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Fighting Tigers win district XC; Lady Dragons second

RIO GRANDE — This is what you call running on high octane.

Local teams produced two champions and a runner-up last Saturday at the district cross country meets held at the University of Rio Grande.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers boys’ won the Division III District I championship while the Fairland Lady Dragons claimed the girls’ Division III title. The Fairland Dragons boys’ team finished as runners-up in Division II District II.

Besides the team titles, the Ironton Lady Tigers’ Taylor Hacker was fourth in the girls’ Division III district meet and Coal Grove’s Jacob Pauley was ninth in the Div. III District II as they earned a trip to the regional meet.

The top four teams and top 16 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the regionals.

“Our boys and girls really stepped it up. They ran as well as they have all year. They set a goal of making the regional meet and they were determined to meet that goal,” said Ironton coach Tim Thomas.

Fairland coach Chuck Wentz said his runners gave a similar effort.

“The girls went above and beyond by winning the Division III district. The girls ran great while having one of the top seven injured in mid-season, another was out of town with family, and a third was coming back from illness,” Wentz said, noting the loss of Kanssa Carrico to injury.

“The team came together and ran with heart to capture the title.”

Ironton had 35 points to win the Div. III meet with Paint Valley second at 55. Southern had 89, South Webster 125, Federal Hocking 129, Southeastern 133, Wellston 157, Whiteoak 192 and Oak Hill 203.

Gary Monroe turned in a 17:52.98 time to finish third overall and teammate Dustin Moritz was fourth at 17:54.23.

Pierce Reeves at 18:36.86 was eighth for Ironton, Levi Runyon ninth at 18:39.22 and Adam Stumbo was clocked at 18:41.56 to place 11th.

Also running for Ironton were No. 54 Tyler Lawless (23:22.32) and No. 63 Sean Lawless (24:58.56).

Chesapeake’s Graham Oberly ran 20:09.06 to place No. 24.

The Lady Dragons tallied 51 points with Westfall getting 84 points to finish second.

Piketon was third at 129, Whiteoak 136, Ironton 141, Peebles and South Webster 147, Wheelersburg 150, Manchester 177, Paint Valley 186 and Oak Hill 254.

Megan Ashton was fifth overall with a 21:25.38 time. Tori Hutchison was 10th at 22:16.82 while Kennon Clarkson was 24th at 23:20.46, No. 29 Mariah Chaffin 23:43.80 and Grace Skiles No. 53 at 25:34.62.

In the boys Div. II meet, Circleville had 30 points to edge Fairland with 37. Hillsboro was third at 95 and Westfall 97.

Piketon was fifth at 161 followed by Washington Court House with 179, Waverly 192, New Lexington 221, Meigs 227 and Chillicothe 244.

Joe Stewart led Fairland as the ran a 17:31.07 to place third. No. 6 was Wayne Moore at 18:14.40, No. 8 Raine Wireman 18:15.26, No. 9 Ryan Stewart 18:22.68, Zack Fannin No. 16 at 18:38.51 and No. 23 Logan Rowe ran a 19:19.69.

“The boys ran very well with our usual number three runner hurting his knee running in the seven spot,” said Wentz. “They lost to a highly-ranked team in Circleville.”

This marks the first time a Fairland team has had a district champion or runner-up since 1995.

South Point had four runners with Jimmy Freeman No. 50 at 22:12.11, Mike Vaughn No. 56 at 22:36.22, Brandon Conley No. 64 at 25:12.10 and Dustin Boggs ran 27:56.93 to place No. 70.

In Div. III District II, North Adams won with 40 points followed by Wheelersburg with 83, Manchester 88, Eastern Brown 104, Portsmouth Clay 107, Beaver Eastern 119, Lynchburg Clay 168, Trimble 178 and Coal Grove 201.

Hacker had a 21:22.38 clocking as she finished fourth overall. Also running for Ironton were no. 18 Ariel Schweickart at 22:57.21, No. 50 Kaylie Sturgill 25:24.17, No. 70 Hannah Cronacher 27:06.93, and No. 76 Alisa Schaus 27:24.65.

Coal Grove’s Kim Short was No. 87 with a 29:09.35 time.

Pauley had a 18:40.89 time. The other Hornets running were: 64. Codey Erwin 24:16.06; 67. Codi Matney 24:33.82; 68. Brandon Doyle 24:58.65; 70. Paul Brisson 25:44.15.

The Ironton boys, both Fairland teams, Hacker and Pauley all advance to the regional meet Saturday at Pickerington North High School.