Geoff Cowles/News Mount Vernon’s Noah Stephens, left, battles with Chillicothe’s Ricky Villareal during the Division I district cross-country meet Saturday at Watkins Memorial. Stephens finished 38th overall.

 

Geoff Cowles/News Highland’s Sophia Thompson, left, passes Maddie Davis of Jonathan Alder down the stretch in the Division II District cross-country meet Saturday at Watkins Memorial. Thompson finished third to advance to regionals.

 

PATASKALA — The Highland Scots cross country team got a 2-for-1, placing a pair of girls in the OHSAA regionals for the first time ever. Both girls gained a regional berth in Saturday’s OHSAA Division II Central District Sectional meet at Watkins Memorial High School in Pataskala.

Highland’s Sophia Thompson placed third individually, posting a time of 19:14.36. Her time was less than 10 seconds slower than freshman Morgan Hicks of Jonathan Alder, the individual winner. Thompson broke away from the pack around the 2-mile marker. She didn’t pace herself with any other girl in the final mile. She set her own pace.

“The last mile hurt, but I kept hearing these coaches saying, ‘This is the part that’s supposed to hurt,’” Thompson said. “I thought, ‘Yeah, it is, so I’m going to go faster.’”

Teammate Alex DeBord placed 20th, barely qualifying her for regionals. The senior completed the course in a time of 20:29.78.

 

Geoff Cowles: 740-397-5333 or gcowles@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews

 

 

 

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