The West Liberty-Salem girls cross country team earned its seventh consecutive DIII state berth Saturday at the Troy Southwest Regional meet. The Big Orange ranked #5 in the latest DIII state coaches poll was edged out by #2 state-ranked Ft. Loramie by 1 point to place second overall. The top three teams qualified for next week’s state meet.
The duo of Ashley Yoder and Malia Miller powered the Big Orange with top-10 finishes. Yoder placed 6th (19:46) and Miller 7th (19:51). Breece Gullet ran for 15th place (20:31) and Addison McAuley and Gwen McCullough recorded top 25 finishes with McAuley placing 22nd (20:49) and McCullough 23rd (20:52). Taylor Kennedy placed 37th (21:33) and Claire Longshore 51st (22:13).
“The girls left it all out on the course today against two top 10 state-ranked teams,” said WLS head coach, Ann Vogel. “I’m so proud of the fight and determination they showed throughout the race. Qualifying for the state meet is always tough, and today’s race is a testament to their work ethic, love for their team, and commitment to the tradition of the Big Orange program.”
WLS will compete at the OHSAA State Championships Saturday at The Fortress in Obetz starting at 11:45 a.m.
West Liberty-Salem boys, #3 in this week’s OATCCC D3 State Poll, finished Regional Runner Up at the D3 Troy Regional. It’s the second consecutive year finishing Regional Runner Up and will be the teams 5th consecutive trip to State. It also marks the program’s 21st state appearance.
Sr. Owen Harrison 3rd 16:44.7; Fr. Garrett Wallen 13th 16:58.5; Jr. Joey LaRoche 20th 17:16.5 PR; Fr. Dylan King 21st 17:17.0 PR; So. Troy Bradley 29th 17:34.3; So. Quentin Rudolph 33rd 17: 40.2; Fr. Brevin Louden 46th 18:09.1
Comments from head coach Mike Louden
“I’m very proud of the way this team responded after all of the sicknesses that has run its course through the program this week. Qualifying to state for the 5th consecutive year is a testament of this team’s fight and character. In fact, today we ran without Asher Knox the team’s #2 runner who didn’t compete because of illness. Just happy for the whole team stepping up in his absence and running an outstanding team race. We’re hopeful he’ll be back next week to help us at the state meet. Senior Owen Harrison ran an almost flawless race moving up methodically from 35th at mile 1 to finish in 3rd to lead the team. Freshmen Garrett Wallen rose to the occasion and delivered a top-15 finish, which is incredible for a freshmen. Junior Joey LaRoche and Freshmen Dylan King both had remarkable races and set career personal bests. Troy Bradley also ran a solid race rounding out the scoring for the Big Orange. Quentin Rudolph and Brevin Louden ran great races despite coming off of illnesses.”
Indian Lake girls competed Saturday at the OHSAA D2 regional meet at Troy HS.
Indian Lake’s freshman runner Reagan Rash secured a spot at the State championship meet. Rash crossed the finish line 9th in a time of 19:51 to advance.
The girls team finished 7th at the Region 8 Troy Regional. The 5k race took place on the Troy levee by Hobart arena. 99 competitors over the span of 13 teams raced in the meet.
“Reagan had a great race and we are super excited for her to be running at the State meet next week,” said coach Justin Metzger. “There was a lot of good competition here and I am proud of the way the girls competed during the race. Qualifying to regionals is always a goal and we were able to come here and get 7th. This was a huge step in the right direction for our program.”
Rash is the first IL runner to qualify to State since Rachel Watt in 2008.
Evie Wagner crossed the line with a time of 21:22 to place 46th. KaiLea Miller finished in 56th with a time of 22:21, soon followed by Elayna Richardson with 59th place in 22:24 and Hannah Metzger in 60th with a time of 22:29. Makayla Motter finished 96th (27:03) and Maggie Reese was 99th (28:55).
The Bellefontaine boys finished 8th as a team at the Regional.
Junior Tony Stewart qualified for state by finishing 7th with a time of 16:45.
Other Chieftain finishers: Gavin Wilson 20th 17:16; 38th Hayden Maus 17:56; 69th Seth Taylor 18:33; 85th Elias Abrego 19:12; 107th Ryan Alexander 21:54; 108th Jake Christen 23:03.
The Benjamin Logan girls ran at the Regional at Troy in DII.
Georgia Bates led the Raiders coming in 41st with a 21:13. Estella Wenger was 65th, Mylee Boysel 73rd, Hadley Boysel 78th, Scarlett Elliott 83rd, and Malori Barnes 93rd.