The Fairfield Lions cross country team are Division III regional champions. And they also are not.
Confusion surrounds Saturday’s race for coaches and runners at Fairfield High School, as Saturday they brought home with them a trophy as well as individual medals that stated they were the regional champions. At some point this weekend, they Lions slipped into second place and as off Monday, November 2, are officially in second place according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s website.
But not according to their head coach Raymond Friend.
“In my personal opinion, my guys are regional champions,” sad Friend on the phone Monday afternoon. “Officially we are one point behind Fredricktown. Somehow we gained a point over the weekend. Do I think it was done the proper way? No. We have the first place trophy and were given OK to leave by the officials there on Saturday.”
Whatever the results turn out to be, Fairfield still had an outstanding day and were led by three sophomores who finished tenth (Matthew Mangus), 23rd (Andrew Davis), and 24th (Trent Swisher). Mangus, who finished tenth overall in the race with a time of 16:47.5, not only helped qualify his team for the state meet on Saturday, but also qualified himself as an individual runner.
The Lions, whether or not they are regional champions, qualified themselves for the State cross country meet this Saturday, November 7 at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio. Fairfield will run in the Division III race which is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.
“Saturday was not out best team race of the season,” said Coach Friend. “I think we can improve when we run on Saturday in Hebron. Our goal is to make it into the top eight.”
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.