Pre-County Meet: Oden, East boys win
By Bret Strelow
Ross Oden took some time off this summer. He simply took off Tuesday afternoon.
Oden finished first in the Pre-County Meet at Dan Nicholas Park with a time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds. East Rowan, with top-10 performances also coming from Cole Honeycutt (sixth) and Brad Oden (eight), won the team title with 38 points.
“I was pleased with Ross,” East coach Rick Roseman said. “He missed two weeks of practice on vacation in the preseason, and I didn’t know how he’d run. He ran real well, and Cole ran real well.
“I think we’re going to get better, and I think everyone else is going to get better too.”
Philip Tonseth (four seconds behind the first-place Oden) and Nick Summers (third in 17:39) led Salisbury, which was third as a team with 75 points. South Rowan claimed second with 51 thanks to strong runs by Michael York (fifth), Dalton Johnson (ninth) and Nathaniel Winslow (10th).
Oden passed Tonseth and Summers for the lead just after the halfway point of the 3.1-mile race.
“I was hanging out in sixth for about a mile, and I was slowly catching up to them coming around and going up into that back loop,” Oden said. “I finally got up to them about a quarter of the way in, went around them and kept on going.”
The Oden brothers, Honeycutt and E.J. Walton (11th place) are back from last year’s top five, and Hunter Arey was East’s fifth runner Tuesday. He placed 12th overall, finishing half a second behind Walton.
Thirteen of the 20 team members for the Mustangs are newcomers.
“We looked good, but we still have quite a bit of work to do,” Ross Oden said. “This is just the first meet, and you have to get faster.”
The County Meet is scheduled for early October. East could repeat as the team champion, and Oden was the individual winner in 2008.
Tonseth challenged Oden on Tuesday, and Summers held off fourth-place finisher Dillon Kluttz from West Rowan. Ethan Horne led Carson with a seventh-place showing.
“Everyone was there at the beginning,” Tonseth said. “I felt good, and I knew Nick felt good. Slowly going through all the mud, it started to feel muggy, but I think we all felt pretty good out there. I was surprised we ran this fast this soon to start the season.”
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