Perrysburg Girls Cross Country Head Coach Jon Monheim made a decision he has never made in his time leading the Yellow Jackets.
He entered three different groups of harriers into three different races at the Tiffin Cross Country Carnival. Those races were the Division I-A Varsity race, the Division I-B Varsity race and the Division I Open race.
"With the depth we have on the team this season, I thought the options Tiffin presents with its races that this would be a great opportunity for our eight through fourteen girls to race against the top seven runners from other schools," Monheim said. "I have never entered a team in the Varsity B race at Tiffin."
The coaching decision paid off as the seven in the Division I-B Varsity race opened the afternoon of racing for Perrysburg at Hedges-Boyer Park with a second-place finish. Perrysburg scored 98 points to the 82 Shaker Heights scored en route to its win in the race.
Just like the Yellow Jackets, Shaker Heights is also a top-five ranked team in the Division I coaches’ poll this season.
Freshman Natalie Sanders finished ninth overall in 20 minutes 40.8 seconds to lead the Yellow Jackets. Senior Emmett Bohney made a move with about a half-mile left to race as Bohney crossed the finish line in 21:16.9 - good for 17th place.
"Natalie is progressing as we thought she would this season," Monheim said. "She now has her running legs after spending a lot of time in the pool this summer as she managed a competitive swim schedule."
About an hour later in Tiffin, the top seven took off in the Division I-A race.
Senior Aubrey Duhaime continued to lead the Yellow Jackets as she crossed the finish line in 18:30.5. Duhaime's time placed her second overall and her teammate freshman Ava Beeks finished fifth overall in 18:51.8.
Sophomore Sydney Daudelin (20:01), junior AnnaSophia Gower (20:20.9) and Sophie Smith (21:23.2) rounded out the scoring top five for the Jackets as Perrysburg finished second in the team standings with 99 points.
The Division I open race closed the afternoon for the Yellow Jackets and the harriers in varsity gold nearly shut the door on the scoreboard.
Freshman Laura Valette was the individual winner, crossing the finish line in 21:34. Senior Hailey Lambdin was four seconds behind in second and fellow senior Charlie Dolliver finished fourth in 21:45.3.
The harriers in the open race scored 40 points to finish first overall. Freshman Claire Gerken (22:53.6) and Sophie Orlop (22:54) completed the top five scoring harriers for Perrysburg.
"Of all the races Saturday in Tiffin, I was very happy to see the success of the group in the open race," Monheim said. "To see Laura, Hailey and Charlie in the mix at the front of the race was exciting. Plus Claire and Sophie (Orlop) ran well not only with their time but sliding into the top twenty overall. We had seven in the top fifty. For a race like this with almost three hundred individuals really speaks to our depth and how we have girls who like to compete."