Kenna Loveless didn’t just break her own school record.
She shattered it.
The Tallmadge senior cross country runner finished 26th out 253 runners with a time of 18 minutes, 33.5 seconds last Saturday at the Saturday Night Lights Centerville Invitational. Loveless’ time broke her old record of 18:53 by almost 20 seconds.
"It was a super-fast start for the field," Blue Devils head coach Jeremy Huth said. "Kenna was probably in about 60th place at the start. She was able to make her way up to about 45th at the mile and still was flying.
"I was hoping she was frustrated where she was and that she would go let loose. After the mile, it was two loops back in a field and she made a lot of great moves and moved to about 27th place."
Throughout the course of the race, Loveless probably passed about 30 girls to get to where she finished.
"I thought she could be in the top 30 based on the talent at this meet," Huth said. "Every top girl in the state of Ohio — Division I, Division II, Division III — was there, so you’re looking at the best of the best. So being in the top 30 was pretty darn good."
Overall, Tallmadge finished 14th with 382 points in the 27-team championship race. Hilliard Davidson won the competition with 128 points. Centerville (145) and Mason (198) placed second and third, respectively.
The Blue Devils beat three ranked teams in Division II: Springfield Shawnee (10th), Poland (13th) and Woodridge (16th). Tallmadge entered the week ranked 17th.
"Two weeks in a row, we’ve put a lot of pressure on the girls and we’ve beaten top-ranked teams, so again the girls did not disappoint," Huth said. "Our team ran exceptionally well, super-fast. I’m proud of them.
"This particular race had 10 great Division I teams in it and there were four Division II teams that were also ranked. That’s a lot of pressure on 16- and 17-year-olds. The girls have done phenomenally going up against pressure and I think that’s just going to set them up for the end of the season."
Springfield Central Catholic’s Addie Angel won the individual race with a time of 17:16.4. She won the race by more than 10 seconds.
Blue Devils’ senior Ravyn Edge finished 55th with a clocking of 19:11.7.
"I thought this was going to be a great meet for Ravyn because she definitely likes the atmosphere of a big meet," Huth said. "It definitely was not her best time, but she was still a huge contributor to the team score, placing that high in this meet."
Rounding out the top five for Tallmadge were freshman Kat Carter (83rd, 19:45.9), sophomore Katrina Hunt (138th, 20:39.9) and sophomore Ana Crangle (152nd, 20:51). All three had personal-best times.
"Kat’s time was probably the second fastest freshman time we’ve ever recorded, behind Kenna," Huth said. "She ran phenomenally. She’s not afraid of the competition and doesn’t get intimidated at all. She keeps coming through for us and is just a huge factor in the team’s success right now.
"Katrina definitely did not run the race that she wanted to at Galion, so for her to come back and be our No. 4 girl in this race, she’s right back where she belongs.
"Ana is feeding off the rest of the team. These girls are starting to figure this out. They train well together and know that they need to be within sight of each other during the race, so it’s just a matter of staying with the girl who is having a good day. Every meet we have, somebody different is stepping up."