TIFFIN — It all comes down to the postseason for most cross country runners.
At Saturday’s regional meet at Tiffin, many local runners stamped their tickets to next Saturday’s state cross country meet at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
The top four teams in each division, as well as the top 16 individual finishers qualify for the state meet.
The Coldwater girls team won the Division III regional title, slipping past Liberty Center 52-61. Liberty-Benton finished third (117), while Spencerville was fourth (170).
Coldwater’s Sarah Kanney pulled away early and won in a time of 18 minutes, 33.06 seconds. Toledo Christian’s Delainey Phelps put on a surge toward the end of the race, finishing second in 18:41.06.
“I just wanted to get out in my race and maintain what I had,” Kanney said. “I knew if I could surge through that second mile, then I knew I could finish pretty strong. The plan was to get out in the race and have the confidence of being able to hang in there.”
The rest of Coldwater’s squad included Jill Kanney (fourth, 19:19.33); Christina Seas (eighth, 19:58.54); Lauren Seas (10th, 20:11.32); Ashley Schoenherr (40th, 21:23.50); Stephanie Honigford (21:52.68) and Megan Kinninger (22:41.93).
Coldwater finished second to Liberty Center at last year’s state meet after defeating them at the regional meet.
“They ran phenomenal and they knew what they needed to do,” Coldwater coach Marty Schoenherr said about his team. “Liberty Center was here and they’re going to be tough competition next week, too. We’ve put a lot of work in and we’re where we need to be.”
Other local girls in Division III to advance to next Saturday’s state meet were Kalida’s Jessica Doepker (ninth, 20:02.15) and Katelyn Siebeneck (14th, 20:26.10).
In the Division III boys race, Seneca East took the team title with 50 points. Minster finished second (79) and St. Henry was third (104). Columbus Grove finished fourth (106) to advance.
Jake Graham led the way for Columbus Grove, pulling away from the pack after the second mile en route to a winning time of 16:18.03. Minster’s Dominic Slonkosky was second in 16:34.60.
“I thought they (the rest of the pack) would get out fast,” Graham said. “So, I just drafted the first two miles. The second time around, when we crossed by the bridge, that’s when I started to push it.”
The rest of Columbus Grove’s pack included Colton Grothaus (16:53.64); Alex Shafer (16:56.62); Grant Schroeder (17:24.11); Jerry Kesselmeyer (18:06.24); Logan Douglas (18:08.51) and Nick Schmiesing (18:32.58).
Other locals qualifying for the state meet include Coldwater’s Jon Wenning (fifth, 16:42.41) and Crestview’s Mycah Grandstaff (11th, 16:48.37).
In Division II, Van Wert’s Jared Fleming won the race in 15:57.31. Fleming was chasing down Defiance’s Abel Flores late in the race. And with about 200 meters to go, Fleming kicked it in, sprinting past Flores down the stretch for the victory.
“At (the) WBL (meet), he went with me through the first mile,” Fleming said. “Then he made his move and I didn’t cover it. Coming into today, I knew where he liked to go. He doesn’t go sub-five minute (first mile) like he used to. When he went after the mile, I was able to go with him. He went again with about a mile to go. I just tried to stay with him. I knew I had a kick. When I knew I had 800 meters left, I knew it was my race.”
As a team, Van Wert finished fifth and did not advance. However, teammates Kase Schalois (ninth, 16:29.09) and Connor Holliday (14th, 16:37.81) both advanced to the state meet.
Defiance tied for third place with Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. However, Defiance was awarded a third-place finish based on the sixth-man finish.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Matias Trampe-Kindt finished 16th (16:42.05) to qualify for the state meet.
In the girls Division II race, Van Wert had the best local performance, finishing eighth. Van Wert’s Andrea Foster and Shawnee’s Molly Scott were the only two local state qualifiers, finishing 15th and 16th, respectively.
BOARDMAN REGIONAL (YOUNGSTOWN)
Lima Central Catholic’s Scott Willeke was the lone state qualifier out of Boardman in Division III, finishing in 12th place (16:53.99).
The Minster girls took first in Division III, slipping past second-place Russia, 65-69.
All five of Minster’s scorers finished in the top 20 overall. Hannah Butler led Minster with an eighth-place finish (19:59.27).