Chloe Dawson and Bailey Kreft nabbed All-Region honors, finishing ninth and 24th, respectively, to lead the Buckeye Valley girls cross country team to a fifth-place showing at Saturday’s Division II regional championship at Pickerington North.
With the effort, the Barons advance to their sixth state championship appearance, a feat they accomplished each of the last four years after previously pulling it off in 2004 and 2005. This year’s state showcase will be held at Fortress Obetz for the first time. The girls’ D-II race is slated for a 1 p.m. start.
Dawson and Kreft, part of the most successful senior class in program history, crossed the finish line in respective times of 19:42 and 20:22.
Other Buckeye Valley contributors included Ashley Beatty (36th in 20:50.4), Jia Radloff (52nd in 21:17.8), Macayla Krantz (108th in 22:52.1) and Chloe Maynard (141st in 24:33.3).
Granville won the regional title with a team score of 60 while Minerva (83) and Bexley (93) smoothed out the top three.
Olentangy Liberty finished seventh as a team in the Division I race. Olentangy Orange closed close behind in ninth while Olentangy Berlin finished 16th among the 17 teams in action.
The Pioneers’ Mairin O’Brien and the Patriots’ Julia Bockenstette, both freshmen, led all area runners. O’Brien closed 23rd among individuals in 19:58.9 while Bockenstette was 24th in 20:04.4.
Ava Vaught led Berlin, finishing 45th in 20:33.7.
Olentangy’s Cara Wilson was also in action. The senior finished her career with a 63rd-place finish (20:55.7).
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Olentangy Orange senior Jake Ethridge finished 18th at Saturday’s Division I regional championship in Pickerington, crossing the finish line in 16:35.3 to punch a ticket to this weekend’s state showcase at Fortress Obetz.
The Pioneers, who also got steady showings from Saketh Rudraraju (33rd in 16:54.8) and Bryan King (42nd in 17:14.1), finished seventh as a team.
Olentangy Berlin, Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty also competed, seeing solid seasons come to a close with respective regional finishes of 13th, 15th and 16th.
Corey Rinehart led the Bears, finishing 26th overall in 16:50.4; Jackson Shultz boosted the Braves, closing 50th in 17:19.1; and Tanner Sutton powered the Patriots, crossing the line 53rd in 17:22.2.
In D-II action, Buckeye Valley sophomore Liam George competed as an individual. He finished 39th overall with a time of 17:34.2 — 11 places and 19 seconds away from earning a trip to the state meet.