BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — Anthony Wayne cross country runner Ana Karmol finished 10th out of 176 girls competing in the Division I state meet.
“The headline for our day was our leader on the course all season, Ana Karmol, who had an absolutely fantastic day,” AW coach Kevin O’Connor said.
“Ana ran the 5,000 meters in 18:28 to smash her previous PR (personal record) by 20 seconds and finish 10th in the state of Ohio,” O’Connor continued.
“Ana was sitting in about 16th for most of the race, worked her way into 13th with about 150 meters to go, and then delivered a determined and ferocious kick to move up to 10th.”
This is the third year in a row Karmol has earned All-Ohio status at the state championship meet.
Karmol was the fastest runner on the AW girls team, which qualified for state for the second straight year.
Senior Lilly Hall, juniors Ana Karmol, Ella Karmol and Cari Varner, sophomore Brandy Outly, and freshmen Ava Pieron and Amelia O’Connor are AW’s varsity seven who earned the trip to Fortress Obetz, south of Columbus, for the championship meet.
“For Lilly and Cari, this was their second state meet appearance,” O’Connor said.
“Ana and Ella made their third straight appearance at the state meet. They qualified as individuals their freshman year and, with Lilly and Cari, helped the team qualify this year,” O’Connor continued
The Generals finished 19th out of 20 teams, scoring 463 points. Centerville won the state championship, scoring 126 and Perrysburg (187) was seventh.
AW was ranked 20th in the final D-I state coaches’ poll, so O’Connor did not feel badly about his team’s performance.
“Although our girls did not have our best day as a team, they did outperform their seed,” O’Connor said.
After Karmol, the remaining AW runners finished in the second half of the pack with Lillian Hall (20:52.6) leading the way, followed by Ella Karmol (21:00.8), Ava Pieron (21:12.6), Cari Varner (21:25.1), Amelia O’Connor (22:52.9) and Brandy Outly (23:06.5).
O’Connor believes that since his team had only one senior, they are set for the future.
“Coach (Craig) Smith and I are super proud of this group. Making it to the state meet is a special accomplishment and making it in back-to-back years is tough,” O’Connor said.
“Although some of our runners were disappointed that they did not match or better their regional or district meet performances, they had a great experience and competed with the best in the state.
“We will greatly miss Lilly Hall next year. She has been a steady, always-can-count-on-her presence with the team for four years.
“But we are excited to have Ana, Ella, Cari, Brandy, Ava, and Amelia – along with their teammates – back next year.”