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16 local runners ready to compete for state berth

Even for those who have been there, getting back to the state cross country meet doesn’t make the final qualifying race any easier.

Jackson-Riverside

Riverside’s Ella Jackson, above, and West Liberty-Salem’s Charlie Williams and Michael Lehman, front page photo, are three of the 16 local runners that will compete in the regional meet Saturday in Troy. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTOS | AARON LaBATT)

While some of our area runners have already experienced the biggest meet of the season, others are hoping to get there for the first time this weekend when they compete at the regional meet Saturday at Troy Stadium.

The West Liberty-Salem’s girls team and Riverside junior Ella Jackson compete in the Division III race at 11 a.m., the Tiger boys battle in their Division III race at 1:30 p.m. and Bellefontaine junior Ryan Dunn competes in the Division II boys race at 2:15 p.m.

The top four teams and any other runner finishing in the top 16 advances to the state meet next week at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

For WL-Salem’s boys, regional weekend has been an emotional and dramatic time. The Tigers qualified to the state meet the past two seasons and a third consecutive trip is the ultimate prize.

“Our goal for this weekend is just to be in that top four to qualify,” said WL-Salem boys head coach Mike Louden. “The difference this year with our team is that a lot of our guys in our top seven have not been to the postseason and have not been in this position. They are the ones who have been in the background and now have an opportunity. They have done an unbelievable job, though, and are running their best at the most important time of the year.”

For the full story and Complete DIV III CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Bellefontaine ExaminerCLICK HERE to subscribe.

 

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