FREDERICKTOWN — It was supposed to be an invitational meet at Sparta, but it nearly became a bye week in the schedule of Fredericktown and Highland High School’s cross country teams. That is, until the Freddies decided to invite the Scots over to their home for a rare dual meet.
“We did what we could and we ended up putting a dual meet together,” said Fredericktown coach Denny Stevens. “The kids are getting better. We had a medium-hard workout on Monday, so we trained through this meet. We are just focusing in on (our upcoming meet in) Galion. This was the first dual meet we’ve had in 15 years. This was just something we worked out with Highland so we wouldn’t have a hole in our schedule. We had a lot of fun with it.”
The Freddies, despite having to sit their injured runner Garrett Gatton, dominated on the boys side, finishing on top 49-15. The other three members of the Freddies; “Gang of Four,” led the way. Isaac Potes (16:40), Delaney McGuire (18:05) and Sean Kennedy (18:25). Teammate Jamison Shipley (19:16) was fourth while freshman Nick Gaumer (19:28) was fifth. The Freddies actually finished 10 boys in under 20 minutes.
It was a good tuneup for both schools. With a home invitational and a huge meet against state-ranked teams at Galion coming up, the Freddies need all the work they can get.
“Our next big run will be at Galion,” said Stevens. “Our goal (in Galion) is to get five, six or seven guys in the 17’s. That’s one of our long-term goals. The kids are really working hard. I’m not really sure who our top seven are because we’ve got 10 or 11 who are just working hard.”
The Highland girls fared better, placing the top two finishers but losing in overall points. Francine McCombs (22:14) was the top overall girls finisher with fellow Scots runner Kelsey Burt (22:46) in second.
The Freddies placed the next three girls including Maggie Brown (23:00), Halla Jones (23:29) and Emily Newman (23:59), who rounded out the top five finishers.