1988 National Team Championship "Cincinnati Elder HS, Cincinnati, Ohio"

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Oct 6th 2013, 2:41pm | 10628 views
US #1 Cincinnati Elder HS, Ohio





By Aron Taylor for XC Nation | email



Cincinnati Elder HS, Cincinnati, Ohio


Ohio cross country has carried a legacy all its own. The home of legendary Olympian Bob Kennedy, Ohio stands as a beacon for the sport of prep cross country. In 1982, a team from Cincinnati set sail on a remarkable season. 

1. Cincinnati Elder HS, Ohio
1. Mead HS, Washington
3. Schaumburg HS, Illinois 
4. York HS, Illinois 
5. Dana Hills HS, California
6. Carmel HS, Indiana 
7. Pope Paul VI HS, New Jersey 
8. Gallup HS, New Mexico
9. Leto HS, Florida 
10. Helena HS, Montana 
11. Caldwell HS, Ohio 
12. Christian Brothers HS, New Jersey 
13. Highland HS, Idaho
14. Timpview HS, Utah 
15. Humble Kingwood HS, Texas


In what can be called one of the great seasons in Ohio cross country history, Cincinnati Elder went 170-0 in dual meet scoring and swept through the season in national championship style. This season, it was Cincinnati Elder who would claim the title as Ohio's best and a US#4 national ranking.
Entering the 1988 season the Purple Pack attack was on a roll. Claiming the 1986 State Championship and a US#5 National Ranking, Cincinnati Elder was stunned at the 1987 state championships. Cincinnati Elder finished second place by one point to Sylvania Southview. While the Panthers claimed victory in the District, Regional, and Greater Cincinnati League Championships they fell just short when it mattered most. The Purple Pack Attack would finish the '87 season with an impressive 155-2 overall team record. The Pre-season would open with the release of the Ohio Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll. Elder would enter the '87 season ranked #1 with seven first place votes.
Pre-Season Class AAA Coaches Prep CrossUS#1 ELDER HS, CINCINNATTI, OH Country Poll
1.    Elder (7)                 70
2.    Mount Healthy        62
3.    St. Xavier                53
4.    LaSalle                   52
5.    Oak Hills                 43
6.    Milford                   35
7.    Anderson                27
8.    Lakota                     19
9.    Roger Bacon          10
10.Moeller                   7
In the opening meet of the season the Panthers downed Roger Bacon to claim the top five places winning with a perfect 15 team points.
The Panthers then travelled to the Tiffin Cross Country Carnival to compete over 5000 meters. Elder would win with 82 points over West Lake. Sophomore Terry McLean would finish in 6th place with a time of 16:36. Teammate sophomore Mark Westrich would finish in 16th place in a time of 16:55.
Team Scores: 1. Elder 82; 2. West Lake 159; 3. Tiffin 168; 4. Zanesville 168; 5. Bay Village 197.
At the Kettering Fairmont Invitational, Cincinnati Elder again dominated with 34 team points defeating over 20 teams. Sophomore Terry McLean finished in 3rd place with a time of 15:11 while teammate Jeremy Kelly finished in 5th place with 15:51.
Team Scores: 1. Elder 34; 2. Zanesville 71; 3. Upper Arlington 118; 4. Dayton Christian 122.
At the 25th Elder Father Rudy Invitational, Cincinnati Elder wanted to make a statement. Father Rudy is the former Elder athletic director, the Rev. Edward Rudemiller. The event started in the 1960s as the Elder relays and modified into nine races over 5000 meters distance. Of special interest Elder would face the defending AAA State Champions Sylvania Southview. As quoted by Cincinnati Enquirer Contributor Allen Rainey, head coach Steve Spencer comments on the showdown against Southview, Southview beat us by one point at last years state meet. We really dont want that to happen again. Southview returned 8 of their top 9 varsity runners from 1987 so the match-up was highly anticipated.
Not to disappoint Elder rose to the occasion outdistancing Sylvania Southview for the Division II team championship. Led by a dominant front trio that placed in the top six Elder stormed to a meet low 39 points to Southviews 69. Eventual Class AAA State Champion Dave Briggs of Sylvania Southview would claim individual honors in 15:18. Sophomore Terry McLean would finish in 3rd in 15:45 with Jeremy Kelly in 5th in 15:51 and teammate Mike Brubaker in 6th with 15:52.
At the Covington Catholic Invitational Elder would again dominate winning the boys Division AAA Championship with 47 points to Trinity, Kentuckys 110. Claiming victory over 25 teams the Panthers placed four varsity scorers in the top ten. Eventual Class AAA 5th place finisher Mark Gerstner would claim individual honors in 15:34. Elders Terry Mclean finished 4th in 15:55, 8. Jeremy Kelley 16:16; 9. Mike Brubaker 16:17; 10. Mark Westrich 16:21. Cincinnati Elder claimed the combined division team championship over 100 teams.
The team travelled to the Malone College Invitational to compete in the Division IV Championship. The rematch with Sylvania Southview would be up next. In championship form Elder dominated the meet with 63 points over runner-up and Ohio #2 ranked Sylvania Southviews 125. Terry McLean would finish 4th in 16:33, 8. Mike Brubaker 16:51; 11. Jeremy Kelley 16:57; 17. Mark Westrich 17:08.
At the Class AAA Section I Southwestern District Meet, Elder would claim victory again with 32 team points. The Panthers would score five in the top ten behind a dominant team performance. Eventual Class AAA 5th place finisher Mark Gerstner claimed individual honors in 15:52.
Team Scores: 1. Cincinnati Elder 32; 2. LaSalle 100; 3. St. Xavier 108; 4. Anderson 135; 5. Withrow 135; 6. Moeller 163; 7. New Richmond 167. Individual Placers: 3.Terry McLean 16:15; 4. Mike Brubaker 16:20; 7. Jeremy Kelley 16:35; 8. Don Wash 16:41; 10. Mark Westrich 16:44; 14. Rich Witterstaetter 16:49.
Cincinnati Port contributor Dave Schutte quoted Coach Steve Spencer as stating, This is the first season that weve gone undefeated entering the state tournament, in 1973 we won out first (Class AAA) championship, we lost at the Cleveland St. Joe Invitational. In 1982, we finished third in the regionals, and we lost a dual meet in 1986.
The State Championships would seem like a formality after the utter annihilation of teams throughout the regular season. The team would claim victory with a number of firsts. Running in cold and rain over a very sloppy Scioto Downs course Elder would claim the Class AAA Championship. The first team to finish a season undefeated would dominate defending state champion Sylvania Southview 70-98 to claim the Class AAA Championship. The Panthers score was the second lowest score since 1970, not since the 1978 Cincinnati Colerain team scored 48 and finished ranked #3 nationally.
Southviews Dave Briggs would claim individual honors in 16:12.3. Terry McLean would finish in 13th place with 16:42. 14. Jeremy Keller 16:49; 22. Don Wash 17:04; 25. Mike Brubaker 17:06; 28. Rich Witterstaetter 17:08.
Team Scores: 1. Cincinnati Elder 70; 2. Sylvania Southview 98; 3. Westlake 194; 4. New Philadelphia 209; 5. Fostoria 218; 6. Zanesville 229.
Steve Spencer would be voted the Enquirers Coach of the Year and Greater Cincinnati League Coach of the Year. Of the varsity team Terry McLean and Mike Brubaker would be named to the Class AAA First Team. Jeremy Kelley, Joe Sunderman, Don Wash and Rich Witterstaetter would be Honorable Mentions. Of the accolades that the team received following the memorable season they would be honored at the cross country awards banquet. The Mr. Zip Award would go to senior Rob Weber. The Most Improved Runner went to Rich Witterstaetter. Most Valuable Runner went to sophomore Terry McLean. Coach Steve Spencer would leave a lasting legacy with a National Championship.
Opponent Results
Early Bird Invitatonal Elder 15, Roger Bacon 50
Lakota Fall Classic 1st of 18 (27 points)
Tiffin CC Carnival 1st of 24 (82 points)
Covington Catholic Invitational 1st of 24 (47 points)
Malone College Invitational 1st of 25 (63 points)
Kettering Fairmont Invitational 1st of 18 (34 points)
Elder Fr. Rudy Invitational 1st of 14 (39 points)
GCL Championships 1st of 5 (23 points)
Cincinnati District 1st of 13 (32 points)
Southwest Regional 1st of 19 (41 points)
Ohio State Championship 1st of 19 (70 points)
SEASON RECORD: 170-0 (100%)

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