By Garth Shanklin
Two different meets in two different cities on opposite sides of the state of Ohio Saturday shared one thing in common: a local runner’s triumph and advancement to the state meet.
In Troy, several local runners took to the course looking to continue their season. Bethel sophomore Jackson Coates saw his run end in the Boys Division II meet, however, as his time of 16:52.5 placed him 25th, just 20 seconds off the final qualifying runner’s time of 16:32.8.
Felicity’s Jared Boeckmann, however, fared much better. Boeckmann finished behind Coates at the Southern Buckeye Conference meet in Goshen earlier this month, but a solid 10th-place finish at the regional meet will allow him to race in the state competition. Boeckman’s time of 16:40.0 was just six-tenths of a second faster than Miami East’s Gavin Horne, who also qualified for the state meet.
Georgetown’s Chris Dietrick also participated in the Division III meet at Troy, clocking a time of 18:11.0 to finish 73rd out of 132 participants.
Kelsey Miller also represented Georgetown in the regional championships. Her time of 22:54.8 placed her 91st out of the 123 runners in the meet.
Meanwhile, at Pickerington North High School, the Eastern Warriors boys’ and girls’ squads were looking to advance in their regional meet as well.
The Lady Warriors finished 15th out of 16 teams, led by Rebekah Ellis’ 22:29.4, which put her in 60th position. Teammate Allison Day clocked a 23:20.1 to finish 82nd for the Lady Warriors.
Blake Rigdon led the boys’ team, placing 13th overall with a time of 16:50.9. For perspective, race winner Aaron Wood from Fisher Catholic clocked a 16:10.3. Teammate Logan Lainhart came in 51st for the Warriors, posting a time of 18:07.8. Garyn Purdy finished just behind Lainhart, clocking a 18:09.1 and finishing 54th.
Rigdon’s effort moves him on to the state competition. He and Boeckmann are both scheduled to race in the Division III event, which is expected to begin around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter @GNDShanklin.