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Bobcats earn trip to regional XC meet

The Green Bobcats’ cross country team qualified for the Division III regional tournament by finishing fifth at last Saturday’s district meet. Team members are James Hallam, Zach Huffman, Tanner Kimbler, Tayte Carver and Ethan Huffman. (Photo Submitted)

Jim Walker

RIO GRANDE — Paul McCartney and Wings might offer the Green Bobcats their theme song, “Band On The Run.”
The Bobcats cross country team will continue its running this season after qualifying for the regional tournament.
The team of James Hallam, Zach Huffman, Tanner Kimbler, Tayte Carver and Ethan Huffman finished fifth out of 32 teams in Division III district meet on Saturday to earn a trip to the regional meet.
“The boys are an extremely special group. They work so hard on their own. I don’t even have to coach them,” said Green veteran head coach Randy Smith.
“They are self-motivated and really encourage one another. If someone is down, the others step up and help get them to the finish. I am very lucky to work with such wonderful kids.”
Not only did the Bobcats qualify for the regional meet, they also won their second Southern Ohio Conference cross country championship. Green — second last year — only began its cross country program three years ago.
The top six teams and individuals among the top 24 runners not on a qualifying team advance to the regional meet.
Leesburg Fairfield had 35 points to win the district meet followed by Trimble with 86, Minford 125, Belpre 139 and Green with 183.
Ironton placed 12th in the field with a 356 total and Symmes Valley came in at No. 20 with 504 points.
Hallam was No. 27 overall with an 18:28.14 time. Huffman was 33rd at 18:53.94, Tanner Kimbler 34 with 18:54.54, Huffman No. 47 at 19:43.27 and Tayte Carver at 72 with at 20:25.69.
Ironton was led by Matt Murnahan who was 65th overall among 162 runners with a 20:07.36 time.
Ben Chapman was three spots back at 20:14.77 followed by Quay Harrison at 21:17.88, Wesley Monroe with a 21:22.19 time, Connor Ramey 21:22.53, Trent Hacker 21:22.76 and Jacob Thompson had a 21:38.51 time.
Thompson is the lone senior for Ironton.
Gabe Smith led the Vikings with a 20:08.15. Drew Scherer was next at 21:44.46, Brady Shepherd ran 22:15.48, Skyler Vassar 24:32.09 and Tanner Sites 29:46.90. Also running were Hunter Shepherd at 31:11.65 and Nathan Moore at 33:50.36.
Coal Grove’s Dylan French ran a 20:07.36 time and was 64th. Colton Kuhn ran a 22:07.55 and Luke Ferguson 22:34.75.
The regional meet is at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Pickerington North High School.