After narrowly missing out on a team trip to the state cross country meet last season, the Blue Angels traveled to Pickerington over the weekend determined to punch a return ticket to state competition.
Gallia Academy put together a fourth place finish in the Division II Regional CC Championships held Saturday on the campus of Pickerington North High School to earn its third trip to the state meet in the past four years.
Saturday’s fourth place run continues a very successful 2008 campaign that already includes a conference and district championship to their credit.
Along with GAHS, three other teams from Division II punched a ticket to the state meet led by DII girls champion Johnstown-Monroe who finished Saturday’s competition with 102 points.
Just behind Johnstown-Monroe was runner-up St. Clairsville with 123 points, followed Canal Winchester with 128 points and Gallia Academy with 132 points.
Along with finishing fourth as a team, the Blue Angels also boasted the top overall individual finisher in the girls’ D2 race with GAHS freshman Peyton Adkins dominating the competition with a time of 18:56.27. Adkins had the only sub-19 time in the race and won by over six minutes for her second consecutive postseason victory.
Senior Lauren Adkins was next for Gallia Academy, placing 11th with a time of 19:52.44. Teammate McKenna Warner was next in 48th on a time of 21:10.46 while Lee Ann Townsend (21:22.63) and Genna Baker (21:25.87) finished in 57th and 58th, respectively.
Kayla Harrison (25:12.14) and Katie Dunlap (26:02.76) rounded out the scoring for the Angels with respective finishes of 126th and 130th.
Saturday’s finish was especially bittersweet for seniors Lauren Adkins and Lee Ann Townsend who will finish up their cross country careers with their third team trip to the state meet. Individually, Adkins will be making her fourth trip, placing 114th at last year’s meet.
GAHS recorded its highest ever team finish in 2005, taking 12th, and followed that up with a 13th place finish in 2007.
Gallia Academy will now prepare for state competition Saturday at Scioto Downs in Columbus. Saturday’s Division II girls race is scheduled to begin at 2:05 p.m.
In Saturday’s Division III girls race, Newark Catholic placed first as a team with 133 points, followed by Galion Northmor (144), Sugarcreek Garaway (147) and Magnolia Sandy Valley (148).
Individually, Stephanie Morgan finished first overall on a time of 18:21.09.
Locally, Eastern sophomore Emeri Connery finished in 49th place on a time of 21:45.83 to wrap up the season for the Eagles.
Eastern’s other competitor, senior Keith Aeiker, placed 73rd in the Division III boys race on a time of 18:24.32 while Southern senior Kyle Goode turned in a solid performance for the Tornadoes with a 33rd place finish on a time of 17:42.25.
The overall winner in the D3 boys race was Isaac Potes of Fredericktown who completed the course on a time of 16:04.41.
Bellaire St. John Central finished first in the team race with a dominating 45 points. In second place was Fredericktown (118) while Col. Grandview Heights (132) and Magnolia Sandy Valley (139) also earned a trip to state competition.