TROY — National Trail’s boys and girls cross county teams turned in solid performances during the Division III regional cross country meet on Saturday, Oct. 28, but came up shy of their goal of reaching the state meet.
Twin Valley South’s Zoe Utsinger, Kyle Saul and Brandan Wright also saw their seasons come to an end against some of the best competition in this part of the state.
Trail’s girls, with five freshmen, placed sixth with 167 points. The top four teams and 16 individuals qualified to advance to state. West Liberty-Salem, Ft. Loramie, Versailles and Russia were the top foru teams.
The Blazers were lead by Molly Skinner, who placed 23rd in 21 minutes, 09.47 seconds. Lauren Sargeant was 27th in 21:14.40. Junior Evan Byrd finished 36th in 21:40.18. Halle Osborne was 40th with a time of 21:50.13. Jenna Garden was 87th in 24:29.37. JaLynn Byrd, a senior, was 93rd in 25:53.24 and Lauren Murphy was 94th in 26:18.57.
“They didn’t lose anything today,” Trail coach Chris Byrd said. “We came in (to today) sixth. So we thought ‘run your hearts out and there’s a possibility.’ They ran what they were expected to run. They held their ground. They’re sad because they love each other so much. They’re such a tight-knit group.”
Coach Byrd was hoping to get at least one runner to advance but she knows the future is bright.
“We thought maybe we could get one to state on her own. But they’re a freshmen so the possibilities are kind of endless for us. We’re running with five freshmen,” she said. “We’re excited about the future. Overall, it’s been a great season for us. I’m so happy with it.”
The Blazers boys finished seventh with 178 points. Ft. Loramie, Cincinnati Summit Country Day, Houston and Greenon were the top four teams.
Josh Bishop was 22nd in 17:29.88. Travis Hunt was 38th in 18:02.11. Ian Miller finished 58th in 18:22.92. Cameron Harrison was 62nd with a time of 18:31.56. Caleb VanWinkle was 66th in 18:44.62. Adam Eyler placed 75th in 19:01.97 and Nicolas Wellman was 106th in 21:31.63.
“Obviously, it wasn’t our best race,” Trail coach James Byrd said. “It was not what they were hoping for. It was not what I was hoping for. But still, they ran hard. That’s what they do. They work hard. Overall, it was a good season so you hate to dwell on one race. It’s disappointing.”
The goal for the team was to get to state.
“We were thinking top four,” James Byrd said. “Based off what we’ve been able to do if we just run our best times today I think we probably get out.”
As with the girls, who have six of their top seven returing next year, the boys team has all seven runners back.
“We’re all back next year. Hopefully, they can use this as motivation moving forward,” James Byrd said.“That is exciting.”
For Twin Valley South, Utsinger was 50th in 22:09.48. Kyle Saul placed 37th in 18:00.80 and Brandan Wright was 77th in 19:05.76.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH