FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY: Fayette senior Darrell Randall turned in his best regional time ever Saturday at Tiffin—in fact, his best time anywhere—to place sixth and qualify for the state meet one final time.
Randall will take his third straight trip to Scioto Downs on the south side of Columbus for one last attempt at achieving all-state honors. The Division III boys race kicks off the tournament at 11:05 a.m.
Randall turned in a 16:23 Saturday, a vast improvement over last year’s regional run.
“He looked a lot better,” coach Bryan Stambaugh said. “His goal was 16:10 and if he can do that Saturday, he should be on podium.”
There’s room for only 16 runners on the all-state podium.
“With his strong showing Saturday, I feel pretty confident he can do it,” Stambaugh said. “I’ve never seen him as focused as he is this year.”
Since Sept. 18, Randall won every race he competed in through districts, Stambaugh said, and he has one last opportunity to move up.
A lot depends on how the competition runs. Four Div. III athletes finished under 16 minutes around the state.
Stambaugh said his boys team ran well at regionals, showing strong improvement from a year ago. Tim Stoltzfus and Tyler Keefer both shaved a minute off their regional run in 2009.
Trevor Cox placed 65th at 17:42, followed by Stoltzfus (91st, 18:21), Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (104th, 18:35), Keefer (111th, 18:50), Dusty Lantz (121st, 19:38) and Clay Burkholder (126th, 20:11). Hunter Colegrove didn’t compete due to an ankle injury.
Delta won the meet with an average team time of 16:37. Fayette placed 14th, averaging 17:58—down from 19:03 last year.
Sophomore Melani Seiler turned in her career best, but that wasn’t good enough in the touch regional competition. Her 20:16 was good for 22nd place.
Fourteen runners completed the race in under 20 minutes, and only the top 16 advance. Ottoville’s Shayla Siefker was the regional champion at 19:09.
“I was disappointed that she didn’t advance,” Coach Stambaugh said, “but I was glad to see her have a competitive day like Darrell had.”
Stambaugh said Seiler didn’t have the killer instinct at the start of the season, but he watched it develop after she beat Pettisville’s Tanner Hostetler the first time.
Even after she beat Hostetler a second time, Stambaugh told her, “I haven’t seen your best yet.”
Seiler was a distance runner last spring on the track team, Stambaugh said, and she’ll have to decide where she would like to compete next year.â¨
MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY:
It was a day of firsts for Morenci cross country teams.
Senior Tyler Guelde, competing for his first season, qualified for the state meet Saturday. Freshman Mariah Gillen did the same.
Guelde runs at 10 a.m.—the first race of the day Saturday at Michigan International Speedway—and Gillen’s run gets underway at 11 a.m.
Guelde placed seventh at the regional run and produced his best time on the Hudson course at 17:29.
“He looks to be peaking at the right time,” coach Brad Brown said.
Concord standout Spencer Nousain, a junior, won the race at 16:14, with the next closest competitor crossing the line at 16:41.
Based on regional times—run on nine different courses—Guelde stands at number 38, Brown said, so he’ll have to improve on his season best to qualify for all-state honors (top 30 runners).
“Just qualifying for the state is a great achievement,” Brown said.
Coach Brown figures Luke Spaulding would have qualified if had equalled his best of the season, but breathing problems held him back. Spaulding, a sophomore, finished 30th at 18:38.
His brother, Jake, took 43rd at 19:06, followed by senior Micah Gillen (47th, 19:22), junior Logan Drummond (63rd, 20:01) and freshman Reagan Stowell (69th, 20:24).
The Bulldogs finished seventh overall with an average time of 18:55. Concord won the regional title.
Mariah Gillen just barely made the top-15 cut for the state run. She was in 13th place coming down the final hill to the finish line when two runners passed her.
She isn’t a sprinter, Brown said, and she pushed hard to hold her 15th spot.
“That’s a good accomplishment for a freshman and it will be a good experience for her. I’m really happy for her. She worked hard to get in.”
Homer’s Amanda Reagle was the girls champion at 20:24.