Kevin Goheen reports:
More than 3,000 athletes total are expected to take part in Saturday’s Mason Cross Country Invitational at Corwin Nixon Park, adjacent to the high school, in what organizers say is one of the largest meets in Ohio.
The highlight of the day will be the four high school varsity races over the 3.1-mile course that will challenge runners with a combination of rolling fields, steep hills and a creek jump. Teams will be able to enter up to 10 runners, with the top five scoring.
The first race, the girls’ Division I race, is scheduled for 9 a.m. and features seven teams ranked in the top 16 of this week’s Ohio coaches’ state poll, including Nos. 1-2 Mason and Beavercreek, going up against nationally-ranked Carmel (Ind.).
Three of the top four teams in this week’s Enquirer Division I poll (Mason, No. 2 Sycamore and No. 4 Ursuline) are in the field. Sycamore senior Sam Siler and sophomore teammate Rosie Menyhert should be among the top individuals along with Mason’s Lauren Wood and Ursuline’s Christine Frederick.
The Division II girls race follows at 9:45 features six of the top eight teams from the Enquirer’s DII-III poll. Indian Hill and Wyoming are ranked 1-2 locally, while No. 4 Ross, No. 5 Mariemont, No. 6 New Richmond and No. 8 Taylor are also in the field.
The boys’ Division I race (10:30) has St. Xavier, Mason, Elder, Sycamore, Oak Hills, La Salle and Anderson — all teams ranked in this week’s Enquirer coaches’ poll — going up against a field that will include traditional Indiana power Lawrence North, Centerville and Dublin Coffman from Dayton and Columbus.
St. X and Mason are ranked Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, in the first state coaches poll but St. Xavier is expected to run its top team at the Tiffin Carnival on Saturday, holding off an early season showdown.
The Division II race (11:00) has locally-ranked No. 2 Mariemont, No. 3 Wyoming, No. 4 Indian Hill, No. 5 New Richmond, No. 8 Batavia and No. 10 McNicholas in the field as well as Covington Catholic, the No. 3-ranked team in the Enquirer’s Northern Kentucky poll. Mariemont was third at last year’s state Division III meet and is attempting to back up that performance this season.