The hidden parts of cross country — technique, strategy, mental toughness and confidence — are improving for local prep runners as the season hits the mid-point.
Central Heights coach Troy Prosser said growth of runners comes at different times and levels throughout the season.
"As we officially hit the mid-point of the season, many of the usual signs of growth and improvement are starting to show in each of our runners," he said.
The Vikings saw three varsity high school runners medal and place in the top 10 Thursday at the Prairie View meet.
"Every course has its own nuances that pose some interesting obstacles to overcome and Prairie View is no exception," Prosser said. "Although the time on the clock becomes a fixation for some, the improvements in technique, race strategy, and confidence were a few of the subtle signs, I was very pleased to see. Places where we may have lacked the experience or opportunity the last three weeks were present across all of our races this week."
Prosser said all the runners have found ways to improve.
"Our middle schoolers, led by Connor Burkdoll, Aydan Dunbar and Melaney Chrisjohn, found themselves in some heated competition and excelled when pushed by runners in the field," Prosser said. "The same can be said for Lily Meyer and David Craft in the varsity races.
"On a difficult course, over half of the team earned individual medals and a handful of runners posting their season best times only tell part of the story. Our goal is now to turn the page and start the next chapter as we have a chance to host our next meet on Thursday.
Craft and Dakota Kuczmarski medaled for the boys and placed third and 11th. Meyer finished fourth in the girls race.
Three Ottawa High School runners conquered a tough home course and placed in the top five Thursday in the OHS Invitational.
Abby Bird took fourth and Allie Dillon was fifth in the girls race. Trevor Kaub finished third in the boys race.
4, Lily Meyer, 22:32.
3, David Craft, 18:24; 11, Dakota Kuczmarski, 18:58; 19, Luke Cotter, 19:29; 28, Nicholas Schultze, 21:07
15, Alex Skeet, 26:55.
Eighth Grade Girls
4, Melaney Chrisjohn,15:33; 5, Kaylee Holstine, 16:18.
Eighth Grade Boys
1, Connor Burkdoll, 13:13; 5, Cody Hammond, 14:17.
Seventh Grade Girls
12, Arabella Dunbar, 19:36.
Seventh Grade Boys
2, Aydan Dunbar, 14:52; 6, Hunter Johnson,15:20; 16, Aidan Howland, 17:33; 23, Cash Miller, 19:13.
Wellsville Middle School
3, Ellie Strain, 15:27.7;
8, Christian Stone, 15:20.8.