BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — With about 800 meters left in last weekend’s Division II district cross country meet, Maumee freshman Lucy Porter was running second, a result that would have been amazing in her first district race.
Apparently, however, second wasn’t good enough for Porter.
She continued her amazing first season by passing up the leader and winning the district race, punching her ticket for Saturday’s regional meet in Tiffin.
“This win is definitely going to push me to do really good at regionals and even at states,” Porter said. “My biggest goal throughout the season was to help push the team to regionals. That was the biggest goal.”
Porter finished the race in 19:2.12 – nearly 10 seconds off her previous personal best.
“She knew the difference between being a runner-up and a champion and she fought for that,” said Panthers coach Karen Brebberman.
She won’t be alone in Tiffin – the Maumee girls team qualified for regionals after finishing third in the district meet at Owens Community College in Findlay. The team totaled 102 points, edging fourth-place Celina by seven points for the final spot.
Sydney King placed 16th among individuals in a time of 21:40.16. Emily Swartz was 24th in 22:36.96, Kyleigh Delany 28th in 23:09.82, Camryn O’Shea 33rd in 23:25.52 and Skyler Janes 34th in 23:26.20.
“It’s a really big deal for our team to make it to regionals,” Porter said.
Eastwood won the district team title with 39 points, followed by Liberty-Benton (64 points).
The Panthers will take off in the Division II regional meet at noon on Saturday at Hedges-Boyer Park in Tiffin.
It’s the same course where Maumee finished third as a team in September’s Tiffin Carnival race, with Porter taking race runner-up in a time of 19:11.
“They’re familiar with the course,” Brebberman said. “It’s certainly not an easy course. But the girls finished third, which is usually an indication of how your season will go.”
Boys Cross Country
Eric Board has been steadily and surely ticking off items on his to-do list during his senior season. Last week, it was winning the Northern Lakes League individual title.
This week, it was the Division II district individual title.
Board took another step in his spectacular final run through high school cross country, winning the district title with a time of 16:8.12.
“It started off hot because it’s about a half-mile stretch where it’s just straightaway and then we take a quick right turn and that’s where everyone separates. I led from that point on,” Board said.
“I’m not really thinking that much (when leading a race). I thinking about getting in a rhythm, simple as moving my feet. A few surges throughout the race. I’m also listening to Coach Brebberman or other spectators, telling me what’s going on.”
Board’s time at district was his lifetime personal best.
“Running is such a mental sport. He knows exactly what he needs to do, he knows the step he needs to take to get to the next level,” Brebberman said.
Nick Johnstone also qualified for this weekend’s regional meet, finishing third in Findlay in a time of 17:23.42.
“I’m so happy about that – he deserves it,” Board said. “I’m glad Nick is going to be there.”
The Panthers team narrowly missed out on qualifying, placing fourth – only 12 points behind third-place Liberty-Benton.
Ostego won the team title with 44 points, followed by Upper Sandusky (59 points).
Vaughn Gugger was 23rd among individuals in 18:53.12. Caden Leck was 42nd (19:40.88), Dru Albright 48th (19:54.94), Caz Wilms 56th (20:34.09) and Ayden McCarthy 70th (21:42.96).
Board and Johnstone will race in the Division II regional meet at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hedges Boyer Park in Tiffin.
At September’s Tiffin Carnival, Board placed fifth among individuals with a time of 16:10, and Johnstone was 30th in 17:25.
“I feel good, but I know there’s more work to put in,” Board said. “The confidence will show next Saturday at regionals.”