Prep cross country: Fort boys XC team going to state meet

PICKERINGTON – Both the Fort Frye and Caldwell boys’ cross country teams extended its season one more week.

The Alana Cunningham-coached Cadets and Dugan Hill-led Redskins finished second and fourth, respectively, in the Region 11, Division III tournament at Pickerington North this past Saturday to qualify for this upcoming Saturday’s OHSAA Cross Country Championships at National trail Raceway in Hebron.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t catch (first-place) Garaway,” Cunningham said. “But we’re excited to be going back to state. I’m hoping to come back with some All-Ohioans.

In regional XC competition, only the top four teams and those individual runners who finish in the top 16 advance to state.

Fort Frye, which also qualified for state last year, was paced by Jon Anderson, who finished runner-up in a clocking of 16 minutes, 29.43 seconds. The other four Cadets who figured in the team scoring were Jordan Anderson (16:47.34), Matthew Cheesman (17:04.13), Ford McElroy (17:19.14, and Matthew Roush (18:07.42). Also running were Quintin Webb (19:18.47) and Cameron Hupp (20:59.91).

“Times for all teams were at least 20 seconds slow due to the high winds and cold tempratures,” Cunningham said.

Tanner Harding led Caldwell with a fifth-place finish in a time of 16:37.20. He will be joined at state by teammates’ and regional scorers’ Jonathan Niswonger (17:32.92), Alex Gregg (18:07.02), Matt Zwick (18:09.55), and Benton Parmiter (18:10.74).

Also running for CHS were Calvin Parmiter (18:21.42) and Sean Whetstone (18:47.43).

Waterford’s Eli Strahler (17:20.51) and Belpre’s Cray Sistrunk (17:34.14) each came up short as a state qualifier, finishing 18th and 22nd, respectively.

On the girls’ side in Division III, Fort Frye’s Mary Kate McElroy and Caldwell’s Jenna Furr each earned an individual berth at state.

McElroy placed eighth overall in 19:50,71, while Furr was 10th in 1955.51.

While the Debbie Proctor-coached Warren boys were hoping to qualify as a team in Region 7, Division II at Pickerington North, that did not occur.

However, two Warrior runners – Parker Blain and Sam Goodman – will be competing in Hebron, thanks to a top 16 finish.

Blain, who was under the weather, was fourth overall in 16:54.39, and Goodman was 12th in 17:04.07.

Brent Ash just missed with an 18th-place finish in 17:18.80.

“Brent was so disappointed that he didn’t qualify for state,” Proctor said, “but he’s only a sophomore, and he’ll be back next year.”

Warren was racing in what the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches considered the state’s toughest region as four of the teams were voted in the top seven of the organization’s pre-regional poll.