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Martins Ferry, Bellaire boys qualify for regional CC meet

CAMBRIDGE — The cross country postseason cranked up Saturday on the campus of the Cambridge City Schools and several area runners put themselves in a position to make a run at a berth in the OHSAA’s State Meet by qualifying to the regional.

Before any thoughts of the regional, which is slated for next Saturday at Pickerington North High School, a 3.1 mile race stood in the way.

When the dust settled, two teams and four individuals are returning to practice this week to prepare to make a push toward the state meet, which is slated for Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

DIVISION II

Similarly to the girls, the Martins Ferry boys will be heading to the regional meet. The Purple Riders earned the third-place spot in the regional with 122 points.

Coach Chrissy Lewis’ team, which won the OVAC 4A title two weeks ago in Guernsey County, was thrown a curveball before the race began. One of the Riders’ top seven runners informed his coach that he couldn’t go because of an injury. Lewis quickly got her “eighth runner” warmed up and to the line.

“All in all, we ran pretty well,” Lewis said. “We had our guys who we are used to being back up in the front back up there. We had our guy ready to go, he jumped in there and ran well. It was a little chaotic.”

As for what lies ahead, the Purple Riders head coach knows her team will have to step it up even further.

“We’ve told the kids it would be a miracle (to qualify to state), but we’re open to miracles,” Lewis said. “I know these kids will do the best that they can. We’re going to have to rest this week to give ourselves a chance. I don’t think it’s physical, but we’ll have to keep calm.”

The Riders were led by junior Wyatt Wodarcyk, who was 14th overall in 17:32. Junior Elijah Smith was 19th in 17:49, while sophomore Francis Toohey was 21st in 17:50.

Other Ferrians to figure into the scoring were senior Michael Buksa and sophomore Trent Lewis.

Harrison Central will send a pair of runners. Junior Logan Laney was 11th overall in 17:28 and senior Eric Leech was 22nd in 17:53.

Union Local’s Shawn Coe grabbed the final individual spot, finishing 24th in 17:57.

DIVISION III

Bellaire’s boys, which won the OVAC Class 3A title earlier this month on this very course, finished with 113 points to snag the final qualifying spot in third overall.

The Big Reds were led by the meet’s overall runnerup in junior Jacob Defibaugh, who ran a 17:01 and was 11 seconds back of Caldwell’s Mason Ackley.

Junior Brenen Craig and freshman Andrew Rupp were the second and third Bellaire runners to cross the line in 16th and 17, respectively. Bellaire’s other scorers were freshman Devin Schramm and junior Ryan Hicks.

Barnesville’s Tyler Jenkins earned a berth in the regional by virtue of finishing 10th in 17:51.

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