Wentz feeling good as he prepares for state meet

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

PROCTORVILLE — For a while, Chuckie Wentz didn’t feel anything. Finally, he felt euphoria.

The Fairland Dragons senior runner is feeling good after placing ninth last Saturday in the Division II regional cross country meet to qualify for the state meet this Saturday at Scioto Downs.

Wentz ran an 18:04 time.

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“I think it went okay in those conditions. My legs went numb halfway through the race. I just had faith and determination to get back to Scioto Downs,” Chuckie Wentz.

“I’m feeling the excitement. I’m definitely excited. If I want to end my high school running anywhere, I definitely want to finish at Scioto Downs.”

Coach Chuck Wentz said his son ran a good race despite the conditions. He said Chuckie backed off down the stretch in order to avoid falling and not qualifying.

“I’ve never seen a race that muddy, cold and slippery. He handled it pretty well,” coach Wentz said.

Chuckie Wentz said he gained valuable experience running in the state meet last season when he finished 64th overall.

“I think I’ll know how to handle the crowd and atmosphere. I know what to expect,” Chuckie Wentz said.

“I hope to do better than last year. I want to improve on last year’s place. I didn’t expect that many people in the crowd. It was so loud. It will help my concentration.”

The state has made some changes on the state meet course located at Scioto Downs. Wentz plans to make a practice run on Friday.

“It’s a good course. It’s not as challenging as some around here, but there are just so many good runners. I just try to focus and do my best. I try to go with people I think I can stay close to,” Chuckie Wentz said.

The Dragons senior will run at 11:30 a.m. He will run out of Box Z.

Fairland as a team was eighth among the 16-team field in the regional held at Pickerington North High School.

“The team ran a great race. To be that young and finish eighth, I can’t complain on how we did,” coach Wentz said.

In the team standings, Unioto was first, Circleville third and Vincent Warren fourth to advance to the state meet. All three teams are from the Southeast district.

“Our district is pretty tough,” coach Wentz said.

Fairland team results: 9. Chuckie Wentz 18:04, 33. Wayne Moore 18:47, 58. Eddie Adkins 19:32, 81. Joe Stewart.