Emma Wise

Lexington's Emma Wise (369) runs near the front of the pack during the Division II girls race at the state meet at Fortress Obetz earlier this month.

LEXINGTON — Emma Wise ascended to the throne.

A junior, Wise is the fifth consecutive Lexington runner to be selected the Richland Source girls cross country Runner of the Year. She joins such luminaries as Dominique Clairmonte (2014, 2015) Mackenna Curtis-Collins (2016), Carina Weaver (2017, 2018) and Halle Hamilton (2019, 2020).

Wise joined the exclusive club by placing 10th in the Division II race at the state meet at Fortress Obetz earlier this month. She finished in 18 minutes, 36 seconds to earn a spot on the podium.

“My goal this year was to break 19 (minutes) and to get All-Ohio,” Wise said afterward.

Lady Lex placed eighth in the team standings with a score of 215. Lexington had won the last four team titles, but lost a wealth of talent to graduation.

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

Wise was a part of the previous two state title teams. As a freshman in 2019 she finished 50th at state in 19:39.6. Last year she was 51st in 19:59.0.

Lexington won the Tiffin regional team title thanks in no small part to Wise. She won the individual regional crown in 19:21.1.

A week earlier at the Galion district, Wise was runner-up in 18:39.9. Lexington won the district team title as well.

Wise is joined on the All-Richland Source team by three other All-Ohioans.

Kayla Gonzales, Shelby: The junior finished 15th in the Division II race at the state meet, crossing the line in 18:46.5 to earn a seat on the podium. Gonzales won the Galion district title in 18:38.7 and was seventh at the regional in Tiffin in 19:45.0. Gonzales won the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference crown in 18:52.0, helping the Whippets to the team title.

Elyana Weaver, Lexington: A sophomore, Weaver earned All-Ohio honors by finishing 26th in the Division II race at the state meet in 19:08.1. Weaver finished fourth at the Galion district in 19:09.2 and was third at the Tiffin regional in 19:23.8.

Ellie Maurer, Ontario: A senior, Maurer placed ninth at the Galion district in 19:52.2 and was a heart-breaking 17th at the Tiffin regional in 20:21.8. She missed out on a state berth by one spot. Maurer was the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference runner-up in 19:25.4.

Morgan Welch, Crestview: A senior, Welch capped her high school career with a 24th-place finish in the Division III race at the state meet. She finished in 19:24.4, earning All-Ohio honors. Welch won a district title at Galion in 19:15.4 and was 13th at the Tiffin regional in 19:46.7.

Gabby Roston, Colonel Crawford: Just a freshman, Roston led the Eagles to a seventh-place finish in the team standings in the Division III race at the state meet. Roston finished 45th individually in 19:50.4. She was third at the Galion district in 20:07.0 and 21st at the Tiffin regional in 20:25.7.

Catlyn Kauffman, Loudonville: A senior, Kauffman placed 61st in the Division III state meet in 20:09.4. She was seventh at the Lorain County Community College district in 21:28.7 and earned the 16th and final state-qualifying spot at the Youngstown regional in 21:43.8.

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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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