PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Gallia Academy senior Sarah Watts and River Valley junior Lauren Twyman will be making return trips to the Division II state meet after advancing out of the 2020 OHSAA Regional Cross Country Championships held at Pickerington High School North in Fairfield County.
Both Watts and Twyman made their first-ever appearances at the OHSAA championships a year ago at National Trail Raceway, and the duo will be returning to the highest level of competition this Saturday — albeit for the first time at Fortress Obetz on the southeast side of Columbus.
Watts finished seventh overall in the D-2 girls race with a time of 19:39.7, while Twyman was 10th out of 171 competitors with a mark of 19:43.0.
Johnstown-Monroe freshman Reece Savage won the D-2 girls race with a time of 18:55.4.
Granville won the D-2 girls title with 60 points, with Minerva claiming runner-up honors in the 21-team field with 83 points.
Bexley (93), Jonathan Alder (130), Buckeye Valley (174), Athens (239) and Fredericktown (260) also qualified for state by rounding out the three through seven spots in Division II.
The Eastern girls team had its season come to an end after placing 16th out of 17 teams in the Division III girls competition. The Lady Eagles had nobody qualify for state individually and ended the event with a team score of 350 points.
Karey Schreckengost led EHS with a 78th place effort of 23:09.4, followed by Abby Guthrie (23:31.8) and Whitney Durst (23:48.7) with respective placements of 82nd and 93rd.
Alysa Howard was next in 110th with a mark of 24:19.0, while Hope Reed completed the team score by finishing 129th with a time of 26:48.8.
Millersport senior Emma DiYanni defeated 141 other athletes to win the D-3 girls race with a time of 19:25.5.
Mount Gilead won the D-3 regional title with 58 points, followed by Liberty Union with 122 points and Cardington-Lincoln with 169 points.
Caldwell (177) and Grandview Heights (183) rounded out the top five positions and also advanced to the D-3 state meet.
Two local athletes competed in the Division III boys race, but neither managed to reach the 20-person cutoff for advancement to state.
Eastern sophomore Brayden O’Brien was 24th overall with a time of 17:28.6, while South Gallia senior Garrett Frazee was 39th with a mark of 18:01.6.
Fredericktown senior Thomas Caputo defeated 123 other runners to win the D-3 boys race with a time of 16:18.8. Belpre senior Eli Fullerton (16:18.9) was the runner-up by one-tenth of a second.
Mount Gilead claimed the D-3 team title with 79 points, followed by Fredericktown (92), Fisher Catholic (115), Belpre (135) and Northmor (163) in the top five spots while qualifying for state.
The 2020 OHSAA Cross Country championships begin Saturday at 9 a.m. The Division II girls meet will begin at 1 p.m.
Visit baumspage.com for complete results of the 2020 Pickerington Regional meet held Saturday at Pickerington High School North.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.