BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Freshman Ana Karmol led Anthony Wayne’s girls cross country team to a first-place finish at Van Buren’s Black Knight Invitational at Owens Community College on last Saturday.
Karmol bettered 117 other competitors on the day and a set a new personal record with a winning individual time of 18:59.
“Ana is having a terrific freshman season and continues to become more comfortable with the high school cross country distance of 5,000 meters,” said AW coach Kevin O’Connor. “As her comfort level increases, so does her confidence, and it was great to see that result in a PR and a win.
“Her classmates – and in one case, her sister – offer a similar story.”
Ella Karmol followed up with a fifth-place time of 20:02 and classmate Cari Varner placed sixth at 20:04.
“Ella and Cari both had PRs yesterday and nearly broke the 20-minute mark – a significant milestone in high school girls cross country.”
Seniors Kylie Sahloff and Margaret Smith and junior Evelyn Yoder next finished 11th, 13th and 14th with times of 20:25, 20:47 and 20:50 and sophomore Lydia Swartz rounded things out for the Generals with a 20th-place time of 22:14.
Sahloff and Smith’s times proved to be their best of the season.
AW’s 33 points allowed it to finish ahead of Fremont Ross (99), Carey (108), Ayersville (118), Oak Harbor (126), Edgerton (157), Central Catholic (184), Riverdale (195), Elmwood (217), Maumee (232) and Rossford (301).
Other upper-half Generals finishers included sophomore Sydney Willford, senior Emma Schadewald, sophomore Annalise Gouin and freshman Mya Sebek.
“The girls had their best all-around day of the season,” O’Connor said. “It was a happy group overall. “In addition to the success of our top seven, we had several PRs on the day.”
The Generals boys team also had a very successful day, bettering 13 other teams while placing second.
Anthony Wayne had four runners finish in the top 10 and was led by senior Matthew Yokum’s fourth-place time of 16:54.
Yokum has now turned in his best time of the season for two consecutive weeks.
Junior Jacob Varner and sophomores Liam McGuck-in and Wade LaMastus followed Yokum with a sixth-place time of 17:13, an eighth-place time of 17:20 and a 10th-place time of 17:25.
“Jake did an excellent job of leading his sophomore teammates in an effective three-man pack that steadily moved through the field and landed them all in the top 10,” O’Connor said.
Junior Reid Miller next posted a 20th-place time of 17:56 and seniors Patrick Wright and Colton Eckert rounded out the Generals’ top seven by placing 26th and 29th at 18:01 and 18:07.
“Reid broke the 18-minute mark for the first time this season and continues to improve and close the gap on our top four guys,” O’Connor said.
Freshman Rory Smith also finished in the race’s upper half with a time of 18:11.
“There were a lot of smiles on the team’s faces yesterday, as several runners made drastic improvements over past times,” O’Connor said.
Fremont Ross edged Anthony Wayne 47-48.
The Generals ended up bettering St. Francis (63), Edgerton (106), Oak Harbor (202), Elmwood (211), Ayersville (219), Maumee (250), Carey (270), Hardin Northern (274), McComb (285), Van Buren (301), Riverdale (320), Rossford (366) and Allen East (396).
AW will next travel to the city of Oregon’s William P. Coontz Complex to take part in the Clay Eagle Invitational on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.