By Chris Chaney
Qualifying out of the district tournament into the regional tournament in cross-country is no small task. With so many athletes in a confined space, anything can happen off of the line, so the fact that New Richmond’s girls’ team won their district outright, their boys’ team qualified along with Batavia’s boys’ team is very impressive in and of itself.
Add into that mix seven individuals not on those qualifying teams also made it through the district meet into the regional meet and it is clear to see that cross-country is alive and well in Clermont County.
However, at the next level, the regional meet, which was held on Saturday, October 27 at Troy High School for all 28 of the Clermont County athletes eligible.
Similar to the district meet, the top four teams and the top 16 individuals from each division would qualify for the state meet.
Naturally, the district champion New Richmond Lady Lions had the best showing as far as individual teams go.
Led by Olivia Behymer’s 31st individual finish, the Lady Lions finished in eighth place as a team, four spots from advancing. As a result, no one from the New Richmond team qualified for the state tournament. Behymer’s time of 20:44.29 was just under 44 seconds behind the last qualifying place.
Right behind Behymer were Kara and Claire Burns before nearly another minute until Paige Anderson, Emily Belmont and Emily Erdman finished.
Other top performers from Clermont County included Goshen’s Brittany Clark (33rd) and Courtney Turner (47th), Bethel’s Breanna Keyser (39th) and Batavia’s Hannah Winter (43rd).
Clark was also named the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division Runner of the Year. Along with Clark, Keyser of Bethel, Turner of Goshen, Anderson, Behymer and the Burns’ of New Richmond and Amelia’s Madison Terry were named to the First Team All-SBC.
New Richmond head man, Rylan Shebesta took home Coach of the Year honors.
The Second Team selections from the American Division included Belmont, Erdman and Zoe Crabtree of New Richmond and Ashley Taylor of Amelia.
In the National Division, Batavia’s Winter was named to the First Team along with teammate Taylor Albright and Williamsburg’s duo of Heather McIntosh, a regional qualifier and Lindsey Smith.
On the Second Team in the National were Batavia’s Bre Osbourne, Lindsey Shepherd and Felicity’s Cheyenne Trammell.
On the guys’ side, no one was able to crack the top-16 individually and both the Batavia and New Richmond teams were unable to get into the top four to qualify for state.
The closest any individual got was Hunter Stith of Batavia finishing in 36th place, 39 seconds behind the last qualifying spot. Near Hunter’s time were his twin brother, Garrett (48th), Luke Gilday (38th) and Bobby Bingham (51st) of New Richmond.
Gilday was named the Runner of the Year in the SBC American conference and Pam Taylor of Bethel-Tate was named the Coach of the Year.
Along with Gilday on the First Team were Bingham (New Richmond), Sumner Hobart and Adam Shinkle of Bethel and Daniel Hulsmeyer of Goshen.
In the National Division, the First Team featured both Stith Twins from Batavia as well as their teammate, Ryan Cooper and fellow regional qualifier Roger Thornsberry of Williamsburg.
On the Second Team were Austin Sammons of Batavia and Tyler Crawford and Jamie Simmons of Williamsburg.
For more information about the Clermont County sports scene, follow the Clermont Sun’s sports department Twitter account, @ClerSunSports.