WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Owens Community College Findlay campus.
RACE SCHEDULE: Varsity girls 9 a.m.; varsity boys 9:40 a.m.; junior high girls 10:20 a.m.; junior high boys 10:50 a.m.; 1-mile elementary run 11:20 a.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Hopewell-Loudon boys and girls.
AREA TEAMS: Hopewell-Loudon, Liberty-Benton, McComb, Cory-Rawson, Pandora-Gilboa, North Baltimore, Riverdale, Leipsic, Van Buren.
WHAT TO WATCH: Hopewell-Loudon appears to be the favorite to defend in both the boys and girls races. The Chieftains have a deep team featuring a solid pack of runners that should produce some top 10 finishes.
The girls individual favorite appears to be Liberty-Benton’s Lindsey Bishop. Look for Riverdale’s Juleigha Collier, and Van Buren’s Autumn Pisarsky and Justine Hunt to be at the front of the field as well.
Returning state qualifier Tyler Reinhart-Anez is back to defend his BVC boys crown for the Chieftains. Other boys to watch include L-B’s Keith Sansalone, McComb’s Jacob Rider and Cory-Rawson’s Jonathon Hoorman.
Northern 10 Championship
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Seneca East.
RACE SCHEDULE: Varsity boys 10 a.m.; varsity girls 10:40 a.m.; junior high boys 11:20 a.m.; junior high girls 11:50 a.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Colonel Crawford boys and Carey girls.
AREA TEAMS: Carey, Mohawk, Upper Sandusky.
WHAT TO WATCH: Carey’s Destiny DeFeo will be trying to cap her career with a fourth N10 individual title. She’ll have plenty of competition from Mohawk’s Destini Oler, a first-year runner, who placed at state in the 800-meter run in track. Mohawk’s Anna Stillberger has placed in the N10 top 10 three times and Carey’s Keely Wentz, a junior, is a two-time top 10 finisher for the Blue Devils as is Upper Sandusky junior Madelyn Shasteen.
In the boys meet, returning state champ Chad Johnson of Colonel Crawford recently committed to run at Iowa State and will be trying to win his third N10 crown.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Eastwood
RACE SCHEDULE: Junior high girls 10 a.m.; varsity girls 10:40 a.m.; junior high boys 11:20 a.m.; varsity boys noon
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Otsego boys and girls.
AREA TEAMS: Elmwood, Fostoria
WHAT TO WATCH: Fostoria’s Dylan Sheets will be looking to earn first-team all-NBC honors for the second straight year. Otsego’s Shane Tobar is back to defend his boys crown.
In the girls race, look for Erika Gonzales and Liz Hoffman to lead the way for Fostoria and Elmwood, respectively.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Van Wert Reservoir.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Lincolnview boys and Columbus Grove girls.
RACE SCHEDULE: Elementary fun run 9 a.m.; varsity girls 9:30 a.m.; junior high girls 10 a.m.; varsity boys 10:30 a.m.; junior high boys 11 a.m.
AREA TEAMS: Columbus Grove, Bluffton, Ada.
WHAT TO WATCH: Barring unforeseen circumstance, Columbus Grove’s girls team should roll to its second straight league crown. Grove’s Taylor and Alyssa Ellerbrock are back after placing second and third, respectively, in the NWC a year ago. Teammates Sydney Witteborg and Leanndra Price were also top 10 finishers in the 2016 as was Bluffton’s Sydney Hoff, who also returns.
In the boys race Lincolnview will lead the pack. Area runners to watch out for include Grove’s Grant Mumaugh and Bluffton’s Christopher Harnish.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Wauseon’s Homecoming Park.
RACE SCHEDULE: Varsity girls (10 a.m.), varsity boys (10:40)
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Wauseon boys; Liberty Center girls.
AREA TEAMS: Patrick Henry.
WHAT TO WATCH: It’s Patrick Henry’s Nathan Bostelman’s time to shine. Bostelman, a returning all-Ohioan, has run with the lead pack all season and will be gunning to win PH’s first individual NWOAL boys title since Dave Rickerd ran to a championship in 1981. It will be difficult though, as 2016 champion Kyle Vernot of Wauseon and runner-up Cameron Stark of Liberty Center both return.
In the girls race, Patrick Henry’s Emma Carpenter and Natalie Meyer are among the top five runners in The Courier’s coverage area.
WHEN & WHERE: Tiffin’s Hedges Boyer Park.
RACE SCHEDULE: Lake Division boys, 9 a.m. Lake Division girls, 9:40 a.m.; River Division boys 10:20 a.m.; River Division girls, 11 a.m.; junior high boys, 11:40 a.m.; junior high girls, 12:10 p.m.; junior high boys open, 12:40 p.m.; junior high girls open, 1:10 p.m.; Bay Division boys, 1:40 p.m.; Bay Division girls, 2:20 p.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Edison boys and girls Bay Division; Old Fort boys River Division; Sandusky St. Mary’s girls River Division.
AREA TEAMS: New Riegel, Lakota, Old Fort.
WHAT TO WATCH: Welcome to the new SBC: one league, three divisions and 10 races Saturday in Tiffin.
Old Fort is the defending River Division champs but a surging Lakota team featuring a pair of solid runners in Dylan Moes and Braden Schaser could challenge the Stockaders.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Fremont’s Walsh Park.
RACE SCHEDULE: Girls varsity race, 9 a.m.; boys varsity race 9:30 a.m.; boys open race, 10 a.m.; girls open race, 10:40 a.m.; junior high girls, 11:45 a.m.; junior high boys, 12:15 p.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Toledo St. Francis boys; Toledo Notre Dame girls.
AREA TEAMS: Findlay.
WHAT TO WATCH: Findlay’s Jordan Halliday has had a terrific season for the Trojans. He should be among the top five after finishing 13th a years ago. Also, look for freshman Cole Sprague to push for a spot on the all-TRAC team in the boys meet as well.
Claire Short and Megan Cassata have posted the top times for Findlay’s girls team this season.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Lima Bath
RACE SCHEDULE: Varsity girls, 10 a.m.; varsity boys, 10:45 a.m.; junior high boys, 11:30 a.m.; junior high girls, noon
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Defiance boys and girls.
AREA TEAMS: Ottawa-Glandorf.
WHAT TO WATCH: It won’t be easy but Ottawa-Glandorf will be trying to improve on last year’s third-place finish. Brent Siefker and Josh Rosengarten have performed well for the Titans and are among the top 25 in The Courier’s Cross Country Honor Roll.
Northwest Central Conference
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at Waynesfield-Goshen.
RACE SCHEDULE: Races begin at 10 a.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Sidney Lehman boys and girls.
AREA TEAMS: Hardin Northern.
WHAT TO WATCH: Hardin Northern’s Nick Bame blitzed the field to win last year’s NWCC boys crown. He’s now running at Indiana State. The Polar Bears were second in last year’s boys and girls team races. Gabe Sheldon led the Polar Bears at the Hardin County meet by finishing second. Kaylynn Cook and Franki Bejarano have been the top runners for Hardin Northern’s girls.