON, Martins Ferry — This junior is a model of perseverance. After missing the entire track season due to injury, Walton rounded back into shape quickly and turned in one of the finer cross seasons in the area.
Walton was third in the Buckeye 8 and OVCCL. She was also 18th in the district to earn a trip to the regional meet as an individual. She was 28th overall in the OVAC.
“Olivia did a tremendous job this season,” Lewis said. “After sitting out track due to a knee injury, she was determined to make it a great cross country season. She put in mileage this summer and worked to keep up with some of our boys in the speed workouts. She’s a very focused and dedicated runner. We’re thrilled to have her back next season.”
KATRINA DAVIS, Bellaire — This Big Reds’ sophomore was her team’s “front runner” all season as she put forth a brilliant second season for Arno’s team.
Davis qualified for the regional meet after she finished sixth in the district. She was also sixth in the OVCCL and fourth in the Buckeye 8. She was 36th overall at the OVAC and second in her class to help the Big Reds to the championship banner once again.
“Katrina has come up big for us the past two years,” Arno said. “She’s a self-motivated, hard-working student-athlete who continues to get better as she matures. We expect bigger things from her the next two years and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”
HANNAH KEMP, Union Local — The Jets’ sophomore leader served her team in that capacity both on and off the course this season, according to her head coach, Joe Meholovitch.
On the course, Kemp put forth an impressive season in which she was the OVAC Class 3A champion in a personal best time of 20 minutes, 29 seconds. She was also the runnerup at the Martins Ferry Invitational.
“Hannah is the kind of student-athlete leader that every team needs,” Meholovitch said. “She works hard in practice and encourages everyone around her. Moreoever, the positive attitude that she brings day in and day out is what makes her special.”
SHAINA THORNTON, St. Clairsville — The Red Devils’ senior was the unquestioned leader of Ciroli’s OVAC Championship winning squad.
Thornton was 11th in the Buckeye 8 and ninth in the OVCCL meets. She was the Red Devils’ top finisher in the conference meet, placing 39th overall.
“Shaina came a long way (as a runner),” Ciroli admitted. “She has made great strides into becoming a better runner. The inner team competitiveness paid off for us and Shaina.”
SYDNEY PURTIMAN, Bellaire — This junior was a solid second runner for the Big Reds and Arno this season.
Purtiman’s best finish came in the Buckeye 8 where she helped her team win yet another title by finishing eighth overall. She was 52nd at the OVAC and second on the team, which captured the 3A title.
“Sydney has been an intricle part of our team’s success the past three years,” Purtiman said. “She’s a pillar in this program. Consistency is her biggest attribute and we need her to progress again next year for us, too.”