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On Tap - State Cross Country

October 31, 2010 - Al Stephenson
The regional cross country meets were held yesterday and local runners will be very much in evidence in Columbus next weekend. For the first time in school history the New Riegel boys team will be in attendance as the Jackets will be traversing the course at Scioto Downs. Hopewell Loudon's boys got a great effort from their sixth runner as an injury knocked out one of their best runners. The Chieftains will be on site next Saturday as well. Having two local boys teams is outstanding.

The Seneca East girls will be giving retiring coach Jeff Phillips one more taste of state competition as they qualified as a team. One more person that will make the trek to the racetrack is Mohawk's Drew Trusty. The young man had to travel all the way to Youngstown for his regional. He could have jogged to Hedges and then ran the race, but as is the case sometimes, he was sent half way across the state. He made the most of his opportunity there as he won the race. Look for him to be near the front of the field in Columbus.

I have two nephews in the Gibsonburg school system. They are in the fifth and third grades and are running cross country. When I watch them compete, I remember my own cross country career. The boys run anywhere from a half mile to one mile depending on the race. Recently they went to the Columbus area to run and the race was a full two miles. That's where my story comes in.

When I entered high school in the fall of 1964 (hey, I know I'm old - quit counting) freshmen were ineligible to run cross country. The distance then was two miles and someone felt two miles was too far for freshmen to run. Now elementary kids are running that distance. I guess times have changed.

The view from my seat suggests that making the trek to Columbus to watch the state cross country meet would be worth it. Rooting for local kids is always fun. If you go though, keep in mind that watching a cross country meets involves doing a little running yourself as you try to find good viewing spots.

My suggestion is to wear your running shoes.


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