TROY — On Saturday, Oct. 29, Twin Valley South’s twin sisters, Madison and Megan Wright, qualified for the OHSAA state cross country championship by placing sixth and 12th respectively at the Division III regionals at Troy.
The Wrights competed as individuals, and had to place in the Top 16 individual runners in order to advance to the state finals. This will be the second time the seniors will compete together in the state championships.
“They both ran very good races today,” TVS coach Richie Faber said on Saturday. “Madison had a pretty good chance to make it. Megan ran one of her best races in a long time. I think it’s her season best. I’m very proud of them.”
The wind was a factor in the event, but the sun was shining and the field was dry for the runners. From the start, Madison maintained position at the front of a pack of five to seven runners, while Megan stayed in the next group of runners. Both were able to overtake a number of runners in the beginning of the race to hold their positions, particularly Megan.
Madison finished with a time of 20:08, with room ahead of several racers behind her. But Megan had to sprint for the final 100 meters against four other runners to take 12th place in 20:42. Addy Engel of Springfield Catholic Central won the race in convincing fashion, crossing the finish line in 19:10 with a 36 second lead ahead of the runner-up, Karmen Knepp of Bradford.
“It was a little warmer than what I had expected and a bit windy,” said Madison. “But I qualified, so that’s what matters. I’m hoping to place in the top 16 at state. I was hoping to finish a bit higher in this race, so I’m a bit disappointed, but hoping to do better next week.”
In the team standings, Covington won the championship with 84 points, finishing ahead of Loramie who had 85 points. Russia took third place with 101 points, while West Liberty-Salem finished in fourth with 129 points. These four teams qualified for the state finals.
“The best part of this race was that I kept passing people and kept competing,” said Megan. “I wasn’t even ranked to go to state. The worst part of the race was getting to the top of the hill, but I kept fighting through it.”
The state finals will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron. The Wrights will compete in the Division III race scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH