By Mark Altstaetter – firstname.lastname@example.org
OTTAWA – The rain was coming down at Saturday’s Ottawa-Glandorf Blue/Gold Invitational.
However, the nasty weather conditions didn’t take away from the competitiveness of area cross country runners.
In one of the most anticipated races of the day, Wapakoneta’s Allie Zofkie and Lima Central Catholic’s Emily Sreenan – two of the best area female runners – faced off in the Blue Division (bigger schools) race.
Through the first mile of the 3.1-mile course at Memorial Park, Zofkie and Sreenan ran literally side-by-side, with New Haven’s Paige Boatright right on their heels.
However, in the second mile, Zofkie pulled away from her two top competitors and went on for a convincing win in 19 minutes, 32.6 seconds. Boatright took over down the stretch to notch second (19:57), while Sreenan settled for third (20:09.3).
There were 127 runners in the girls Blue Division race.
“Actually, I twisted my ankle on the back by the tennis courts (in the second mile), and that’s when she made her move,” Sreenan said. “I knew she (Zofkie) was going to be here, and I don’t think I’ve ever beaten her before. I knew she was really good, but I figured I could challenge up today.”
Coming into Saturday’s race, Wapakoneta coach Mark Cook knew Zofkie would have some stiff competition.
“I think she knows the girl from LCC is very talented, so she wanted to run with her and see where they were at,” Cook said. “With the conditioning she’s been doing, the latter part of the race is always her (Zofkie) best. I was happy to see that. …She went out there and raced.”
The top boy finisher for the T-Birds was A.J. Capotosto who finished in 21 minutes and ten seconds.