Emma Wise

Lexington's Emma Wise, Shelby's Kayla Gonzales and Lexington's Elyana Weaver lead the pack during the Division II girls race at the state cross country meet Saturday at Fortress Obetz.

OBETZ — Lexington’s four-year reign came to an end, but the pieces are in place for a return to prominence.

Emma Wise finished 10th overall in 18 minutes, 36 seconds and teammate Alyana Weaver was 26th in 19:08.1 as Lady Lex placed eighth in the Division II girls race at Saturday’s state cross country meet at Fortress Obetz.

Lexington finished with a team score of 215. Shelby was 15th with a score of 356.

Wise, Weaver and Shelby’s Kayla Gonzales all got off to fast starts. They trailed only eventual state champ Grace Hartman of Dayton Oakwood as the runners made their way through the tight first turn and into the stadium for the first time at the 450 meter mark.

“At the first mile I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can hold onto this (pace),’ ” said Wise, who won the Tiffin regional title last week. “My goal this year was to break 19 and to get All-Ohio.”

As for her team’s seventh-place finish, Wise couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“I’m honestly so proud,” she said. “I didn’t even think we’d make it past regionals.”

Lady Lex senior Karis Hunter finished 78th overall in 20:10.9. She was followed by Kenley Miller (20:35.1) in 102. Maddie Haring (20:59.3) was 102nd, while Natalie Hunter (21:10.9) was 129th and Anna Blackstone (21:28.4) was 140th.

Gonzales joined Wise on the podium, finishing 15th in 18:46.5.

“It feels amazing. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Gonzales. “I might have started a little too fast, but I wanted to get a spot and make sure I could get All-Ohio.”

Shelby’s Emma Montgomery finished 109th overall in 20:46.7, while Channon Cundiff was 118th in 20:57.2. Reyna Hoffman (21:06.1) was 125th, followed by Abby Vogt (21:49.2) in 152nd, Aleigha Thauvette (22:29.3) in 168th and Kailyn Schwall (22:58.7) in 176th.

In the Division II boys race, Lexington finished 10th in the team standings with a score of 264. Shelby was 11th with 281.

Shelby’s Mason Henderickson was the top area finisher, earning All-Ohio honors with a 22nd-place finish in 16:17.6. Huck Finnegan (16:53.5) was 73rd, while Luke Dininger (17:04.5 was 89th and Tyson Hicks (17:16.1) was 105th. Marshall Moore (17:31.3) finished 132nd, while Caleb Vogt (17:47.5) was 145th and Indy Mayer (18:06.0) was 157th.

Joey Aquino paced Lexington, finishing 45th in 16:38.3. He was followed by Ethan Peebles (16:57.2) in 78th and Cooper Schurig (17:00.7) in 81st. Chance Basilone (17:10.1) was 97th, followed by T.J. Thompson (17:17.7) in 107th, Connor Currier (17:37.7) in 139th and Ethan Slone 17:37.8) in 140th.

Galion’s Chad Taylor was 59th in 16:45.4.

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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