Also to be found were a pair of South Webster runners - Josh Linkous and Kayla Cook. Linkous placed 15th in the Division III boys race and Cook finished 13th in the Division III girls race to earn spots in next week's state meet at Scioto Downs in Columbus. Linkous finished in a time of 18:03, while Cook finished the course in 22:29.
Fighting tendinitis, Linkous returns to state, while the freshman Cook will be making her first trip. The top 16 individuals and top four teams from each division move to the state championship.
“I came up here thinking that I was going to do better than I was doing,” said Linkous, who spent much of September on the sidelines with his injury. “I figured that I was going to go out with the top guys, but I guess all of that time off came back on me today. I just hung in there and did the best I could. I am going to give it all I got to get on the podium next week.”
“I was nervous at first, and it was tough,” Cook said. “I just kept pushing and pushing the entire race. It was very muddy, and it started snowing and hailing during the race, as well as cold. During the last mile, I was nervous because I was on the bubble, around 15th or 16th, and I just kept trying to qualify.”
As a team, the Jeeps finished 14th out of 16 teams, finishing with a score of 338 points. Nic Cartee was 62nd with a time of 19:16, Herbie Otworth finished 98th in a time of 20:17, Michael Kennedy placed 114th in a time of 20:56 and Mark Craft was 124th in a time of 23:21.
After the race, Cartee said the conditions, and the muddy course, played a big part in all of the times.
“I am just glad for the opportunity to get here,” he said. “I'll get to state next year. I will look to improve on everything, and just become faster.”
Jeeps coach John Grimm was pleased with the team's performance, and getting two of runners to have one more race.
“With Josh, we are happy with the way that he has come back from injury,” he said. “I think to come back in the month of October and qualify for the state is great. Kayla has been a real steady performer all year, and I think people haven't taken notice of her until the last few weeks, but she showed us what she is made of today. It is hard for a freshman to have success at this level, but the fact that she has done that, she is going to do better next week.”
Wheelersburg was also represented at Saturday's meet, winning the district championship at Rio Grande last week. The Pirates were able to finish sixth out of 16 teams, but were unable to move on to the state meet.
“The kids went out and were warriors, and they ran hard,” said Wheelersburg coach Gary Johnson. “They came up here and competed, and I feel like they probably did the best they could possibly do. You can't play defense (in cross country). I am pretty pleased with everything.”
Jacob Ruggles was the highest Pirate finisher, completing the course in 24th place with a time of 18:25. Ryan Bell was 31st, finishing in 18:32, and Eli Gerlach was 51st in a time of 19:05. Adam Parlin was 60th with a time of 19:11, Derek Massie was 74th in a time of 19:26 and Trevor Miller was 81st in a time of 19:35.
“We were a little disappointed that we finished sixth, but we are happy because we ran our hardest out there,” said Ruggles. “We will come back next year, and I think the team did well.”
“I didn't feel too bad out there,” said Bell, who has been battling sickness for the past few weeks. “I didn't run as fast as I have been, though.”
In other Division III results, Notre Dame's Justin Kammler finished 61st in a time of 19:15 and Eastern Pike's Jordan Selbee was 63rd, finishing in 19:17. Notre Dame's Sarah Appleton finished 26th in the Division III girls race, completing the course in a time of 22:29.
The lone Division II representative was Northwest's Josh Smith, who finished 75th in a time of 19:52.
“We are just proud that he was here,” said Mohawks coach Daron Lilly. “It is great just to be here - win, lose or draw. He wants to go to the state next year.”
JOSH HICKLE can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 241.
Regional Cross Country Meet
Division III Boys
Local Team Results
6. Wheelersburg 190
14. South Webster 338
Wheelersburg - 24. Jacob Ruggles 18:25, 31. Ryan Bell 18:32, 51. Eli Gerlach 19:05, 60. Adam Parlin 19:11, 74. Derek Massie 19:26, 81. Trevor Miller 19:35.
South Webster - 15. Josh Linkous 18:03, 62. Nic Cartee 19:16, 98. Herbie Otworth 20:17, 114. Michael Kennedy 20:56, 124. Mark Craft 23:21.
Notre Dame - 61. Justin Kammler 19:15.
Eastern Pike - 63. Jordan Selbee 19:17.
Division II Boys
Northwest - 75. Josh Smith 19:52.
Division III Girls
South Webster - 13. Kayla Cook 21:43.
Notre Dame - 26. Sarah Appleton 22:29.