Led by Reilly Greenlee’s 19th-place finish, Kirtland’s girls’ cross country team ran its way to the regional championships for the second consecutive season.
The Hornets placed fifth at the Division III Madison District meet and will run at the Boardman Regional next weekend. Kirtland last qualified for the regional meet in back-to-back seasons in 2009-2010.
“Two of our major goals coming into this season were to win the conference and qualify to regionals as a team to make each a back-to-back experience,” said Kirtland coach J.P. Moran. “We lost four seniors from last year and two were in the Top 5 at districts, so we knew it was a tall order. The girls responded magnificently today with many season and/or lifetime personal bests. We have really raced well the last two weeks and it’s been great.”
Greenlee, who placed 84th at the state meet as a junior last season, finished in 21:28, a season PR.
“I am satisfied with it knowing one of my last races was a pretty good one, and good enough to do my part in advancing the team,” Greenlee said. “It was unreal knowing we made it out to regionals as a team. It was exciting last year, but being able to replicate it with losing two seniors last year and not having Sylvia (Vosicky), one of our top girls, just shows how hard all our girls ran and wanted to make it out for the team, and I hope Kirtland will continue to build and become a threat in our district.”
Ainsley Borthwick, Stephanie Drazetic, Jessy Jackson, and Claire Dumstorff all ran lifetime PRs and Delaney Kuczkowski beat her season-best time on Saturday.
Drazetic placed 30th in 22:30, Kuczkowski was 32nd in 22:56, Jackson finished 36th in 23:31, Josie Copeland placed 46th in 25:02, and Dumstorff secured 47th place with her time of 25:20.
For Greenlee and the Hornets, next week’s regional championships could be the end of the road, but they’re going to do everything they can to try and extend their season by one more week.
“I am going to approach the regional meet just hoping to have fun running with my girls for the last time, no matter the result,” Greenlee said.
Kirtland’s boys’ team finished in 16th place in the Division II race at Madison.
Ian Borthwick paced the Hornets with a time of 19:11, good for 59th place.