HEBRON — Sisters Madison and Megan Wright of Twin Valley South have always competed together in sports. On Saturday, Nov. 5, at the State Cross Country Championships, the twins finished their four-year careers together — and they did it with season best times.
Madison crossed the finish line 32nd, in a time of 19:27, while Megan placed 89th in a time of 20:23 against the field of 20 teams and 180 runners in the Division III championships, which was held at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
“Pretty good season, biggest thing was getting them both here,” said TVS coach Richie Faber. “I am extremely proud of both of them being here. In all four years of competing, each time out they’ve worked really hard and it’s really amazing with all of the effort they have put in, and I hope they get all the recognition for that.”
The race began with a quick start, as runners did not begin to separate until well after the first mile. Madison, a two-sport athlete (cross country and volleyball) was near the front of the pack (19th after the first mile), but she began to lose position dropping to 26th after the second mile.
“I was hoping to place, but that didn’t happen, but that’s okay because I ran one of my best times of the year,” said Madison. “The beginning was really fast, like it always is at state. I think I did a good job maintaining position. My four years have been great here. I started as a freshman and didn’t know what to expect. But to come here and finish at state with the best time I’ve ever had is great.”
Megan, also a two-sport athlete (cross country and soccer) for the Panthers, got off to a slow start (78th after the first mile) getting caught in a big wave of runners and having to fight her way through. During the second mile of the race, she dropped five spots and was 83rd.
“I think I did fairly well with the racing,” said Megan. “I had my best race of the year; the race started really fast but I was able to stay with them. There were a lot of elbows in the middle of the pack going on, people just literally cut others off just to get into position, so it was tough. This is about what I expected to finish, so I’m happy with my finish. I love cross country, I’m sad that it’s over and didn’t expect to be as successful as I’ve been. I’m always happy to run with my sister.”
Faber said the sisters have put Twin Valley South’s program on the map.
“The realistic expectation was to come out and have a good race,” said Faber. “I knew Madison had a chance of sneaking into the top 20, but that is tough to do because of the competition. Megan ran a season best, so that was the thing to do. She probably exceeded her expectations today. I am going to miss these two. They have really put a face on our program.”
Emily Sreenan of Lima Catholic Central dominated the race, finishing in 18:01.8, which was 23 seconds ahead of the second place runner, Kyleigh Edwards of Lancaster Fairfield Christian. Minster earned its 10th team championship in OHSAA cross country history with a 38 points. St. Thomas Aquinas came in second place with 95 points, and Gilmore Academy took third with 154 points.
Sreenan missed the Division III record( 17:58.03) by three seconds, set by Sarah Kanney of Coldwater in 2012.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH