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Trumbull pair win regional individual titles

BOARDMAN — Caleigh Richards ignored the calls from the crowd.

The Maplewood freshman runner began increasing her lead during Saturday’s Division III girls cross country regional race at Boardman High School.

Richards said she began to go with the lead pack. Then she started to increase her advantage.

“Honestly, I really never looked back,” she said. “I just kept going. I wasn’t sure how far behind, certain people kept saying they were 50 meters behind you. I just kept running and didn’t look back.”

Richards won Saturday’s D-III regional title in 19:33.6 as Gilmour Academy’s Amy Weybrecht was a distant second (20:03.3).

Richards paced Maplewood to a second-place team finish (83), while Mineral Ridge was third (106) and McDonald was seventh (188).

Moriah Ruth-Toth paced Mineral Ridge with a 12th-place finish (21:11.4).

The top four teams and 16 runners in Division III advance to next weekend’s state meet at Fortress Obetz southeast of Columbus.

Winning at Saturday’s regional gave Richards confidence heading into state, to run with the best Division III has to offer.

“Winning first at regional is so awesome,” she said. “It gives me confidence that I can run with the top girls. There’s going to be so many more great girls running at state, too.”

In the Division III boys race, frost glazed over the grass.

The signal to start was given at 9 a.m., with temperatures in the mid-20s as the Division III boys cross country runners were not only battling one another, but Mother Nature as well.

It didn’t matter, as McDonald senior Brody Rupe, who has won most of his races this season, found his way to another first-place finish Saturday — taking his first regional title.

“I was hoping all week I’d win it,” said Rupe, who won in a time of 17:02.0. “Pulling it off today was really exciting.”

Canton Central Catholic senior Barrett Scheatzle jockeyed for position with Rupe all race as the McDonald senior pulled ahead in the final stretch. Scheatzle ran 17:02.6.

Rupe embraced the challenge.

“Having him to race with kind of gave me a precursor to next week when I’ll have a lot of competition,” he said. “Of course, it was really hard to beat him today. Getting ready for next week is what that is about, I guess.”

In the Division III boys race, Maplewood took third (115).

The top four teams and 16 runners in Division III advance to next weekend’s state meet at Fortress Obetz southeast of Columbus.

McDonald was fifth (146), while Badger was eighth (210) and Mineral Ridge took 10th (260).

South Range’s Spencer Bush paced the Raiders with 17:24.5, taking fifth.

DIVISION I: Howland’s Megan Hipple took 12th (20:10.1), while her teammate Molly Yasnowski placed 31st (20:33.9). The top eight teams and top 32 runners advance to state.

Howland was 17th (390) as a team.

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