By Mark Altstaetter – email@example.com
For many area high school cross country runners, Saturday marked the “second season” as district meets took place around the state.
The top 16 overall finishers, as well as the top four teams in each district race advance to next Saturday’s regional tournament at Tiffin’s Hedges-Boyer Park. Then, the top 16 placers and top four teams at Tiffin will compete at the state tournament at National Trail Raceway in Hebron on Nov. 7.
Lima Central Catholic sophomore Emily Sreenan stamped her ticket to next Saturday’s Division III regional meet at Tiffin, as she won the district title Saturday at the Division III, District 2 meet at Ottawa’s Memorial Park.
There were two D-III districts and one D-II district, at Ottawa on Saturday.
Sreenan got out to an early lead in her race and was never challenged as she won in a time of 19 minutes, 22.6 seconds on the 5,000-meter course.
Holgate’s Emma Willett and Gabbi Willett were close behind Sreenan, finishing second and third, respectively.
“In the first mile, she (Holgate’s Emma Willett, second) was pushing me pretty hard,” Sreenan said. “I don’t know what my time was, but I was flying in the first mile. Then, she kind of dropped off a little bit. Then after that, I didn’t have anybody pushing me.”
Sreenan, who finished ninth at last year’s state meet as a freshman, looks at each race she competes in as an opportunity to prove herself.
“I always like to win the race. I think it’s important to have a confidence booster like that. This is really helpful before going to the state meet,” Sreenan said.
The toop LCC boys finisher was Brad Keating in a time of 19:31.