By Rob Kiser
HEBRON — As always there were mixed emotions after the D-III girls state cross country meet, where Carly Shell led Covington to a ninth-place finish and was the top local finisher with a 23rd-place finish in 19:24.58, while Russia led local team finishers with a sixth-place finish.
“As far as the team goes, I feel like we did pretty well,” Shell said. “As for myself, I really wanted to get down in the 18s, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”
The reality was sinking in for Shell that she had just run her final high school race.
“I am glad it was at state,” Shell said as she fought back tears. “But, it is tough.”
Covington finished in ninth with 205 points.
The rest of the Bucc runners included Paige Boehringer, 57, 20”12.8; Ashlyn Plessinger, 61, 20:16.4; Anna Dunn, 67, 20”24.6; Kelsey Dysinger, 110, 21:41.6; Julianna Yingst, 119, 22:12.7; and Emma Dammeyer, 129, 22:46.9.
Russia finished fifth with a 186 score.
The Lady Raiders were led by seniors Lauren Heaton and Mollay Kearns, both running at state for the fourth time.
Heaton was 28th in 19:31.4.
“I ran a PR, so that is all you can ask,” Heaton said. “It feels good to have been at state all four years. I feel like I did (went out giving her all) which feels good. As far as the team goes, you can only do what you can do.”
Kearns was 39th in 19:48.9.
“It is nice to know I ran at state all four years,” Kearns said. “It is kind of a weird feeling right now. You are always talking about the next race and now there isn’t a next race.”
The rest of the Lady Raiders included Anna Fiessinger, 60, 20:16.3; Megan Frazier, 74, 20:35.0; Shae Goubeaux, 87, 20:54.6; Claire Meyer, 92, 20:57.8; and Becky Pinchot, 107, 21:29.1.
Miami East finished 16th with a 343 total.
Lady Viking runners included Lorenza Savini, 76, 20:37.4; Marie Ewing, 90, 20:54.8; Lindsey Yingst, 96, 21:01.7; Sami Sands, 113, 21:57.5; Kaitlyn Mack, 115, 22:01.5; Emily Hawkins, 142, 24:57.7; and Abby Bollinger, 143, 27:04.7.
Bradford freshman Karmen Knapp continued to make history, following her state qualifying performance at regionals with another strong race.
Knepp finished 35th in 19:43.2.
“I think I did pretty good for where I am, you know, grade-wise and everything and how I came into the race and my PR and everything,” the freshman said. “There was a ton of screaming, people trying to motivate their runners,” Knepp said. “I don’t think there was one spot where I didn’t hear somebody screaming. It was really cool.”
Lehman junior Jenna Zimmerman was making her second appearance at state, but was unable to finish the race.
In the boys D-III race, it was the end for Russia’s Caleb Ball and the beginning for Miami East’s Gavin Horne.
And both had a lot to feel good about.
Ball, running at state for the fourth and final time, finished 27th in 16:31.6.
Horne, a freshman, made his state debut and more than held his own, taking 55th in 16:57.4.
In the boyd D-II race, Versailles sophomore Joey Spitzer finished off an outstanding season.
Spitzer finished 37th in 16:34.7.