By Garth Shanklin
On a picture-perfect day for cross-country action, several Clermont County runners punched their ticket for the regional meet on Saturday, October 21.
All nine county schools traveled to Voice of America Park in West Chester for the races, which began with the boys’ Division I race at 10 a.m.
No boys’ runner made the regional meet in the first Division I race, with West Clermont’s Davis LaGana pacing the county with a 36th-place finish. West Clermont finished 11th in the team standings.
In the second race, Milford’s Harris Craycraft crossed the line n 16:37.48, good for 12th place overall. Teammate Clayton Virzi just missed qualifying for regionals, finishing in 17th, less than two-tenths of a second off a qualifying spot.
In the girls’ first race, a pair of Lady Wolves from West Clermont earned reginal trips. Maddie Walker placed third overall, finishing in 18:11.65, while teammate Morgan Walsh crossed the line in 19:37.73, good for a 13th-place finish. The top 20 runners and top four teams in each Division qualified for the regional meet.
Olivia Loefller paced Milford in the first race, and her time of 20:53.43 was good for a 39th-place finish out of 94 runners.
Two more local runners advanced to regionals in Division II. Batavia’s Ridge Cook placed sixth overall, finishing in 16:55.55. New Richmond’s Ryan Wolf was not too far behind Cook, crossing the line in 17:01.34 to place eighth.
Clermont Northeastern’s Seth Teaney finished 18th, coming two spots shy of qualification. Batavia’s Ethan Clark placed 19th, 1.5 seconds behind Teaney.
In Division II, the top three teams earned spots in the regional meet. New Richmond placed fifth, with Batavia in seventh and CNE in eighth.
In the second Division II race, Bethel-Tate’s Jackson Coates placed third overall, finishing in 16:37.34. Coates was the only local runner to advance in the race, with teammate Sam Frondorf placing 21st and Ian McQueary in 23rd.
As a team, the Tigers tallied 112 points for a fifth-place finish.
Three girls qualified for the Division II regional meet. Goshen’s Erin Ashley was the first to punch her ticket, placing seventh with a time of 20:24.40 in the first Division II race.
In the second race, New Richmond’s Jenna Burns placed third overall, finishing in 20:07.49. Teammate Catie Biehle placed eighth, earning the final qualifying spot. Batavia’s Morgan Cravens finished 13th. Bethel-Tate’s Allyson Parks finished in 16th. Batavia’s Maddie Flandermeyer and Bethel-Tate’s Jenna Carter also earned top-20 finishes.
In Division III, four Felicity-Franklin runners advanced to regionals. Jared Boeckmann placed fourth in the boys’ race, with teammate Brayden Sponcil earning a 10th-place finish. Kaitlyn Sharp (7th) and Madison Winter (9th) advanced to regionals in the girls’ race.
The regional meet is held at Troy High School on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. beginning with the girls’ Division III race. The girls’ Division II race is at 11:45, with the Division I race at 12:30.
Boys’ action begins with Division III at 1:30, Division II at 2:15 and Division I at 3 p.m.