Oct. 30—BOARDMAN — Two Ashtabula County girls reached their goal of qualifying for the state cross country meet on Saturday by finishing in the top 10 of their respective races.
During the regional meet at Boardman, Emma Phillips, a freshman at Saint John, finished the 3.1 mile race in a time of 19:42 to earn a ninth-place finish in Division III, while Tammy Liplin, a senior at Edgewood, also finished ninth in Division II in a time of 19:35.
The top four teams and 16 individuals advanced to the state meet, which takes place Fortress Obetz and Memorial Park in Obetz in the Columbus area.
Phillips is scheduled to run at 10 a.m. and Liplin at noon at state.
Phillips said she felt she had a chance of qualifying for state since she finished in the top 10 at every big meet this season.
The regional was her toughest race of the year, according to Phillips, but she held on to make the trip to the Columbus area on Saturday.
Saint John coach Caitlynn Dunn ran up to Phillips and gave her a big hug.
"This is the most proud I have been in my life," Dunn said as she hugged Phillips
Dunn, her husband Jeremy, and Kelly Fuhrmann, are leading the Heralds into new territory.
The Heralds finished ninth at the regional meet after never qualifying in school history.
Fuhrmann and Dunn said the girls team is very special people and work hard to include each other.
"Having giving birth during this season, my daughter will have wonderful role models," Dunn said.
Dunn said the whole team face timed with her during the early stages of child birth.
"I am incredibly proud of our runners,"Fuhrmann said.
Jeremy Dunn said he thought the team would finish somewhere between seventh and tenth.
"Next year we want to raise the bar," he said.
Dunn said it is the 20th anniversary of his Edgewood team winning the state championship.
"It is pretty cool," he said of the Heralds success.
Liplin was all smiles as she celebrated her accomplishment with friends and family.
"I'm very excited," Liplin said. "It's been my main goal to make it back to the state meet. It's very rewarding to see all of my hard work finally pay off. I give all the glory to God."
The Pymatuning Valley boys cross country team is also in the process of raising the bar. PV head cross country coach Richard Walters said the team's second straight trip to regionals sets the stage for next year.
Walters said expectations have risen as Saturday held a big of pain as the team didn't qualify for state which was not a consideration last year.
Walters said he only loses one senior runner and he hopes the team uses the frustration as a tool to train hard and make a trip to Columbus next year.
The Madison Blue Streaks finished 24th in the Division I boys team race after the team struggled with the flu all week.
"I was lucky to get them to the starting line," said head coach Jeremy Verdi.
Other area runners got experience at the regional meet, but had their season end.
Conneaut head cross country coach Jessica Kennedy said Anna Ring, a freshman, and Kyndall Spring, a junior, did not run their best times, but got excellent experience that can be used next year and beyond.
Ring finished 67th in a time of 21:27 and Spring was 72nd at 21:36..
Edgewood's Maddie Crooks finished 42 in a time of 20:51, and Geneva's Grace Dubsky was 66th in at time of 21:24.
In Division I, Geneva's Luke McKinney finished 89th in a time of 17:09.