CEDARVILLE — Bellefontaine’s boys cross country team has been building momentum all season long and Saturday it cashed in with the program’s first regional berth since 2014 at the Division I district meet here at Cedarville University.
The top nine teams and runners finishing in the top 36 qualify through to the regional meet this weekend in Troy. In a field of tough Division I programs, Bellefontaine was able nab one of the few remaining qualifying bids by finishing eighth.
“We battled through the race as we knew our margin of error was razor thin to qualify out,” said BHS boys head coach Ben Davis. “We are 3-2 versus Bellbrook during this (regular) season, so we will go after them next week. It was a solid day for us as we had several runners within striking distance of their personal bests. The team did a fairly nice job of staying focused and balancing homecoming festivities. Next week we will shoot for our best team race of the season, which could rank as one of the top five in Chieftain history.”
Lebanon was first overall with 92 points, Tippecanoe came in second with 100 points, Fairmont was third with 119 points and Beavercreek finished fourth with 125 points. The top two teams are named district champions with the next two teams earning runner-up trophies. Bellefontaine finished eighth with 226 points.
“We weren’t too far off putting three runners in the 16-minute range for the second time in the past 10 years,” said Davis.
Also helping BHS reach the regional meet were Evan Kauffman in 60th (17:29), Patrick Donnelly in 67th (17:35), Gavin Wilson in 79th (17:44) and Justin Carper in 102nd (18:17).
Three local runners qualify to regional meet
Bellefontaine’s girls, Benjamin Logan and Indian Lake all competed in the Division II race here Saturday at Cedarville University.
While no teams advanced there were three individuals from each school that moved on. That group included the Raiders’ Dani Widmark, the Chieftains’ Brooke McClellan and the Lakers’ Caden Paavola.
In both Division II races the top seven teams and runners that finished in the top 28 moved on to the regional meet next Saturday in Troy.
Bellefontaine’s girls were 13th out of 19 teams with 345 points, Ben Logan was close behind in 14th with 369 points and Indian Lake finished in 17th with 427 points.
In the boys race, Ben Logan finished 15th out of 23 teams with 391 points and Indian Lake was 18th with 548 points.
Indian Lake’s Paavola finished 20th out of 162 runners in the boys race with a time of 17:02.9 to qualify.
Along with McClellan, the BHS girls were supported by Sophie Adelsberger in 51st (21:54.2), Morgan Johns in 86th (23:38.4), Cheyenne Shade in 102nd (24:40.1) and Aubrey Hudson in 118th (25:19.5).
For the Raiders, Kendra Kennedy was 75th (23:13.3), Kerry Copenhaver was 77th (23:18.7), Charlotte Graham was 115th (25:15.8), Malori Barnes was 126th (26:04.4), Tori Miller was 130th (26:27.5) and Sarah Folk was 138th (28:27.9).
Ella Wagner led the Lakers in 64th (22:32.1), with top 100 finishes also coming from Elayne Richardson in 82nd (23:31.8) and Rachel Wahl in 85th (23:34.7). The rest of the team saw Andi Miller in 106th (24:50.0), Erin Miller in 136th (28:11.1), Nikita Scheifele in 144th (31:32.1) and Macie Myers in 148th (37:27.1).
Highlighting Ben Logan’s boys were Tucker Munz in 62nd (18:16.9) and Blake Rhoades in 66th (18:19.4). Rounding out the team were Tayte Williamson in 75th (18:36.8), Noland King in 89th (19:06.1), Andrew Hughes in 101st (19:45.8), Landon Hunt in 131st (21:06.9) and Yale Schiederer in 157th (24:38.4).
After Paavola, Indian Lake saw Brant Parsell finish in 105th (19:52.9), Carter Burnside in 134th (21:27.9), Jacob Huhn in 144th (22:37.3), Tristan Aulds in 154th (24:11.5), Dallas Miller in 160th (26:55.1) and Mason Swygart in 161st (27:35.4).
Look for a Division I and Division II regional preview later this week in the Examiner.