Local runners bound for state

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There will be plenty of local runners lining up this weekend in Carrollton for the state cross-country championships, especially after the performances turned in at two separate region meets over the weekend.

On the heels of Starr’s Mill and McIntosh taking the top two spots in Region 4-AAAAA a week earlier, the county’s other three public schools had an impressive showing in Saturday’s Region 5-AAAA event.

Whitewater finished second to Woodward on the boys’ side with Sandy Creek coming in third. Woodward also won the girls’ team competition but Whitewater, Sandy Creek and Fayette County took the next three spots. All of these teams will go to state based on their top-four finishes in the region.

Ashley McMahon of Whitewater was the top individual finisher in the girls’ race, with Analucia Yanar of Sandy Creek coming in second and Amaya Anderson of Fayette County placing third. Alexis Smith of Whitewater was in sixth place, with Woodward taking the other seven spots in the top 11.

The rest of the top 20, in order: Madison Hunt, Whitewater; McKenzie Hembold, Whitewater 13th; Lauren Apo, Sandy Creek; Kaitlyn Buck, Whitewater; Caitlin Umila, Fayette County; Asia Green, Fayette County; Alexa Yanar, Sandy Creek; Katie Kirkland, Whitewater; and Lindsay Eichhorn, Sandy Creek.

Don Harp of Whitewater was the second-fastest runner in the boys’ race with teammates Harry Harp (fourth), Parker Nail (seventh) and Seamus Murrock (10th) joining him in the top 10. The other six runners in that group were from Woodward.

Connor Dial of Sandy Creek came in 13th. Finishing 15-17 were Sandy Creek runners Andrew Alberts, Jake Penkala and Devin Hamill. James Hartley of Whitewater was next in line, followed by
Nathan Eason of Sandy Creek and Andrew Aycock of Whitewater to round out the top 20.

The big local story in Region 5-A was the dominance of Landmark, whose girls’ team racked up an astounding 21 points to capture the title and had the top three individual finishers.

Kathryn Foreman, coming back after missing a few weeks due to injury, crossed the finish line first and was just a few seconds ahead of Nicole Fegans. Sarah Foreman came in third.

Pauline Cobb from Our Lady of Mercy finished fifth to qualify for state individually, as her team came in fifth as well.

Mary Kellison Thorne of Landmark was sixth and her teammate Lindsey Biggar came in ninth. OLM’s Marissa Caporini finished 11th.

Second-place girls finisher Galloway won the boys’ side, with Landmark coming in second and OLM also fifth.

Top individual finishers included Austin Taylor, Landmark (third); Seth Cruver, Landmark (eighth); Aldahir Barrantes, OLM (ninth); Kermit Jackson, Landmark (tenth); Mark Humphries, Landmark (12th); and Maddox Caporini, OLM 20th).