Tigers earn 9th place finish at state meet

Bieleski places 19th in final appearance

Bieleski WLS

West Liberty-Salem’s Reghan Bieleski races toward the finish line of the OHSAA Division III girls state cross country meet Saturday at National Trail Raceway. Bieleski placed 19th with a personal best time of 19:20.7. The Tigers finished ninth as a team. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LABATT)

HEBRON — The Big Orange girls continued to climb the ladder here at the OHSAA Division III state cross country meet.

Made up of mostly underclassmen, West Liberty-Salem’s girls delivered a ninth-place finish out of 20 teams Saturday at National Trail Raceway. The Tigers were ranked fourth in the final state poll.

“Any time you get a top 10 finish at state that is something to be proud of,” said WL-Salem head coach Ann Vogel. “It was not what we were shooting for, but nonetheless, you can’t be disappointed to crack the top 10. The girls all ran really well. We gave it our best shot and it just wasn’t our day. I’m really proud of the overall team effort.”

Minster repeated as the Division III state champion with a commanding 34 points. Mt. Gilead was the state runner-up with 130 points and McDonald was third with 138 points. WL-Salem had 282 points.

“We ran our hardest,” said sophomore Grace Adams. “We had the goal of going out and running as hard we could and giving it all we had, and that’s all that maters.”

Highlighting WL-Salem’s race was senior Reghan Bieleski, who placed 19th out of 184 runners with a personal-best time of 19:20.7. She finishes her cross country career as a four-time state qualifier for the Big Orange.

“It feels really good,” said Bieleski. “I wanted to get a personal best and I wanted to get all-Ohio. I just went out with a positive attitude and was able to do both.” The top 25 finishers earned all-Ohio honors, while the top 20 earned a spot on the podium. The best Bieleski had finished in her previous trips to the state meet was 36th during her freshman season.

Read complete story in Monday's Examiner
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