HARRIERS, HOOPSTERS, AND HOPEFULS

Shots in the Darke

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Regional high school cross country meets took their place in the spotlight Saturday, with
most area schools and individuals running along the banks of the Miami River in Troy. All three divisions in both boys and girls competitions saw qualifying runs for the state meet to be heldin Columbus this coming Saturday.

In the girls D-III section Paige Steinke of Anna took individual honors with a time of 18:50 for the 5,000 meter course while Meredith Barga of Versailles finished 12th to earn a trip to
Columbus. West Liberty-Salem took team laurels while Versailles was 6th. Up north, Minster and Fort Recovery also qualified for the championship meet.

In D-II, Oakwood edged Waynesville 56-57 (remember, low score wins) for first place with
Tipp 5th—the Lady Red Devils were paced by sophomore Morgan Collins’ 7th place run.
Meanwhile in D-I Mason won the girls title with junior Evelyn Prodoehl of Lakota West posting a blistering 17:22.

The boys D-III finishers were paced by Asher Long of Covington in a time of 15:47. Ansonia senior Matthew Lee was 10th in 16:36 while Tiger freshman Bennett Lehman was 13th in 16:51, both qualifying for the state meet. West Liberty Salem took the boys title (along with the WLS girls winning—must be something in the water up in Logan County, not to mention all of the hills for training!) with Versailles 2nd, both advancing to Columbus. Marion Local and Minster also moved on from a northern regional.

Celina sophomore Colin Buening moved ahead in D-II while in D-I Tipp advanced as a team
being led by individual champion Landon Kimmel’s 15:06. Piqua has a runner making the trip to the state meet in Noah Burg who placed 10th. The State Championships will be held at Fortress Obetz south of Columbus just off of I-270, with the first race to begin at 10:00.
Congrats to all who are making the journey; cross country takes dedication, talent, and
determination!!

We might as well stay with high school sports a little longer—with the usual first round
mismatches completed the high school football playoffs move on to the second level with
many area teams advancing. The higher seeded teams will host the lower seeds (example:
Versailles the two seed hosts seven seed Twin Valley South at Hole Field, while five seed Tri-Village heads north to tangle with four seed West Liberty-Salem—WL-S is having quite a fall sports season aren’t they? Should make MyCountyLink’s Gaylen Blosser, a WL-S alum,
proud!). Here’s hoping for good football weather throughout the playoffs!

High school basketball (yes, it’s that time of the year) started Friday with the first official day of practice for the girls getting underway while the boys roll the balls out on the hardwood this coming Friday, November 3rd. Lots of questions and optimism out there as the bounce of the ball echos off the walls of empty gyms! Get ready all of you roundball aficionados!

Are you into the World Series this fall? I’ll admit that I’m fairly unfamiliar with the rosters of both the Diamondbacks and Rangers and have no rooting interest in either team but am just hoping that it’s a competitive series—I do like the Fall Classic!

A quick look at the past weekend in college football—Arizona upsetting Oregon State late
Saturday night and Kansas beating Oklahoma for the first time since 1997 highlighted the
schedule. Oregon pounded a really good Utah team in Salt Lake City, Georgia clobbered
Florida at the “world’s largest outdoor cocktail party” in Jacksonville, THE put away a game
Wisconsin team, and Miami’s RedHawks downed Ohio to stay in first place in the MAC East.
Here’s today’s trivia question—Florida State, Michigan, THE, Washington, and Georgia are
all undefeated. Can you name the other three FBS teams who have yet to lose?

From the “I bet you didn’t know, and probably don’t care” category comes the following
revelation from USA Today—the average tip percentage in the US last year was 18% with
Californians leading the way in beneficence at 23% while the good folks of Illinois were the
cheapest at 14%.

How about this threesome of unbeatens—Liberty from Conference USA, the Air Force
Academy from the Mountain West, and James Madison of the Sun Belt Conference all have
perfect marks. Will any of the three have a chance to make the FBS playoffs? Don’t count on it, particularly James Madison who has to wait for two years to be eligible for postseason play as it makes the move to the environs of big-time college football. Have a great week, stay healthy and active!