Brother Matt is 20th, Pennywitt 71st of 188 runners in state Division III races –
By Mark Carpenter –
The cross-country season came to a close for the Ohio High School Athletic Association last Saturday at National Trail Raceway and for three local runners, their outstanding seasons came to a conclusion with a trip to the state meet. Sister and brother Matt and Jenny Seas from Peebles, plus Ethan Pennywitt from Manchester all were part of the Division III races on Nov. 5 on a sunny 60 degree day, perfect for running.
The Division III boys race kicked off first, with 188 runners at the line for the 11 a.m. start and minutes later, Matt Seas crossed the finish line in 20th place with a time of 16:24.1, good enough to snag a spot on the podium as a medalist in the state meet.
Pennywitt, who has had a record-breaking season as a Greyhound, placed 71st with a time of 17:07.5, short of his goal of breaking the school record for a third time, but as it is often said “there is always next year”, and the stalwart of the “Dog Pack” still finished ahead of 117 of the state’s best runners.
The Southern Hills Athletic Conference was also represented in the Division III boys race by the Fairfield Lions boys’ squad, who placed fourth as a team in the race where Fort Loramie was crowned state champions. Eastern Brown’s Blake Rigdon was 24th in Division III with a time of 16:26.8 and the Div. III state champion was Chad Johnson from Colonel Crawford (15:18.4).
The gun for the Division III girls race fired off at 1:30 p.m. and Jenny Seas was a favorite going in to do no worse than a top 10 finish in a race that included 181 runners. Seas did just that, earning her spot at the podium with a sixth place finish, coming across the line in a time of 18:38.0, topping her time in the regional meet and improving on her 10th place finish at state in 2015. The girls Division III state champion was Lima Central Catholic’s Emily Spreenan (18:01.8) while the team title went to Minster.
For country fans, the good thing is that all three runners who participated in the state meet will return next year with the opportunity for another trip north, which would be the third in succession for the Seas siblings and for Pennywitt, more records are sure to fall, and another trip to Columbus seems to be well within reach.