RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande hosted the OHSAA Division II and III Southeast district cross country boys and girls meets on Saturday and all five Highland County Schools were represented and will be represented by at least one boy or one girl in the regional tournament.
The biggest story of the day was the performance of the boys from Whiteoak who finished in fifth place in the team standings and earned the programs first trip to the regional meet in school history.
Hunter Morgan led the way with an 11th place finish out of 137 runners and a time if 18:15. Atlee Carr finished 19th (18:52).
Morgan and Carr both earned all-district for their 2nd consecutive year with their Top 24 performances.
Freshman Robbie Raines stepped up big and finished 33rd with a time of 19:44. Zach DeAtley was close behind in 38th (20:08) and Logan Cummings was Whiteoak’s 5th man in and 64th overall (21:09).
Whiteoak’s 6th man Jacob Campbell 72nd (21:41) and Bryce Bailey 86th (22:16) combined to displace over 50 runners of teams trying to chase down Whiteoak.
Wildcats’ Head Coach Doug Hughes was very excited with his team’s performance and said. “We’ve worked so hard for this…these seven kids ran today and knew what they had to do. They stepped up. Several teammates there today who weren’t able to run were there helping me and it was just a great day for the Whiteoak cross country program.
“Last year we missed it by 1 spot, this year the harder practices and greater dedication got us over the hump. We were only 5 points from 4th Place and 41 points ahead of the final qualifying spot of 6th place. These kids have earned it and we are going to Pickerington next Saturday and we are going to have a blast,” said Hughes.
As expected in the boys’ D III race the Fairfield Lions emerged victorious as they tallied 33 points and were 46 points ahead of the second place team from Trimble High School.
Brandtson Duffie led the way for the Lions as he finished in third place overall with a time of 17:35.71 while Cohen Frost and Austin Setty were fifth and sixth respectively with times of 17:50.95 and 17:51.70.
Gavin Campbell, Ethan Davis and Bennett Hodson took 13th, 14th and 15th respectively in the meet and Blake Haines was the final finisher for the Lions in 17th place.
The Lady Lions of Fairfield were able to advance as a team to the regional meet courtesy of a sixth place team finish.
Ciara Colwell was the top runner for the Fairfield ladies and finished in sixth place with a time of 21:17.09 and Megan Gragg was next for the Lady Lions in 24th place with a time of 23:15.97.
Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustang freshman Raelyn Ruble qualified for the regional meet as an individual with a 20th place finish in a time of 23:03.14.
Hillsboro’s Bailey Lucarello was the top finisher for the Hillsboro Indians in 70th place with a time of 19:05.82 and McClain’s Lyle White was the top finisher for the Tigers with a time of 21:03.84.
Mollie McCreary of Hillsboro was able to qualify for the regional meet by grabbing the 28th and final qualifying position with a time of 21:44.95.
Freshman Aaliyah Evans was the top finisher for the McClain girls with a time of 27:23.40.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.