Area cross country teams advance to regionals

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CAMBRIDGE, Ohio — Ava Huck had her best race of the season to help lift the Fort Frye girls to the Division III East District cross country championship Saturday.

Huck placed second overall as an individual with a time of 20 minutes, 24 seconds. Teammate Cadence Waller came in fourth at 20:48 while Emma Richards also was in the top 10, finishing in seventh with a time of 21:10.

“(Huck’s) really been on the up and improving,” said Fort Frye head coach Jason Lipot. “It’s not a big surprise that she did what she did. She’s the third different girl to be our No. 1 runner this year, which is unique. It’s always good to have that combination up there.”

Laine Spindler placed 16th with a time of 22:02 while Maggie Fulton rounded out the Cadets’ scoring with a time of 23:30 to place 36th.

“It’s great,” Lipot said.

“We haven’t done this on the girls side in 10 years. We expected to win, but you never know what’s going to happen. This is a great step for these girls and what they’ve been doing all year. I’m impressed with them bringing home a trophy for the school.”

Also running for Fort Frye were Kyndal Buchanon and Natalie Rauch, who finished 47th and 56th, respectively.

Fort Frye finished with 54 team points, besting runner-up Caldwell at 71.

Sage Speck led the regional-qualifying Redskins with a fifth-place finish at 20:53. Brynn Block came in eighth at 21:18, Sadie Watson placed 21st at 22:18, Teagan Secrest finished 24th at 22:46 and Calli Hesson was 30th at 23:03 to make up Caldwell’s score.

On the boys’ side, Fort Frye finished ninth but got a third-place finish from Phinn Spindler, who clocked in at 17:16. He’ll join the Fort Frye girls at next Saturday’s regional meet.

“He just ran a very smart race,” Lipot said.

“He kind of got caught in no-man’s land by himself and rode it out. There was no one pushing him, so I don’t think he exerted all he had today, which is not a dig on him. He ran a really good race and I’m happy to have him move on up to regionals.”

Caldwell’s boys saw Blake Miller qualify for regionals with an 11th-place finish (18:02).

The Marietta girls competed in the Division I Northeast District at Hilliard Darby, placing ninth as a team. They were led by Ava Gebczyk, who placed 13th at 20:11 and earned a spot at regionals.

The Tiger boys were also ninth in the team standings.

Ezra Minard placed sixth overall to qualify for the regional meet. He crossed the finish line in 16:14.

In the Division II Southeast District at Rio Grande, the Warren boys advanced to regionals with a fifth-place team finish. Bryson Angelo led the pack, placing 10th at 17:11, followed by Brennan Perdue in 35th (18:19), Andrew Vincent in 36th (18:20), Aiden Westerman in 40th (18:39), Zeke Reeder in 68th (19:36), Ben Bishop in 74th (19:46) and Trent Hamrick in 78th (19:57).

For the Warren girls, Maggie Reynolds (26th; 21:44) and Grace Randall (28th; 21:59) both advanced as individuals.

Also at Rio Grande, the D3 Southeast District race took place, with the Waterford and Belpre boys both qualifying for regionals as a team.

Waterford was the district runner-up and was led by Dylan Hartline in 15th place (18:22). He was followed by Troy Gibson in 21st (18:34), Jarrett Armstrong in 32nd (19:11), Chase Schott in 35th (19:15), Brenner Schwendeman in 47th (19:46), Evan Strickler in 53rd (20:01) and Ian Fairchild in 98th (22:18).

Belpre was fourth in the team standings thanks to Carter Norman (12th; 18:12), Johnny Miller (16th; 18:23), Nick Diaz (26th; 18:59), Austin Jenkins (19:15), Michael Bills (77th; 20:59), Evan Vowls (79th; 21:03) and Sonny Britton (94th; 22:01).

On the girls side, Waterford’s Averi Schwendeman (sixth; 21:29) and Kaylor Offenberger (15th; 22:28) both advanced as individuals, as did Belpre’s Maddie Sprigg (20th; 22:43).

The regional meets are slated for next Saturday.

“It’s going to be razor thin up there,” Lipot said. “We’re all going to have to run our best race of the year by far. We’re super excited to run another week.”


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