DARKE COUNTY – Some of the best runners in the state this fall again came from Darke County.
And now two of those runners are being honored as The Daily Advocate’s 2012 cross country MVPs.
Versailles boys cross country runner Samuel Prakel is The Daily Advocate’s 2012 boys cross country MVP, and Versailles girls cross country runner Madison Grilliot is The Daily Advocate’s 2012 girls cross country MVP.
Prakel continued his dominance among Ohio high school distance runners this fall, winning the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III championship for the second consecutive year. His time of 15:16.62 at the 2012 state meet beat his 2011 state championship time by almost three seconds.
Prakel owns the Midwest Athletic Conference record, the district course record, the regional course record and the Division III state meet record.
“He is the most talented athlete – heck, person – that I have ever known,” Versailles cross country coach Mark Pleiman said about Prakel, who also is on track to be his class’ valedictorian. “He is a great all-around person. He is involved in the community, church, band, swim team, cross country and track. He is an Eagle Scout. Seriously amazing!”
Prakel is one of 12 national finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman, which recognizes the nation’s top high school seniors for excelling in academic, athletic and community pursuits. Prior to being named a national finalist, he was named the contest’s winner in Ohio.
The Versailles senior will attend the Wendy’s High School Heisman ceremony Dec. 7 in New York City and will be recognized during the Heisman Trophy broadcast Dec. 8 on ESPN2.
Grilliot was the lone Darke County girl to qualify for this year’s cross country state championship meet. In the Division III state race, the Versailles freshman finished 66th with a time of 20:01.78.
Grilliot qualified for the state meet by placing 14th at the Division III regional meet at Troy with a time of 20:14.49.
“She has been a coaching dream,” Pleiman said. “She dropped time just like a coach would plan it. Taking the last qualifying spot at regionals by a few tenths of a second.”
Grilliot was named all-district and all-region her freshman season.
“She did an excellent job this year,” Pleiman said. “She was always learning and listen to what the coaches we talking about. Great athlete.”