YOUNGSTOWN - Seneca East coach Doug Mason didn't go overboard in his praise of his team after its regional meet Saturday.
Sure, the Tigers will get the opportunity to defend their Division III crown next week at the state meet, having finished second to Maplewood, 82-86. Seneca East advanced as a team with the finish, and Mason already was looking ahead.
"Overall our kids had a good day, but not a great day," he said. "Finishing second to the No. 1 team in the state [Maplewood] shows we are in position to make a run for the state title next week."
Jared Stockmaster was the Tigers' best runner, finishing fifth in 16:31.16. Jason Willman, competing for the first time in more than a month due to injury, finished ninth in 16:46.93. SE's Wes Pipher was right behind Willman in 16:47.04.
Carson Pipher took 15th in 16:53.17, meaning that four of the Tigers would have qualified individually anyway.
"It was nice to see our top four runners qualify as individuals in the toughest region in the state," Mason said. "The only disappointment of the weekend was being the best team in northwest Ohio and not being able to represent them at the Tiffin regional race."
Michael Szabo finished 59th for Seneca East in 17:55.94.
"Looking ahead to state we hope to have a good week of practice, stay healthy and see if we can come out on top next weekend," Mason said.