Phillips wins WBL; Cougar boys finish 2nd

CELINA — Van Wert’s Caylee Phillips won her fourth individual title of the season at the Western Buckeye League Cross Country Championships at Wright State Lake Campus in Celina on Saturday.

On the boys side, Gage Chiles, Jacob Wasson and Hunter Sherer finished in the top 10 to lead Van Wert to a second place team finish behind state ranked Defiance. It was the fourth consecutive runner up finish for the Cougars.


Van Wert’s 2018 All-WBL cross country runners (left to right): Rachel Spath, Jacob Wasson, Holden Reichert, Hunter Sherer, Gage Chiles and Caylee Phillips. Photo submitted

Phillips finished with a time of 19:17, which was 30 seconds faster than the next runner.

Rachel Spath was Van Wert’s second finisher, placing ninth with a time of 21:23. Both Phillips and Spath earned First-Team All-WBL honors. Ali Gemmer (24th, 22:32),  Kirsten Dunning (37th, 23:55), and Caton Williamson (49th, 24:30) rounded out the team’s top five scoring. Shayna Dull ( 55th, 25:04) and Hannah Kraner (72nd, 27:03) were the team’s sixth and seventh finishers.

“Our girls really learned something about themselves today,” Van Wert head coach Ryan Holliday said. “They believed what kind of team they could be, and today they saw it.”

“Finishing in sixth, just three points out of third, is very bittersweet. It means that we put ourselves in the conversation for top three, but it keeps us hungry headed into next week.”

Chiles and Wasson led the charge for Van Wert with third and fourth place finishes, respectively. Chiles set a season personal record with a 17:23 finish while Wasson ran a very respectable 17:25. Hunter Sherer ran a solid race as the team’s thirrd finisher, placing 10th overall while running a 17:50. Chiles, Wasson, and Sherer all earned First-Team All-WBL honors for their efforts.

Holden Reichert (22nd, 18:24) earned Honorable Mention All-WBL honors, while Gage Wannemacher rounded out scoring for the Cougars by placing 29th with a 18:43.  Noah Carter (32nd, 18:43) and Jacob Sealscott (39th, 18:48) also ran solid races as the team’s 6th and 7th finishers.

“Today was the best collective race of the season for our guys,” Holliday said. “It was great to get Holden back in the lineup after some time off with an injury.”

“I think we were able to see today what we have. We took a big step today, and I’m excited to see these guys take their next step next weekend at the district meet,”

Both teams will compete at the Division II districts in Ottawa on Saturday.

Final standings


1 – Defiance (26)
2 – Van Wert (67)
3 – Shawnee (71)
4-  Ottawa-Glandorf (134)
5 – St. Marys Memorial (152)
6 – Celina (155)
7 – Wapakoneta (158)
8 – Elida (210)
9 – Bath (234)
10 – Kenton (260)


1 – Defiance (45)
2 – Shawnee (95)
3 – Wapakoneta (111)
T-4 Kenton (112)
T-4 St. Marys Memorial (112)
6 – Van Wert (114)
7 – Celina (124)
8 – Bath (191)
9 – Ottawa-Glandorf (225)