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Martins Ferry’s Hancock wins D-III district CC title

T-L Photo/SETH STASKEY MARTINS FERRY junior Josie Hancock runs toward the finish line at Cambridge High School during the OVAC Meet earlier this month. She won the Division III Eastern District Championship on Saturday.

CAMBRIDGE — Area cross country runners began their postseason Saturday morning with the Eastern District Championship held at Cambridge High School.

There are three area teams and eight individuals headed for the regional meet, which will be held next Saturday at Pickerington North High School.

Barnesville will take the largest delegation. The Shamrocks boys and girls qualified as a team by virtue of placing third overall.

Leading the way were a pair of individual male qualifiers in senior Tyler Jenkins, who was fourth overall in 17:26, and freshman Conner Starr, who was ninth overall in 17:55.

Bridgeport senior John Tully qualified to his first regional by virtue of placing eighth in 17:54.

The Shamrock girls were also third.

Fueling their charge were individual qualifiers were sophomore Marah Bethel, who was third overall in 20:47. Junior Aubrey Johnson was 12th in 21:30.

Individually, Martins Ferry junior Josie Hancock continued her late-season push by winning the district championship in 20:02. She was 22 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.

River’s Mara Beard was sixth overall in 20:57 to advance.

Bellaire junior Bethany McElfresh was ninth in 21:20 and Shadyside junior Kenzie Beckett was 10th in 21:33.

In Division II, St. Clairsville’s boys team was the lone group to qualify. The Red Devils were fifth with the top eight advancing.

St. Clairsville was led by three individual qualifiers. Senior Gannon Kazmirski led the way in 20th place, while sophomore Sawyer Bonnette was 22nd in 17:51 and sophomore Ben Shields was 27th in 18:06.

Individually, Martins Ferry senior Francis Toohey qualified as the eighth-place finisher in a time of 17:12. Union Local’s Derick Garrison was 15th in 17:42.

On the girls’ side, in Division II, St. Clairsville’s Allyson Evonek ran a 21:14 to earn 13th place overall.

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