RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The Eastern Lady Eagles were the team runner-up, the River Valley Lady Raiders finished fifth, and one sole Southern boy qualified as an individual — as part of Saturday’s Southeast District Division III cross country meet at the University of Rio Grande.
Unlike past years, when there were two Division III races for both boys and girls, Saturday’s district meet featured one large race for the boys and one large race for the girls.
How large you ask?
There were 196 runners for the boys and 166 for the girls — and the maximum number of runners any team could have was seven.
For the boys meet, the top seven teams and those individuals which finished in the top 28 qualified for the regional meet at Pickerington North.
For the girls, it was the top six squads — and individuals among the top 24.
The Lady Eagles were eyeing their sixth consecutive district championship, but Fairland’s first five runners all finished among the top 13 — compared to Eastern’s top five all being inside the top 20.
Fairland won the team title with a score of 36, followed by a 48 from the Lady Eagles.
Zane Trace with a 119 and Leesburg Fairfield with a 129 placed third and fourth respectively, while River Valley — in dropping down to Division III this season — took fifth at 176.
Eastern Brown, with a team score of 192, claimed the sixth and final qualifying spot.
Southern placed 10th out of 18 teams with a score of 286.
Leading the way for Eastern were sophomore Ally Durst (4th in 20:38) and junior Jessica Cook (5th in 20:41), followed closely by senior Laura Pullins (15th in 21:37), junior Kaitlyn Hawk (16th in 21:38) and senior Taylor Parker (19th in 21:44).
The other two Eastern times belonged to Rhiannon Morris (32nd in 22:50) and Lexa Hayes (71st in 24:48).
There were only five runners for the Lady Raiders, but their times combined to finish fifth and advance to the regional meet.
River Valley’s fivesome featured Kenzie Baker (21st in 21:53), Leanne Hively (33rd in 22:57), Kaylee Gillman (38th in 23:11), Beth Gillman (64th in 24:32) and Josie Jones (80th in 25:08).
Southern’s six runners included Sydney Roush (41st in 23:27), Mallory Johnson (66th in 24:35), Madison Lisle (94th in 25:48), Baylee Wolfe (95th in 25:51), Kathryn Matson (111th in 27:15) and Addie Matson (153rd in 31:12).
South Gallia was represented by three runners: sophomore Jessica Luther (57th in 24:14), junior Olivia Hornsby (67th in 24:35) and senior Autumn Norris (126th in 28:04).
Jenny Seas of Peebles easily captured the girls individual race championship with a fast 18 minutes and 54 seconds.
On the boys side, Southern fielded four runners and Eastern only had three, while South Gallia’s lone runner was sophomore Tristan Janey (167th in 24:02).
The only Division III boy to advance to the regional meet was Southern junior Larry Dunn, who crossed the finish line in 18th-place in 17 minutes and 49 seconds.
His fellow junior Tornado teammate — Conner Wolfe — was 33rd overall in 18:35.
The other two Tornado runners were senior Lucas Hunter (63rd in 19:47) and sophomore Tyler Pavich (79th in 20:14).
Eastern’s only runners were Colton Reynolds (36th in 18:43), Eion Marcinko (71st in 20:02) and Matt Clingenpeel (73rd in 20:04).
Evan Leist of Pike Eastern was the boys individual race winner in 16 minutes and 38 seconds.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106