GRANVILLE - The competition stepped up a bit for the Logan Chieftains and Logan Lady Chiefs cross country teams when they ran in Saturday's Granville Invitational.

GRANVILLE The competition stepped up a bit for the Logan Chieftains and Logan Lady Chiefs cross country teams when they ran in Saturday's Granville Invitational.

The Lady Chiefs finished fifth out of 18 teams, and the Chiefs 14th out of 21, in an event that included an array of Division I schools.

"We had a very good day," said Lady Chiefs coach Christen Sevcik. "Only two girls didn't run season bests."

Freshman Emma Hoellrich was again Logan's top runner in fact, the Lady Chiefs had three freshmen place in the top 25 as the Logan girls (157 points) finished behind DI schools Upper Arlington (28), Watkins Memorial (98), Granville (106) and Hilliard Bradley (157), which won a fourth-place tiebreaker from the Lady Chiefs based on each team's sixth-best runner.

Logan placed ahead Olentangy (165), Westerville Central (180), Pickerington North (232), Columbus Ready (267), London (273), Celina (314), Bexley (344), Johnstown-Monroe (384), Westerville South (387), Heath (409), Big Walnut (413), Centerburg (504) and Buckeye Valley (508).

Hoellrich turned in a sixth-place time of 20:29.3, with Madison Eggleston placing 20th (21:29.6) and Marissa Smith (21:42.6) 25th. Senior Sarra Taylor of London (19:15.4) set the pace out of 154 runners.

Sophomore Brianna Jackson (22:01.8) was 32nd for the Lady Chiefs, followed by senior Katie Driggs (88th, 23:53.7), sophomore Lucy Leffler (92nd, 24:03), sophomore Libby Hosler (25:34.1), sophomore Anna Hoellrich (25:46.1) and freshman Jackie Kulka (26:54.6).

"We had an excruciatingly difficult micro cycle to train through this week that we needed to begin preparing for mentally even the week before so that we were ready for it," said Logan boys coach Roy Teti. "Hydration was key (requiring water bottle passes for the boys in their classes), rest was key for preparation and recuperation and icing was critical each evening in order to allow their muscles to recover as much as possible for the next day's workout.

"Normally, we have one or two extremely hard workouts per week with lots of recovery runs and tempo runs mixed in to recover and drive mileage," he added. "This past week was our second week of anaerobic work and our first really hard anaerobic week. We had three extremely hard workouts and our plan included using the Granville invitational as an additional (fourth) workout for training and strategy purposes."

There were thus some unexpected results at Granville.

"The boys went into the Granville Invitational not shooting for their best times but shooting to execute six (much longer than normal) surges at strategic points on the course," Teti noted. "Their goals was to 'blow up' .....to find that anaerobic threshold between being able to utilize their lactic acid levels to surge and 'hitting the wall' where the lactic acid overwhelms their muscles and they can surge no more. This is important because it shows the men just how far they can push themselves during a race without falling apart. Without this threshold knowledge, they will always shy away from their full potential without ever reaching it.

"Amazingly, after such a hard and intense week physically and mentally, most all of the boys not only executed their surge strategy to a 'T,' but almost all of them also posted season-best times, several posted personal bests, and almost all of them came to me and told me just how much fun they had during this race," he added. "Our season-long plan is building steam and things are falling into place very well."

Logan sophomore Billy Woltz placed 55th (18:45.7) out of 190 runners in the boys race, followed by fellow sophomore J.R. Cordle (102nd, 19:44.1), junior Jay Gray (114th, 20:04.3), sophomore Christian Perkins (117th, 20:11.6), sophomore Dylan Lingerak (21:54.7), freshman Samuel Carr (22:08.3) and freshman Austin Ly (25:54.2).

All were personal bests except for Cordle and Ly, who made their first runs of the season.

Zach Zimmerman of Pickerington North (16:41.4) won the race.

Olentangy (76 points) held off Pickerington North (82) for the boys team title, followed by Columbus St. Charles (104), Olentangy Orange (113), Granville (170), Bexley (181), Upper Arlington (203), Westerville South (203), Watkins Memorial (225), Celina (238), Buckeye Valley (252), Centerburg (318), Delaware (349), Logan (432), Ready (454), Johnstown-Monroe (503), Big Walnut (519), Whitehall (534), Heath (559), London (581) and Horizon Science Academy (650).

Logan's middle school girls also fared well, finishing sixth (136 points) out of nine teams, with Granville Middle School (60) snaring the team title.

The Logan girls placed two runners among the top dozen finishers, as Lexis Fickel was fourth (13:22.2) and Emily Dennis 11th (14:09.6) out of 108 runners. Fickel was less than 18 seconds behind the winner, Regan Corea (13:04.5) of Hilliard Memorial.

Celeste Short was 35th (15:15.8), Abby Sutton 41st (15:30.9), Sydney Lingerak 50th (16:14.4), Ariana Rupp 51st (16:14.7), Caitlin Hoellrich 54th (16:23.3) and Allyson Nakanishi (16:40.3) 59th for Logan, with Sydney Brooks (18:00.4) and Destiny Henry (19:50.4) also competing.

Logan eighth-grader Cadeon Ly was a solid 21st (13:02.3) in the middle school boys race.

The Chiefs and Lady Chiefs host their second annual Logan Invitational this Saturday on the Logan High School campus.