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Ironton, Fairland teams dominate district XC meet

Ironton senior runner Gary Monroe won the Division III district cross country individual championship and helped the Fighting Tigers to the team title and a berth in the regionals. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

RIO GRANDE — The district cross country road ran through the hillside at the University of Rio Grande.

On Saturday it also ran through the Ironton Fighting Tigers and Fairland Dragons.

The Ironton boys’ team won the Division III district championship while the Lady Fighting Tigers were runners-up.

The Fairland Lady Dragons won the Div. III team title while the Fairland boys’ team took the runner-up spot in the Div. II race.

Not only did Ironton come away with two team trophies, but seniors Gary Monroe and Taylor Hacker claimed first place overall in the individual championship.

Monroe ran a blistering 17:14.19 time with teammate Pierce Reeves finishing second with a 17:33.59 time.

Ironton claimed the first, second, fifth, sixth and seventh spots to total a mere 18 points. Ironton had a team time total of 1:29.21.

Fairland’s girls had 88 points as a team with Ironton second with 124 points. Hacker took the individual title as she easily outdistanced the field with a 20:48.40 clocking.

“It was about as a good a day of cross country as cross country can get,” said Ironton coach Tim Thomas.

“We’ve had good individuals and some good teams qualify for regionals, but to have a team champion and team runner-up and a boy and girl champion, it’s hard to beat a day like that.”

The top four teams in Div. III qualify for the regional meet this Saturday at Pickerington North High School. The top 16 runners not on a qualifying team also advance.

Ironton’s Levi Runyon was fifth at 18:01.27 followed by Dustin Moritz at 18:16.10 and Adam Stumbo right behind with an 18:16.83 time.

“We have kids who have bought in and they were willing to do the work,” said Thomas. “We’ve had to share kids with volleyball, tennis, band and cheerleading, and they’ve still been good about getting their work done.”

Also running for Ironton were Cody Wise who was 27th at 20:17.93 and Tyler Lawless 35th at 20:55.17.

Other boys’ teams qualifying were runner-up Leesburg Fairfield, Wheelersburg and Federal Hocking.

Besides Hacker, Ariel Schweickart was 10th with a 22:01.92 time She was followed by Maggie Thomas as No. 22 with a 23:27.19, No. 59 Shannon Walker with a 25:44.78 clocking, Hannah Cronacher at No. 74 with a 26:33.12 time, Kaylie Sturgill No. 78 at 26:51.41, and Ashton McMackin No. 84 with a 27:11.14 time.

Fairland’s team total was led by Sydney Petit with a 22:00.09 time to place eighth. Finished at 13 and 14, respectively, were Tori Hutchison at 22:20.56 and Megan Ashton at 22:20.90. Placing at No. 33 was Kennon Clarkson at 24:05.79 and Savanah Nelson had a 25:18.72 time to place No. 51.

The Lady Dragons’ other two runners were No. 73 Carrie Tanner at 26:25.94 and No.103 Carmen Webb at 28:28.30.

“The girls trained hard the entire season and earned the championship,” said Fairland coach Chuck Wentz whose team was without Mariah Chaffin, one of their top five overall runners. Chaffin sprained an ankle Friday night.

“The girls stepped up with one of their team members down and won the race.”

Coal Grove’s Sammi Stormes ran a 27:13.23 to finish at No. 83 while No. 110 Kim Short had a 29:57.94 time.

Qualifying in the girls’ meet besides Fairland and Ironton were North Adams and Westfall.

Fairland’s boys tied with Sheridan for second place behind cross country power Unioto with 47 points. Fairland and Sheridan had 110 points while fourth place Circleville finished with 164 points as they advance to the regional meet in Troy.

Fairland’s runners all finished among the top 66 places with Tanner Mattie fourth at 17:23.40 and Raine Wireman fifth with a 17:24.26 time.

No. 17 was Ryan Stewart with an18:02.24 time, No. 26 Chad McComas at 18:51.52, No. 59 Logan Rowe at 19:59.89, No. 63 Dylan Hannon at 20:04.84 and No. 66 Robbie Hinshaw at 20:08.74.

“The boys did not have their best race, but they were still able to achieve the goal of placing at the districts and moving on to the regionals,” said Wentz. “They have had a great season and want to continue running as long as they can.”

Rock Hill’s Austin Smith was No. 63 with a 20:02.42 time and Christian Rudmann was No. 115 at 22:35.38.

The South Point Pointers had five runners led by John Archambault at No. 75 with a 20:22.06 time. He was followed by No. 119 Dakota Wilburn at 22:48.57, No. 149 Dustin Boggs at 28:45.37, No. 152 Brandon Conley at 31:26:34 and No. 153 Tyler Payne at 33:30.91.

In Div. III District 2, Coal Grove Hornets’ junior Jacob Pauley finished 10th with an 18:36.36 time to earn a berth in the regional meet. Teammate Cody Melvin ran a 22:37.32 time.