Ansonia senior, Andrew Thornhill competes for the Tigers cross country team at the Celina Rotary Invitation

Ansonia Cross Country shows strong at Celina

CELINA – The Ansonia Cross Country team opened their 2021 season with a strong showing at the Rotary Invitational at Celina on the shores of Grand Lake at the Wright State University Lake Campus.

The Ansonia high school boys team finished in 6th place overall. They were led by (So.) Matthew Lee with a time of 19:32. Andrew Thornhill (Sr.), Ian Brown (Jr.), Ethan Sparks (Fr.) and Matthew Barga (So.) rounded out the top five for the Tigers.

“I was very pleased with our boys’ results today,” said Ansonia cross country coach Jason Wright. “This meet brings in talent from some very noteworthy cross country programs in the area.”

“Our guys contended with some outstanding athletes and schools today despite the hot weather and early season hurdles,” Wright added. “They are a tight bunch who push each other every day in practice. I am excited to see how this season plays out for them.”

High School Boys:

Matthew Lee [19:32]

Andrew Thornhill [20:22]

Ian Brown [20:32]

Ethan Sparks [20:45]

Matthew Barga [20:51]

Austin Obringer [26:10]

Scott Ritchie [33:32]

Team finished 6th out of 11

High School Girls:

Emily Kelly [27:04]

Ellie Pierra [28:10]

Deanna Moody [28:46]

Emily Wright [28:56]

“Our high school girls really gave a good effort today, despite the fact that we were missing a few girls who suffered some preseason injuries,” noted Coach Wright. “I have come to expect nothing less from these girls. No matter what the course or who the opponents might be, they always strive to keep improving.”

Junior High Boys:

Ben Barnt [14:06]

Gavin Stachler [14:42]

Luken Longenecker [14:54]

Junior High Girls:

Olivia Creager [16:08]

Mackenzie Billenstein  [22:08]

“Our junior high kids really showed up,” said Wright. Ben (8th) and Olivia (8th) notched their first cross country races today with a great run. Most of these kids are splitting time between cross country, cheer, volleyball, football, you name it. That can make it hard to stay on top of your conditioning when you have so many other things pulling at your time, but they are committed to making sure they put in the work to keep their squads the best they can be.”

Ansonia will be back in action Tuesday at the Arrow Invite hosted by Preble Shawnee, before finishing their week at the Treaty City Invitational in Greenville this Saturday.

Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser

Gaylen Blosser / Publisher

Gaylen Blosser is a sports enthusiast and has covered high school sports for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio. Gaylen has been a media sportswriter while most recently serving as Sports Editor for the local newspaper and will now serve as editor of Darke County Now while continuing to cover athletics. Gaylen is an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years and is the recipient of the OHSAA Friends of Athletes Award and OHSAA Respect the Game State Award. Contact Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser at or 937-459-9547.

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