Lady Indians repeat as regional champs; individuals also advance to state meet
By ROB HAMILTON
The Mount Gilead girls’ cross country team repeated as Division III regional champions on Saturday at Pickerington North.
The Lady Indians finished with 92 points, while second-place Garaway tallied 101. Columbus Academy (104) and Grandview Heights (110) were the other two state-qualifying teams.
Mount Gilead captured their title due to strong pack running. While the team only had one runner place in the top 20 in the race, six of their seven were in the top 50.
Senior Raychel Gress led the way by placing 14th in 20:01.8. Bryanna Bolha was next across the finish line, as she took 23rd place in 20:35.37.
Jenna Shipman finished 29th in 20:52 and Rachel Bush took 30th in 20:58.43, while Makenzie McKirgan rounded out the team’s scoring runners by placing 37th in 21:20.67.
Taryn Chapman took 44th in 21:41.96 and Sophia Friesen ran 60th in 22:11.99 to round out the Indian runners.
Over the course of two regional meets held at Pickerington North and Troy, three more Morrow County runners earned trips to the state meet as individuals.
In the same Pickerington Division III race that Mount Gilead competed in, Northmor’s Dani Blum earned her fourth trip to the state meet.
Blum finished her senior year regional meet with a second-place finish in 19:10.64 to make it back to Hebron.
The Northmor team just missed out on a trip to the state meet, as they finished fifth with 138 points to fall 28 points shy of the fourth and final state berth.
Kayla Duryea was the second Knight runner to finish, as she placed 33rd in 21:07.59. Kendall Fout took 46th in 21:42.94 and Isabelle Ditullio ran 51st in 21:58.48.
Kelly Pope finished 71st in 22:31.75, while Brianna Heminger placed 77th in 22:46.2 and Katie Burson claimed 103rd in 24:39.75 to round out the Northmor squad.
In the regional held at Troy, both Logan Ebersole of Highland and Jacob Long of Cardington advanced to the state meet.
In the Division II boys’ race, Ebersole, a junior, finished 15th in 17:11.5. The top 16 finishers in each race reach the state meet. For the Scots, Ebersole is the first boy to reach the state meet since 2003.
The Highland boys’ team finished 14th in the meet. Kevin Jones placed 74th in 18:21.47, while Devin Johnson took 82nd in 18:32.42.
Josh Irvin finished 100th in 19:07.14. Layne Burson was 114th in 20:39.48 and Nick Parks placed 115th in 20:50.28. Also, Jonah Maggs ran 123rd in 23:25.85.
In Troy’s Division III boys’ meet, Cardington’s Long ran sixth in 16:55.33 to qualify for the state meet as a freshman. His Pirate team finished 10th overall.
Mitch Yake took 37th in 17:51.69, while Mike Queener ran 71st in 18:29.82 and Josh Queener placed 102nd in 19:23.37.
Seth Vaught took 114th in 19:52.71 and Jared Gandelot ran 121st in 20:30.92. Also, Matt Queener finished 126th in 21:49.31.
The Mount Gilead boys’ team and Gilead Christian’s Caleb Mosher also competed in the Pickerington regional
The Indians placed seventh in their Division III race, finishing 15 points away from a trip to the state meet.
Sophomore Tyler Beck also just missed out as an individual, as he placed 17th in 17:27.12 to fall one place short of qualification.
Jason Heacock took 21st in 17:35.02, while Josh Wooddell ran 34th in 17:59.9. Grant Picker placed 54th in 18:25.22.
Also, Nic Pomeroy was 70th in 18:51.73, Logan Chapman finished 88th in 19:26.08 and Camden West took 89th in 19:27.49.
For the Eagles, Mosher ran 25th in 17:38.79 on Saturday.