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Trojan runners started strong in Darlington
Cross Country

NORTH CRAWFORD - The North Crawford cross country team charged into their 2019 season last Saturday by competing at the Darlington Invitatinal Meet, where 26 schools from Divisions 2 and 3 were represented. Unlike the muddy conditions of 2018, Saturday’s weather provided a  beautiful day to watch the 385 middle and high school boys and 361 middle and high school girls run  in six races throughout the morning.

Junior Helen Carstens ran a strong five-kilometer varsity race, finishing in first place among 204 high school girls, to win the Darlington Invite 2019 Championship Medal. Carstens ran a time of 20:31, 45 seconds faster than her finish time in 2018. Carsten’s first mile was her fastest (6:04) as Lancaster’s sophomore, Bridee Burks tried to take first place. Carstens maintained her position and slowed her pace (6:52 and 6:53) as Burks was unable to keep the pressure on.

Second on the girls team was freshman Emma Schmidt, who finished in 26:04 with an average pace of 8:24/mile on the 3.1 mile course. 

“Schmidt is looking strong this year” noted coach Liz Bransky. “Her pace this year was a minute faster than her pace on the same course last year running only 1.3 miles as an 8th grader.” 

Senior Katie Schellhorn also improved her time over last year, at 32:20. Bransky was pleased; “overall we are a young team, but they each ran well pushing themselves...that is all we can ask for.” 

Other Trojan finishers were Annie O’Brien (32:20), Lindsey Groom (38:26) and Sonja Bangert (38:31). With junior Kloee Chamberlain;  sophomore Danielle Tyler; senior Martina Ermacora and senior Luisa Benck de Moraes not running that day, the girls team finished 16th. 

The North Crawford boys team was led by junior Liam O’Brien, who had a great race. O’Brien finished six minutes faster than last year for a time of 22:16. 

“We are excited to see O’Brien pushing himself harder this year” said coach Bransky. 

Exchange student Sven Vale finished second for the Trojans (25:49) in his first 5K competition. Vale finished just ahead of Carlos Lopez (25:55). 

Also finishing for the boys team were Dylan Heisz (29:40), Marco Esparza (31:21) and Viktor Sapunov (31:28). The boys team also finished 16th.

The Trojan harriers will be competing at the Ryan Zimpel Invitational hosted by Boscobel on Tuesday, Sept. 11. They will then travel to Spring Green on Saturday, Sept. 14, to compete at the Black Hawk Invitational.