It was a day where math equations did not balance because on this Saturday afternoon in early November 1 = 4! That’s right, one state championship earned by the 2017 team totaled 4 straight from the program who proudly has put their entire team on the podium each of the past 4 seasons and once before that for a runner-up finish in 2012.
The team championship was not easily earned as Cincinnati Ursuline Academy gave the Elks all they could handle. The Elks outdistanced the Lions by a score of 122-137 aided by an outstanding last mile of racing. The Elks were led by freshman All-Ohioan, Emma Bucher (12th, 18:16) who picked up 4 spots in the last mile. Additionally, junior, Grace Kilroy (18th, 18:25) and sophomore, Kerri Walsh (22nd, 18:28) earned All-Ohio honors with Walsh picking up 4 places in the last mile as well.
Next in for the Elks were junior, Rachel Whitehead (44th, 19:00) and senior, Kelli Walsh (71st, 19:28) who picked up 6 and 16 places respectively the last mile and completed the Elks scoring. Invaluable team members served to aid the Elks depth were junior, Savannah Lowe (84th, 19:43) and sophomore, Dalia Einstein (94th, 19:51).
The tradition began almost as a challenge to the 2012 team to match what a tiny team in northwest Ohio did upon earning three of their own state championships. Head Coach of Liberty Center, Tim Atkinson, spoke to the team before the 2012 season and told them of their team’s first state championship and how their top 7 nearly boycotted the award ceremony. The meet officials were not going to let the entire team on the podium to celebrate and this news was more than discouraging to Coach Atkinson and his top 7 runners. In response, the top 7 stood next to the podium until the remainder of their team was ushered to join them. That act of solidarity, by another team, as galvanized CGXC ever since and has been the leading catalyst for this streak of 4 straight championships and 5 state trophies since Coach Atkinson’s speech in 2012.
Congratulations to the entire team, the coaching staff past and present, parents, and all alumni who are a part of this championship! Enjoy… you all deserve and have played a role!