The Okaw Valley boys cross country team led the Shelby Area at the IESA State Cross Country Meets last weekend, taking 11th place in 1A as a team. Caroline White of Shelbyville placed 35th in 2A as an individual.
Okaw Valley boys were led by 8th graders Dominic Herold and Ryan Forlines (Shelbyville transfer). Herold was 18th overall (11;14.5) and Forlines was 26th overall (11:20.8). Rest of Okaw’s state runners were underclassmen.
Camden Moore (7th) finished 56th overall (11:50.2). Parker Spellman (7th) was 118th (12:19.5), and the final Okaw scorer was Grady Sparks (7th) in 196th (13:03.6). Sixth man Seth Forlines (7th) was just 4 places and 8 seconds behind Sparks in 200th (13:11.4). The 7th runner was 6th grader Andrew Neal in 227th (14:14.8).
Caroline White was the only Shelbyille girls to qualify for 2A state this year. The team finished 4th at sectional just out of state qualifying. White finished 35th (12:30.6). last year White led the Rams at 2A State finishing in 97th (13:08.9). She shaved 30 second off her time from last season.
The lone Shelbyville boy to qualify this year was Luke Brewer. Brewer finished 144th at state (12:19.6). Another area 2A runner, 6th grader Johnathan Iacobazzi of Sullivan finished 93rd (11:58.4).
Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City had a 1A state qualifier, as well. Zander Merrifield finished 135th in 1A (12:25.4).
The 2A girls team winner again was Tolono Unity. All five of their scorers finished in the Top 16 runners. Robinson was 3rd and Monticello 12th. Williamsville was 16th.
In boys 1A, St. Anthony finished behind Okaw Valley in 15th place as a team. Herold and Forlines finished before St. Anthony’s top runner and that gave Okaw Valley an edge in team score.
Last year Shelbyville girls went as a team and finished 21st. Last year, Shelbyville’s Will Bendler finished 7th in 2A State just under 11:00 (10:59.4). Ryan Forlines was the Rams #2 runner last year at 2A State. Forlines finished 74th last year (11:40.4) as a 7th grader. He cut 20 seconds off his time this year.