The Edmond Sun

September 23, 2013

Smith, Balenseifen top area runners

Memorial claims championships

John Martin
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Jaci Smith of Edmond North had a busy and productive week on the high school cross country circuit with impressive victories in the OK Runner Cross Country Classic in Norman followed by another victory at the Wolf Run at Santa Fe High School on Friday.

Meanwhile, Deer Creek ace Bryce Balenseifen led the Antlers to the team championship at Norman with a second-place finish and then finished in first place at the Santa Fe meet where the Antlers were second to Edmond Memorial.

Smith continued her winning ways with an 11:50 time at Norman and then followed up with an 11:50.79 that sparked the Lady Huskies to a runner-up finish, with Memorial also winning this championship.

Balenseifen posted a 16.24 behind Norman North’s Ben Barrett, who won the Norman event in 16.20. But the Deer Creek standout lowered his time to 16:01.52 to claim the gold at Edmond.

The Antlers edged co-host Norman North for the championship by a mere three points with 182 entries. Also scoring points for the Antlers were Blaine Powell, Drake Diangelo, Brent Hollrah and Grant Schatzman.

Chris Ebert of Memorial, Powell and Blake Crouch of Edmond North were also in the top 10 at Norman.

Led  by Ebert’s third-place finish, the Bulldogs from Edmond Memorial were third, losing only by a tie-breaker to Deer Creek for second.

There were 150 girls in the field at Norman with Smith and the Huskies a distant second behind Norman North. Also scoring points for North were Jenny Mehner, Emma Ledbetter, Julia Sheperd and Abby Cosby.

Mehner, Ledbetter and Memorial’s Jaclyn Hummel also placed in the top 10.

Memorial romps to both titles

Hummel was right behind Smith in the Wolf Run to pace the Lady Bulldogs to the championship at Santa Fe. She covered the course in 11:57.36. Others who contributed points to the championship were Lana Duke, Clara and Tess O’Connor and Jennifer Chapman.

North was second with Smith, Mehner, Ledbetter, Sheperd and Cosby combining to finish nine points behind Memorial.

Sheri Snyder, Ashton England, Avery Buck, Brianne Kirchgessner and Kelsie Hancock ran for the Deer Creek squad that finished fifth as the only Class 5A team in the 13-team field.

Memorial was an easy winner in the boys division at the Wolf Run, placing four runners in the top 10, paced by Ebert, whose time was 16:35.13. The Bulldogs, who outran Deer Creek for the team championship, accumulated 43 points with Ebert in third, Gabe Thompson in fifth, Ryan Nielsen in ninth and Harrison Pierce in 10th. Zach Mauch was 16th for the Bulldogs.

Balenseifen’s victory paced Deer Creek to a second-place finish behind Memorial at the Edmond race. Joining him in the point parade were Powell in third place, DiAngelo in 11th, along with Hollrah and Rodolfo Rojo, who barely edged teammate Grant Schatzman for the fifth spot.

The host Wolves finished in fifth place with a team scoring points of Christian Powell, Neil Knight, Colton Pierson, Stephen Snider and Carson Spiegel.