By Chris Chaney
The postseason run of success for Clermont County cross country teams came to an end at the regional meet at Troy on Oct. 26. Just seven days removed from an impressive performance at the district meet that saw four teams and six other individuals advance, no one will be representing the area at the state meet on Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway, a half an hour outside of Columbus.
The four teams who qualified — Batavia and New Richmond’s boys and Bethel-Tate and New Richmond’s girls — were unable to crack the top-10 and saw their seasons come to an end.
“It was a pretty windy day up there in Troy,” Batavia head coach Dona Braswell said. “It was windy and cold and there was a fast group of guys up there, but we knew that going in.”
The Batavia boys had the best team finish of the four qualifiers, finishing in 11th place in the Division II race with a team average time of 17:49.96. Senior Griffin Stith was the high finisher among the Division II boys, completing the 3.1-mile track in 17:16.84, which put him in 31st place overall.
The top four teams and 16 individuals advance to state.
Stith, who was the district champion a week earlier at Voice of America Park in West Chester, finished 28 seconds slower than what he ran at districts. His twin brother, Hunter, ran a 17:29.00, two seconds behind teammate Ryan Cooper. Hunter finished in 46th place and Cooper was 43rd.
Bobby Bingham of New Richmond was the fastest Lion in the race. The junior ran a 17:35.20 to pace his team. They finished 16th as a team.
The lone individual qualifier in Division II was Goshen’s Daniel Hulsmeyer. The senior finished in 84th place by virtue of his 18:03.31.
In boys’ Division I action, Milford AJ Erdaty ran the best race in terms of time of anyone in Clermont County, posting a time of 16:52.65, but a strong DI contingent at Troy left Erdaty in 46th place.
Roger Thornberry, Williamsburg’s Division III representative, ran a solid race finishing in 62nd place with a 18:17.23 time.
For the girls that made it to regionals, the Goshen one-two punch of Brittany Clark and Courtney Turner were again the class of the county. Clark, the district champion, and Turner, the district runner-up, finished in 36th and 46th place, respectively, the two highest finished among runners from Clermont County.
Clark ran a 20:24.00 that left her 47 seconds out of a qualifying spot and Turner ran a 20:44.07. Both Clark and Turner are juniors and will look to build upon their experience during their senior seasons.
The New Richmond girls’ team was paced, as they have been for most of the season, by sophomore Claire Burns. Burns ran a 20:54.84 and finished in 51st place. The Lady Lions as a team finished in 13th place.
The Lady Tigers of Bethel-Tate came in 16th place as a team with sophomore Breanna Keyser running the best race, finishing in 67th place with a time of 21:20.10. The young Lady Tigers ran no one at regionals older than a sophomore and should have a solid core returning next season.
In girls’ Division III action, Williamsburg’s Heather McIntosh, the 11th place finisher at the district, finished in 55th place at the regional, running a 21:56.77 in her last race as a junior.