Area standouts shine at regional cross country meet


By Ben Stroup - bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com



Olentangy Liberty’s Gracie Sprankle won an individual regional championship, Olentangy Orange’s Allison Guagenti nabbed runner-up honors and Sprankle’s teammate Emma Bower finished third to highlight Saturday’s Division I, Region 3 race in Pickerington.

The efforts were good enough to help the Patriot and Pioneer girls cross country teams qualify for the upcoming state meet as teams. Liberty finished third while Orange closed fifth to nab the final qualifying spot.

Spranke took the top spot with an effort of 18:04.25, Guagenti crossed the line second in 18:13.97 and Bower smoothed out the top three with an effort of 18:14.99.

Other Liberty standouts included Linnea Kunesh, who finished ninth in 18:47.77; and Audrey Piero, who closed 28th in 19:30.97.

Lindsay Ott, meanwhile, finished 19th in 19:10.36 and Zoe Bond crossed the line 24th in 19:16.62 to join Guagenti in the Pioneers’ top three.

Big Walnut’s Colbi Borland also made some noise, finishing 18th overall (19:07.10) to earn a trip to the state championship as an individual.

Region 7

Buckeye Valley was solid during Saturday’s Division II, Region 7 race in Pickerington, finishing fifth to earn the program’s third trip to the state championship meet.

The Barons were boosted by Ashley Beatty (36th in 20:36.35), Bailey Kreft (38th in 20:39.65), Chloe Dawson (40th in 20:41.78) and Chayse Arnhold (43rd in 20:43.50).

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Zach Kreft cruised to an individual regional crown, helping the Buckeye Valley boys cross country team qualify for states as a team for the second time ever.

Kreft won Saturday’s Division II, Region 7 race in Pickerington in 15:52 – a mark more than 15 seconds better than the one Sheridan’s Luke Brown posted to nab runner-up honors.

The Barons finished fourth as a team, with Bill Daily and Nathan Holst — who finished 27th and 28th in respective times of 16:59.22 and 16:59.65 — joining Kreft in the team’s top three.

Region 3

Olentangy Liberty advanced to the state showcase for the fifth time in seven years with a strong showing in Saturday’s Division I, Region 3 race in Pickerington.

The Patriots had five runners finish in the top 34 — Joseph Johnson III (21st in 16:31.40), Logan Boone (22nd in 16:34.41), Nick Irelan (29th in 16:44.14), Jack Humenay (33rd in 16:48.25) and Nicholas Anderson (34th in 16:48.56).

Olentangy Orange’s Tommy Wintering also punched a ticket to the upcoming state meet, finishing 19th overall in 16:25.73.

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By Ben Stroup

bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com