The Beavercreek High School girls cross country team is recognized by council members at the Beavercreek City Council meeting on Monday, January 27, 2020. CONTRIBUTED

Beavercreek honors girls cross country team, coach for record year

After a record-setting season, the Beavercreek High School girls cross country team was recognized by top city officials.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Bob Stone and council members presented the girls with their own individual “mini billboard street sign” with every state title in Beavercreek high school sports — including the most recent.

“Ladies, thank you for what you do,” Stone said. “This is the kind of thing that makes it a pleasure to live in Beavercreek. I’m almost speechless.”

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Last fall, Beavercreek placed four girls among the top 10 finishers at the 2019 Division I state championships. Senior Taylor Ewert’s earned a second straight individual first place at state in 17 minutes, 22.4 seconds. Senior Savannah Roark was second (17:48.6), senior Jodi Pierce was seventh (18:03) and junior Juliann Williams finished ninth (18:12). Senior Kendall Hobbs placed 55th.

The team’s coach, Howard Russ, told council that the girls placing four runners in the top 10 at state has never been done in Division I in Ohio. At 18 minutes, 3 seconds, the average time for the team’s top five runners is also the fastest ever team average in Ohio, according to Russ.

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Russ also announced to council that Ewert was just named the 2019 - 2020 Gatorade Ohio Cross Country Player of the Year.

“The real cool thing about these ladies, academically, our accumulative is over 4.0,” Russ said. “But the real magic happens every single day at practice. The cool thing about the street sign is, we run all over the city and when we run by the sign, it really motivates us to try and get that. … With so many seniors, they really just needed me to be the cheerleader because they knew what it took to make this happen last year.”

After tacking on another state title to their career resume, each of the four seniors will be going on to run at the collegiate level at Division I schools — all on scholarships.

Stone finished the presentation by congratulating Russ for being named the 2019 US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association High School Cross Country Coach of the Year.

“Your passion to encourage, organize and lead your student athletes is deserving of much praise,” Stone said.

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