TROY – Wilmington junior Simon Heys qualified Saturday for the Div. I OHSAA Cross Country Championship later this week at National Trail Raceway.
Heys will compete in the Division I state race at 3 p.m. Saturday in Hebron.
Heys, Clinton-Massie’s Jacob Whitaker and Blanchester’s Savannah Rhodes were all in action this past Saturday at the Southwest Regional meets at Troy’s Memorial Stadium.
Whitaker was 36th in the Division II boys race with a time of 17:19.92. Only the top 16 finishers in the regional race advanced to the state meet.
Rhodes was 40th in the Division II girls race with a time of 21:16.55. Only the top 16 finishers in the regional race advanced to the state meet.
Also, Maddie Walker of West Clermont High School – and daughter of Wilmington High School principal Stephanie Walker – earned a berth to the state meet. In the Division I girls regional race, Walker was 14th in 18:50. The top 24 runners in the girls race moved on to state.
For Heys, he becomes the first Hurricane boys cross country runner to make the state meet since Tom Beam in 1981. Beam finished 45th that year in the Class AAA state race. His time was 12:55 for what was reported to be a 2.5 mile course.
“(Simon) went out with a lead pack behind the two leaders, Dustin Horter of Lakota East and Conant Smith of Middletown and stayed in that pack all the way until the end,” WHS coach Eileen Grosse said.
Horter broke the regional record by running a 15:02.54.
Heys broke his own WHS cross country record by clocking a 16:19.35. He was eighth overall. The top 20 runners in the Div. I boys race at the regional meet were qualified for the state meet.