Buchanan wins race, Comets win team title

        Breaking the 17-minute barrier is always a milestone for any cross country runner, and Woodmore junior C.J. Buchanan did just that at the Northern Buckeye Conference meet.
        Buchanan won the NBC individual championship, finishing in 16:59 and beating out Eastwood junior Cory Jay (17:07) by eight seconds.
        However, Genoa used its senior depth to win the team championship, scoring 42 points to defeat second place Otsego (54).
        Rossford (104) was third, followed by Eastwood (110), Woodmore (134), Fostoria (145) and Lake and Elmwood (161 each).
        Genoa’s top finisher was senior Darin Muir, who placed fifth in 17:36. However, the Comets filled seven of 11 positions from fifth to 15th place to dominate the scoring.
         Senior Tyson Lesher (17:47) was seventh, senior Derek Rightnowar (18:21) was ninth, junior London Stuller (18:22) was tenth, senior Ross Schlatter (18:38) finished 11th, senior Connor Lagrange (18:51) was 13th and sophomore Nathan Cooper (19:15) was 15th.
Buchanan’s record-setting season
       For Buchanan, it’s been on top of his form all season. In the opening invitational at Seneca East, and he and Woodmore girls runner Ava Beam swept the individual titles, and Buchanan improved his time by over 40 seconds even in sloppy conditions.
       At Columbus Grove, Buchanan not only set a personal record, he set a school record. He followed with individual championships at the NBC Jamborees 1 and 2, he and Beam both won individual races at the Tiffin Columbian Carnival, and at the Lakota Invitational he set a school record again, finishing in 16:08.13.
        “Although he’s gone faster in practice, C.J. came through the first two splits faster than his official track PRs and didn’t slow down as a late challenger helped push him across the line a whopping 13 seconds under the previous record he shared with Montana,” Woodmore coach Lacy Seamans said. “This was also a new course record but the large division winner ran the same time so he will have to share that record for the next year.”
        Then came a tough race at Liberty Center
        “Hot, humid conditions on a tough course had PRs in short supply but the kids still made sure to compete and get stronger over the hills and through a few creeks,” Seamans said, adding that Buchanan and Beam both swept individual titles.
        At the Old Fort invite there were “more wins on a very chilly morning,” Seamans said. Buchanan took the boys win by 50 seconds while the team finished fourth.
        Buchanan then finished second at the Fostoria Invitational, but Seamans that prepared him well for the NBC meet. The Wildcats took fifth as a team against mostly Division II schools.
        “(It was a) great tune-up before tournament season starts,” Seamans said. “The teams got another look at the NBC course for the next weekend on a windy day.”

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