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Lady Tigers earn trip to regionals

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers' Maggie Thomas helped her team to a fourth place finish in the Division III district cross country meet and a berth in the regionals. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos.com)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

RIO GRANDE — The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers put together their best race of the season, and now they get to run some more.

The Lady Tigers finished fourth in the Division III district cross country meet on Saturday a the University of Rio Grande to qualify for the regional meet at Pickerington.

The top four teams and runners among the top 16 not on a qualifying team advance.

“I thought our girls ran their best races of the year even if it wasn’t their best times,” said Ironton coach Tim Thomas.

“The course was kind of soft and you couldn’t get a hard push, so I thought they ran really well on a tough course.”

Reedsville Eastern had 39 points to win the meet followed by Wheelersburg with 69, Trimble 94 and Ironton had 95 points to easily outdistance fifth place Paint Valley with 147 points.

Ironton had five runners among the top 26 to get its point total and advance to the regional meet for the second straight year.

Ariel Schweickart ran a 22:13.96 to place No. 7 and lead the Ironton group. Maggie Thomas had a 23:16.03 time and was No. 14.

Brooklyn Shope was No. 23 wit a 24:57.74 time, Shannon Walker had a 25:03.05 clocking to finish No. 25 and one spot back was Hannah Cronacher with a 25:10.47 time.

Also for Ironton was Kaylie Sturgill who was No. 33 with a 25:34.64 time and Ashton McMackin was No. 53 at 28:50.69.

Other team scores had Whiteoak with 153, Oak Hill 168, South Webster 170, Coal Grove 220, Manchester 222 and Adena 283.

Tori Holmes and Katey Erwin were No. 30 and 31, respectively, as they ran 25:28.15 and 25:28.68.

Sami Stormes was No. 44 with a 27:20.23 time, Kim Short No. 54 at 28:52.47, Morgan Sites No. 61 at 31:14.03 and Leah Crum No. 62 at 31:16.57.

In the boys meet, Ironton was ninth with 207 points.

Tyler Lawless was 19th to lead Ironton as he ran the course in 19:36.56. Levi Runyon was No. 24 with a 20:01.32 clocking, Sean Lawless was No. 53 at 24:11.81, Cody Gee No. 55 at 26:05.19 and Joel Utsinger was No. 56 with a 28:18.72 time.

Coal Grove was paced by Jacob Pauley who ran a 19:50.18 to place No. 24. James Kazee was No. 31 at 20:39.56 and Wyatt Schultz ran 21:25.76 to place No. 44.

Wheelersburg won the meet with 42 points followed by Belpre with 88, South Webster 90, Portsmouth Clay 101, Paint Valley 107, Lynchburg-Clay 120, Trimble 179 and Crooksville 188.

In the Division III District 1 meet, Rock Hill’s Aaron Dalton qualified for the regional meet as he finished 10th with an 18:52.66 time.

Austin Smith of Rock Hill was No. 23 at 19:44.37, Dustin Akers was No. 50 at 22:59.82, Christian Rudmann No. 52 with a 23:11.5 time and Bryce Kelly ran a 24:33.50 to finish No. 65.

Teams may enter up to seven runners and the top five finishers are counted. A team may enter less than five runners but that team is not eligible for the team title and may only qualify individuals for the regional meet.