VW CC teams run in Indiana; Phillips wins

Van Wert’s cross country teams competed in the Marion (IN) Invitational on Saturday, with the Cougars placing 15th in the highly competitve Elite Race, and the girls taking seventh in the Gold Varsity Race.

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Van Wert’s Ali Gemmer, Caylee Phillips and Rachel Spath. Photo submitted

Caylee Phillips ran away with the individual title and a time of 19:17. It was the second title for Phillips in three races, with the other being a runner-up finish.

Rachel Spath was the team’s second finisher, placing 18th in a time of 22:54, while Ali Gemmer (33rd, 23:58), Caton Williamson (59th, 25:54), and Kirsten Dunning (67th, 27:06) were the squad’s other scorers.

“We had some nice efforts on the girls’ side today,” head coach Ryan Holliday said. “Obviously, Caylee ran great again, but Rachel and Ali also turned in very solid performances.”

On the boys’ side, going up against many larger and competitive Indiana schools, Jacob Wasson led Van Wert with a 46th place finish and a time of 17:17. Holden Reichert (86th, 17:58), Hunter Sherer (91st, 18:05), Gage Chiles (105th, 18:28), and freshman Gage Wannemacher (132nd, 19:24) rounded out scoring for the Cougars.

“It was a tough day for our guys,” Holliday said. “We didn’t turn in our best collective performance, and that showed in the results. We did gain some valuable racing experience, particularly for our younger guys, and this will pay off down the road when it counts.”

The teams will run again at the Trinity Valkyrie Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky on September 15.