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Ashton glad she can run another 4 years

Fairland Lady Dragons’ senior cross country runner Megan Ashton signed a letter-of-intent to run for Shawnee State University next fall. Attending the ceremony were: seated from left, mother Leslea Ashton, Megan, and father Jess Ashton; standin from left, Shawnee State assistant coach Chuckie Wentz and head coach Eric Putnam, and Fairland head coach Chuck Wentz. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker



PROCTORVILLE — Megan Ashton has been running for six years. She can think of nothing better than to run another four.

Ashton completed her high school cross country career this past fall, but she earned an extension on her running career by signing a letter-of-intent with the Shawnee State Bears.

“It’s a lot of fun. I’m glad I get to do it for four more years,” said Ashton.

After her sixth grade year, Ashton said her father, Jess, talked to her about running. After giving it some thought, she decided to try.

“I started running in the summer after my sixth grade year. My dad ran when he was young and he encouraged me to try it and I loved it,” said Ashton.

Not only did she take up running cross country and distance races in track, but her younger sister Shanan also runs.

“I don’t know that I was the reason she ran. We are competitors during our races, but obviously we’re friends off the course,” said Ashton with a laugh.

Shawnee State was among several schools Ashton considered including Rio Grande, Ohio Northern and Heidelberg.

Ashton said her familiarity with Shawnee State had the most influence in her choice.

“I know a lot of their runners and they enjoy their program and I’m hoping it works out,” said Ashton.

Running at the college level will be harder than high school, but hard work is nothing new to Ashton who runs an average of six miles a day during the season. She said she runs every other day during the off-season.

“The easiest day is three miles and the hardest day is nine which is on Sundays,” said Ashton.

Fairland head coach Chuck Wentz said Ashton was a key reason for the Lady Dragons’ success of winning three district titles, one regional and earning a state berth last fall.

“Megan made a decision she wanted her senior year to be special and she wanted to break the 20-minute barrier,” said Wentz. “She accomplished that and made everyone around her better at the same time.”

Ashton said reaching the state cross country meet was a dream come true.

“The biggest accomplishment was going to the state this year. That was our goal every year and to do it my senior year was pretty awesome,” said Ashton.

She plans to major in nursing and understands the demands of both her academic and athletic fields.

“The coach said they have other girls in nursing and it’s worked out pretty well. You might have to run on your own, but that’s okay,” said Ashton.