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GREENVILLE — The preseason number-one ranked Van Wert boys cross country team did not disappoint on Saturday as they finished atop the podium to start the season.
The trip down to Greenville was a successful one as the Cougars defeated last year’s state runner-up Tipp City Tippecanoe by 40 points. Leading the way for the boys was senior Connor Holliday, who won the individual race with a time of 16:46.
Classmate Daniel Perry finished fourth with a time of 17:39, and seniors Connor Shaffer and Jordan Butler finish sixth and ninth, respectively, while junior Cade Fleming rounded out the scoring for the Cougars in 10th place.
Senior Nick Keber and sophomore Dylan Lautzenheiser completed the varsity line-up.


“The boys ran well enough today to get the win. We recognize that being ranked number one in the state puts a target on our back, and that we have to perform week in and week out,” said head coach Brendon Moody. “We just need to stay focused on the little details in the upcoming weeks and keep healthy.”
On the girl’s side, Van Wert finished in fifth place on the day with a very youthful squad.
Junior Chloee Gamble was the first to cross the line for the lady harriers with her seventh-place finish (21:02). She was closely followed by freshman Cassidy Meyers (16th, 21:40), sophomore Natalie Reithman (18th, 21:51), freshman Julia Springer (29th, 22:20), and freshman Nicole Clay (36th, 22:57).
Junior Alicia Danylchuck and senior Whitney Meyers rounded out the varsity line-up.
“This race was a good opener for the girls. We saw a lot of our youngsters step up and we will continue to improve throughout the year.” said Coach Moody. “Our upperclassmen need to step up so that we can be successful.”
The next race for the Cougars is the Tiffin Cross Country Carnival on Saturday.