With both teams state ranked, the Tippecanoe boys and girls cross country programs are well known around Ohio.
Troy freshman Emma Kennett is starting to make a name for herself, too.
The continued improvement of Tipp junior Bryce Conley from a stress fracture has bolstered the boys team. On Saturday, Conley’s victory at the Miami County championships helped the Red Devils win the boys team title at Milton-Union High School.
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Kennett’s victory in the girls race paced the Trojans to the girls team title with a narrow two-point victory over the Red Devils. The victory was Kennett’s first in varsity action. Kennett, who won Miami County junior high titles the past two seasons, broke from the field about a half-mile into the 3.1-mile race.
“Right when I got into the woods I knew it was time to go,” said Kennett, who won in 18:47.3. “I just tried my hardest to get away from everyone and maintain from there.”
Troy senior Olivia Tyre finished second in 19:10. Tipp senior Katie Taylor (19:19.6), Troy sophomore Dinah Gigandet (19:28.1) and Tipp senior Kaili Titley (20:04.5) rounded out the top five.
“I knew the competition would be really tough, like Tipp,” Kennett said. “Katie is a great runner and I was just happy to run with her. … I thought I started off too fast because I’m not used to being in front. I’ve always been in the back of the front pack. It was a little nerve-racking at the beginning because I wasn’t sure if I started off too fast and people were holding back.”
Kennett’s time was shy of her personal best 18:41 set a week ago at Centerville’s Saturday Night Lights.
“This is my favorite course,” Kennett said. “I knew I was going to have fun.”
Troy won the team title with 36 points, edging Tipp by two.
Conley, who suffered a stress fracture during track season and did not run all summer, won the boys race in 16:33.7. Saturday was his second meet this season.
“I felt pretty good. Just based off last year I felt like I could probably win it again,” said Conley, who was Miami County champion in 2017 in 16:14.8. “I didn’t know what time I’d have but I felt like I wouldn’t let anyone in front of me knowing I won last year.”
Newton freshman Ben Hoover (16:43.9), Troy freshman Braden Coate (16:48.7), Tipp junior Brennan Larned (16:52.9) and Troy Christian senior Nick Pratt (16:56.7) finished among the top five.
Tipp’s top five runners finished among the top nine overall and scored 23 points to runner-up Troy’s 57.
“I like where the guys are at. We’ve got depth on our side so it should put is in good position at the state and regional level,” Tipp coach Byron Kimmel said. “There are some good teams around the area but I like where we’re at.”
The Tipp boys are ranked No. 11 in the Division II state poll and the girls are ranked No. 9.
“It is nice. We’ve had some success and voters reward you when you have some success,” Kimmell said. “It’s nice to be state ranked but we don’t get too caught up in that. Sometimes those are way off.”