WELLSTON, Ohio — Amid unreal heat, and temperatures topping out in the mid-90s, the Meigs High School cross country teams finished in the top half of the team standings at Saturday’s Wellston Golden Rocket Cross Country Invitational at Wellston High School.
The Lady Marauders were among nine squads that amassed team scores — and finished fourth thanks to placing their top five runners in the top 45, along with winning the sixth-score tiebreaker against Alexander.
The Meigs boys were sixth out of a dozen clubs, but were only five points from finishing fourth — as their top seven runners all placed in the top 50.
The Southern Lady Tornadoes with four runners and the South Gallia Lady Rebels with two also participated at Wellston, as did Southern’s boys with three runners and South Gallia with two.
At least five runners must compete — and finish the race — in order for a school to post a team score.
A total of seven runners is the maximum number scored.
The Lady Marauders and Alexander actually scored 117 points, but Meigs finished fourth and Alexander fifth based on the sixth-score tiebreaker.
Athens easily captured the team championship, scoring 29 points by placing five runners in the top-12 — and all seven scores in the top 18.
Chillicothe, paced by individual race winner Laikin Tarlton in 21 minutes and 23 seconds, was the runner-up with 63 points — followed by Vinton County with 79.
Jackson was sixth with 164 points, followed by Federal Hocking (203), Huntington (213) and Portsmouth Clay (216).
For the Meigs girls, junior Caitlyn Rest finished 16th in 24 minutes and seven seconds, while sophomore Taylor Swartz was 19th in 24:36.
Fellow sophomore Marissa Noble was 27th in 25 minutes and two seconds, while senior Gracie Hoffman finished 34th in 26:08.
Ariann Sizemore mustered the fifth score for the Lady Marauders by placing 45th in 27:20, while sophomore Kacie Ballard’s 29:18 was good enough for 59th — and for the tiebreaker against the Spartans.
Madison Cremeans was the seventh score for Meigs, placing 72nd in 31:21.
Not scoring points for the Marauders but also completing the race were freshman Katilyn Brinker (84th in 32:59) and junior Carmen Doherty (91st in 35:32).
All four of Southern’s girls placed between 41st and 55th — with all four finishing in under 29 minutes.
The two freshmen — Sydney Roush (26:49) and Baylee Wolfe (27:36) — finished 41st and 46th respectively, while the two sophomores — Mallory Johnson (28:02) and Madison Lisle (28:49) — finished 52nd and 56th.
South Gallia sophomore Jessica Luther placed 21st in 24 minutes and 44 seconds, while senior teammate Autumn Norris was 73rd in 31:25.
There were 101 runners in the girls high school race.
On the boys side, the Marauders were sixth with 136 points, trailing fourth-place Chillicothe by only four points (132) and fifth-place Huntington by three (133).
Athens easily captured the team championship, amounting 35 points by placing four runners in the top eight and five in the top-17.
Alexander was the runner-up with 93 points, as Trimble took third with 115.
South Webster was seventh with 180 points, followed by Jackson (203), Pike Eastern (205), Federal Hocking (247), Oak Hill (271) and Wheelersburg (282).
The Marauders were paced by senior James Parsons, who placed 13th in 19 minutes and 40 seconds.
Cole Betzing was only 30 seconds behind in 22nd (20:10), while Landon Davis was 36th (21:02), Eli Leigh was 40th (21:09) and Dillon Mahr was 44th (21:27).
Andrew Monroe (47th in 21:28) and Nate Hoover (50th in 21:44) were the other two Meigs scores.
The four non-counting scores for the Marauders were Colton Heater (64th in 23:20), Jake Roush (66th in 23:40), Cole Hoffman (92nd in 26:40) and Brady Smith (106th in 29:16).
Southern junior Larry Dunn led the Tornadoes, crossing the line in 11th in 19 minutes and 38 seconds.
Fellow junior Connor Wolfe was 25th for Southern in 20:30, while senior Lucas Hunter finished 49th in 21:43.
South Gallia’s two runners were sophomores Tristan Janey (78th in 24:30) and Gavin Bevan (89th in 25:53).
Evan Leist of Pike Eastern — in 17 minutes and 28 seconds — was the individual race winner, as 118 runners competed in the boys high school race.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106