Area runners qualify to the regional CC meet
CAMBRIDGE — Area cross country runners began their postseason Saturday morning at chilly Cambridge High School at the Eastern District Championship.
The immediate area will be sending six teams and several individuals to compete at the regional meet, which will be held Saturday at Pickerington North High School.
Two area boys teams — Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville — punched their ticket to the regional meet in Division II by virtue of finishing among the top six overall.
The Purple Riders posted a third-place finish with 100 points, which was one back of 64 more than champion, River View, and one more than runner-up West Holmes.
Seniors Elijah Smith (14th), Wyatt Wodarcyk (20th) and junior Francis Toohey (24) led the way for the Riders by finishing inside the top 24, which was the individual qualifying number.
St. Clairsville had just one runner — Hunter Tomich — break inside the top 24.
Union Local’s Shawn Coe and Harrison Central’s Logan Laney finished 13th and 17th, respectively.
In the girls race, St. Clairsville was the lone area team to advance. The Red Devils finished eighth to earn the final bid.
Fueling St. C. were junior Allyson Evonek, who was 12th and senior Maggie Marody, who was 16th.
Individually, Harrison Central’s Jasmine Arnold finished second with a 19:20.
Barnesville’s girls finished as the district runner-up, accumulating 84 points, which was 27 behind Caldwell.
The Shamrocks were led by sophomore Aubrey Johnson, who placed sixth overall and freshman Marah Bethel, who was seventh. Emma Helmick was 13th overall.
Martins Ferry grabbed the final team spot, placing fifth overall with 117 points.
The Riders were led by Josie Hancock, who was third overall. Other Purple Riders inside the top 20 were junior Hannah Hupp (10th) and sophomore Jaqulynn Gill, who was 19th.
Buckeye Trail junior Kathryn Williams — a returning All-Ohioan was the district champion in 19:57.
Other area individual qualifiers are River’s Mara Beard, who was fourth; Bellaire’s Bethany McElfresh, who was eighth; Buckeye Trail’s Riley Ward, who was 18th and Shadyside’s Kenzie Beckett, who was 20th.
The Bellaire boys were the lone area team to advance in Division III. The Big Reds posted 85 points, which earned them the final spot in next week’s regional.
The Big Reds also produced the district champion as senior Jacob Defibaugh cruised the course to a time of 16:52, which was eight seconds better than his nearest competitor.
Other Big Reds to finish inside the top 12 was Brenen Craig, who was 11th.
Barnesville’s Tyler Jenkins advanced by virtue of an eighth-place effort.