Ansonia Lady Tigers (L-R) Olivia Creager, 2nd place; Peyton Billenstein, 1st place; Emily Kelly, 3rd place at Arrows Cross Country Invitational.

Ansonia XC record-setting performance

The Ansonia Tigers cross country program has record-setting night at Arrow Invitational

CAMDEN – The Ansonia Cross Country team traveled to Preble Shawnee Tuesday night to competing in the annual Arrow Invitational with the Tigers having a record-setting performance featuring numerous outstanding efforts.

“It was great to watch the kids out on the course today,” said Ansonia coach, Jason Wright. “Preble Shawnee has a great facility and a rugged cross country course. It is a formidable course, especially this early in the season. But I though our kids really stepped up to the plate today and hit I out of the park. We had great individual finishes and team finishes a line.”

London Reichert started with a 3rd place overall finish in the junior high girls race for the Lady Tigers. Mackenzie Billenstein crossed the tape in 31st place to bring home a solid finish for the junior high girls.

The junior high boys followed with Bennett Lehman leading all junior high runners with a 1st place overall finish in a time of 12:06.3, setting a new Ansonia Junior High School boys cross country record previously held by Ethan Sparks.

“It was a really cool experience to have Bennett come out and run like he did today,” Wright stated. “All of our kids were behind him and were excited to see him set a new school record for the junior high. And to have Ethan there (our previous record holder) pas a pretty awesome moment for him to kind of pass the baton on to the next generation.”

The high school girls were next to take the course, with Peyton Billentein bringing home a 1st place overall finish for the Lady Tigers. Olivia Creager followed closely behind with a 2nd place overall finish, and Emily Kelly finished in 3rd place overall, capping off a tremendous effort for the Ansonia Lady Tigers high school cross country program.

The high school boys capped off the evening with a championship performance, led by Matthew Lee finishing in 1st place overall for Ansonia. Ethan Sparks finished in 3rd place, Matt Barga finished 4th, and Ian Brown placed 8th overall with all TIgers earning medal positions. Luken Longenecker [9th place] and Gavin Stachler [17th place] brought it home for Ansonia, solidifying a championship run to earn the Tigers a 1st place team finish.

“I think that our race today will serve to help further push our kids to keep up their intense training,” Coach Wright said. “Sometimes it doesn’t feel like you might be gaining a whole lot from week to week, but today was an obvious testament to their hard work. I am really excited to see where these kids con go this season.”

The Tigers XC teams will be back in action this Saturday at the Treaty City Invitational in the Greenville City Park. Races start at 8 a.m.

The Ansonia High School Boys cross country team earned 1st place at Preble Shawnee Arrow Invitational
Ethan Sparks (L) congratulates Bennett Lehman (R) on breaking his old junior high cross country record. Bennett set the new record time of 12:06.3 for the junior high boys. program.
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 gblosser@darkecountynow.com or 937-459-9547.

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