By Rob Kiser
COVINGTON — There is nothing Paige Boehringer would have liked more than for her Covington team to make a third straight trip to the state cross country meet.
Instead, the junior will run as an individual after finishing 11th at the regional Saturday in 20:32.6. The D-III girls race kicks things off at 11 a.m. at National Trail Raceway.
“Going to the state with the team — that was eight girls and it was a lot of fun,” Boehringer said. “But, it will be interesting to go as individual. We will see what that is like.”
Covington coach Josh Long said the transition will be an easy one for Boehringer.
“Paige (Boehringer) has run over there at the state with the team the last two years,” Long said. “She knows the atmosphere (of a state meet) and the course. I think she will be fine (running as an individual).”
Boehringer knew what she had to do on Saturday.
“That was a big goal (to get in the top 16 at regionals),” Boehringer said. “I wanted to guarantee myself a spot at state. And I knew the higher I finished, the better the chance the team had of making it. I have run at state before and I know the course.”
And she is familiar with a lot of the runners.
“The Houston girl (Hollie Voisard) will be there,” she said. “And the Russia girls are there. So there are a lot of girls there I can pace myself with.”
Long said at this point in the season, his focus is the same — whether it is with a team or an individual.
“When, we get to this point in the season, I always tell them the same thing,” Long said. “Go out, have fun and enjoy the experience. That is what it is about.”
Horne is making his third straight trip to the state cross country meet.
He will compete in the D-II boys race at 2:15 p.m. after running in the Division III race as a freshman and sophomore.
After finishing ninth at the regional Saturday in 16:46, Horne is looking for his best finish at state despite stepping up a division this year.
Horne finished 55th as a freshman at state in 16:57.4; and finished 59th as a sophomore in 16:56.9.
The Russia girls will be making their sixth straight trip to the state cross country meet after finishing fourth at the Troy regional Saturday.
“Definitely (you don’t want to be the team that ends the streak),” Claire Meyer said. “I think if we can finish in the top 10 teams (at state), that would be pretty good.”
Russia was led by two top ten finishes at the regional meet.
Senior Megan Frazier was sixth in the 20:11; and freshman Becca Seger was ninth in 20:28.
“I think a top 10 finish (as a team) would be good,” Frazier said. “I think being All-Ohio (top 25) would be a good goal for me. I have finished as high as 30th (at state).”
Seger is looking to put a stamp on an impressive freshman season.
“I don’t know,” Seger said. “It is just exciting to be running at state.”
Junior Meyer was 26th at the regional in 21:13, while junior Anna Fiessinger was 46th in 21:59. Fiessinger knew it would be a battle with Covington for the fourth spot at the regional.
“I was kind of surprised by far we finished ahead of Covington,” she said. “We have been there every year, so you don’t want that to end. We know the course and are familiar with things over there. I think the goal is to be in the top 10 (teams). That would be pretty good.”
Russia coach Doug Foster agreed.
“I felt like we were a top four team in the regional at the beginning of the year,” he said. “We just hadn’t really showed it (until the regional meet). All-Ohio is a good goal for both Megan (Frazier) and Becca (Seger). The girls have worked hard. When, you look at it, there are some really good teams. I think we can finish in the top 10 if we run well.”
Sophomore Clare Caldwell was the fifth runner at the regional meet for Russia, taking 56th in 22:24. Senior Becky Pinchot was 82nd in 23:56.2 and junior Emma DeLaet was 84th in 24:14.13.
“Clare (Caldwell) really stepped up at the regional meet,” Foster said. “She had been running in a lot of pain. She thought it was a stress fracture. When she found it wasn’t, I think that relieved her and I think that allowed her to run really well. This will be our sixth straight trip to state and it is nice to be going back.”
With high hopes of a top-10 finish.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.