Elmwood cross country running for state success

Darla Heimann of Elmwood
at the Tiffin Regional XC meet on 10/31/09 (Photo: Aaron Carpenter/Sentinel-Tribune)

Elmwood’s cross country teams will be looking to finish their already impressive seasons with good
showings at the state cross country meet Saturday.
Both Elmwood’s boys and girls will be running at Scioto Downs for a second straight year, along with six
individuals from Wood County. Elmwood is the only team from the county to advance to state.
For the individuals, Lake’s Zach Powell (Division II) and Lakota’s Kyle Babcock (Division III) will be
competing in the boys races.
For the girls, Lakota’s Julia Windom (Division III), Otsego Leah Wagoner (Division III), Perrysburg’s
Andrea Alt (Division I) and Notre Dame Academy’s Elizabeth Lemon (Division I) will be competing. Lemon
is a Bowling Green resident.
The Royals’ girls team finished third in their Division III regional race at Tiffin last weekend, while
the boys took fourth in Division III.
“I told my assistant coach this was like 50 pounds off my shoulders. There was a lot of pressure out
there. It’s awesome,” said Elmwood coach Chris Hailey after both teams clinched state berths at
regionals. “It means a ton for the program.”
Last year at the state meet both Elmwood teams finished eighth. The boys are ranked 11th in the state
poll and the girls are ranked 15th.
For the boys, Elmwood junior Nick Goebel finished second at regionals and was an All-Ohio performer at
the state meet last season when he finished 19th individually. Goebel ran 16:20 at state last season,
and recently set a personal best with a sub-16 minute effort at districts where he finished first on
Oct. 24.
“State is where I want to peak. I don’t really care about anywhere else,” Goebel said.
Dexter Lee had a strong regional race, finishing 23rd for Elmwood. Wes Lee (31st), Josh Boes (48th) and
Travis Wagner (57th) rounded out Elmwood’s top five finishes at Tiffin.
“They all ran really well (at regionals),” Hailey said. “We’re ranked about 12th in the state and that
would probably be a good goal.”
“Even though we want to always shoot for the top half, the state is a lot tougher than (regionals),” he
added. “But so are we. We’ve got a lot left in us.”
For the girls, seniors Bethany Flage and Darla Heimann led the way at regionals, finishing 15th and 19th,
respectively. Heimann will be running at state for a third time, finishing 46th last season and 59th as
a sophomore.
Miranda Wagner (29th), Ashley Wolfe (48th), and Addy Mathias (50th) rounded out the girls’ finishes at
“We were eighth last year. I think we would like to see if we can compete with that. It’s going to be
tough,” Hailey said.
Lakota’s Windom, coming off a fifth-place finish at regionals, will be looking to cap a solid career with
a good showing at the state meet. It will be her third time running state as she qualified with the
Lakota team her freshman and sophomore seasons before missing out on state last season. As a sophomore
Windom finished 43rd in 2007 and was 52nd as a freshman in 2006.
“I think freshman year I was just running blindfolded at state. Sophomore year I was kind of still
feeling through it,” Windom said. “I feel like, even though I didn’t get to run state junior year, my
senior year going back I’ll know a little bit about it.”
Perrysburg’s Alt also has experience at state, finishing 42nd last season. She took 10th at regionals
last weekend.
Otsego’s Wagoner, a junior, finished sixth at regionals, two seconds behind Windom. It will be her first
time at state.
“It’s definitely going to be a new experience,” Wagoner said.
Lemon finished 12th overall at the Pickerington regional last weekend. As a team Notre Dame finished
third to advance to state. Lemon finished 130th individually last year while the team took 15th.
On the boys’ side, Lake’s Powell will look to finish off a tremendous senior year. Powell had won every
race this season except for the Tiffin Carnival going into regionals. He battled a hip problem at
regionals to finish ninth.
“I want to place in the top 10 at state. I would like to race up until the finish,” Powell said.
Finally, Lakota’s Babcock grabbed the 16th and final qualifying spot at regionals last weekend. It will
be the first trip to state for the junior.
WHAT: Ohio high school state cross country championships.
WHERE: Scioto Downs, Lockbourne.
TIMES AND FORMAT: 11:05 – Girls Division III, 11:50 – Girls Division II, 12:35 – Girls Division I, 1:20 –
Boys Division III, 2:05 – Boys Division II, 2:50 – Boys Division I.
TICKETS: $9 per person.
PARKING: Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis in lots around the facility.
DIRECTIONS: (From I-75 South) – Merge onto Ohio 15 east via Exit 156 toward U.S. 23/Kenton/Columbus. Ohio
15 becomes U.S. 23 south (follow U.S. 23 south for approximately 66.4 miles). Merge onto I-270 West via
Exit 23B toward Indianapolis. Merge onto Ohio 315 South via Exit 22 toward Columbus. Ohio 315 south
becomes Interstate 71 south. Merge onto Interstate 270 East via Exit 101 toward Wheeling. Merge onto
South High Street/U.S. 23 via Exit 52 toward Circleville. End at 6000 South High Street, Lockbourne.