PICKERINGTON — Once again, at the Division II regional cross country meet on Saturday, Charles was pretty much in charge.
Portsmouth sophomore Charles Putnam that is.
That’s because Putnam, for the second consecutive season, has advanced to the Division II boys state race —following this past Saturday’s third-place performance at the Region 11 run at Pickerington North.
In addition, Northwest senior Kailan Marshall makes his third and final state appearance —after finishing 14th individually in the same Division II regional race at Pickerington.
The only difference for Marshall this season is that he qualified as an individual, while the Mohawks — the two-time Division II state meet qualifying team —was 18th as a unit this year at Saturday’s mud-mired regional.
But back to Putnam, who as a frosh a year ago was the fastest freshman by nearly 50 seconds in the Division II boys race — completed his first regional race at the high school level in ninth-place, and with a time of 16:49.
This year, amid some rain and much mud for his 5K run, Putnam ran a slightly slower 17 minutes and two tics —but finishing third out of 164 total runners.
The only individuals ahead of the PHS standout —seniors Connor Shingleton of Minerva in 16:43 and Corey Schobelock of Unioto in 16:46.
Schobelock was the Southeast District Division II boys champion at the University of Rio Grande, while Putnam took third in that race as well —believed to be a personal-best 16 minutes and four seconds.
Marshall, meanwhile, was in the top half of the 28-man individual qualifying field —crossing the finish line in 14th in 17:47.
A year ago, as the Mohawks’ number-three regional runner, Marshall was 13th in 16:53 —as he punched his state ticket two years in a row with Northwest moving on as a squad.
For the Division II boys, individuals which place inside the top-28 automatically advance to the state championship —which will be held once again inside Fortress Obetz.
That also includes the top-seven Division II teams, as the Mohawks were 18th —with Waverly 17th and Oak Hill 21st.
Mason Breech, another Northwest senior, was the next Mohawk to cross the line —in 46th in 18 minutes and 37 seconds.
Unioto, spearheaded by Schlobelock, captured the team championship with a low score of 57.
For the Division III girls, South Webster —one of two Division III district runners-up and finishing third overall at the district meet —was 11th as a team, with a score of 230.
The top five gals groups go on to the state in Division III —as Fort Frye and Grandview Heights had 131 points, with Fort Frye finishing first officially off the sixth-score tiebreaker.
Caldwell was third at 145.
For the Lady Jeeps, their first four runners —freshman Marley Kreischer (50th in 23:12), freshman Kate Mantell (57th in 23:25), junior Macie Rhoads (64th in 23:35) and junior Ali Newman (71st in 23:46) —all placed within 21 positions of each other, and all within 34 seconds.
South Webster’s final three runners were fifth-scorer and freshman Alyssa Yates (123rd in 26:29), junior Ciara Jones (127th in 27:23), and junior Kennedy Murphy (136th in 30:41).
Eastern senior Abby Cochenour concluded her decorated cross country career with a 43rd-place finish —in 22 minutes and 43 seconds.
There were 139 finishers in the girls Division III race —with two disqualifications.
The only other Scioto County regional qualifier was Minford junior Juniper Allen, who was 108th in the Division II girls race in 24:05.
She ran a 22:33 at the same regional run a year ago.
A complete list of results can be found at www.baumspage.com.
This Saturday marks the second straight state meet at Fortress Obetz —with the Division II boys race taking place at 1 p.m.
Prior to last November, the Ohio High School Athletic Association state cross country meet was held for a decade at National Trail Raceway —where Marshall ran as a sophomore.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved