Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet

Peebles senior Matt Seas will be making a return trip to the OHSAA State Cross-Country Meet, qualifying with a 14th place finish in the Division III regional meet held last Saturday at Pickerington North High School.

Peebles senior qualifies at Pickerington Regional – 

Story and photo by Mark Carpenter – 

Adams County will have just a single representative at this year’s state cross-country meet as Peebles senior Matt Seas will be making a return trip to Columbus this weekend. Seas earned his trip to the state meet with a 14th place finish in last Saturday’s Division III regional met, held at Pickerington North High School.
It would be normal to say that Matt would be joined in Columbus by his sister Jenny as both of them won district championships two weekends ago but unfortunately Jenny was a late scratch from the regional race with an injury that certainly may have cost her a shot at a state championship, but she is only a junior so she will be back in 2018 for another opportunity.
“Jenny is one of a kind,” said Peebles head coach Ty Stephens.”Her not being able to run on Saturday was devastating but her being healthy and no causing further damage is more important.”
“No doubt whoever wins the state meet will be deserving but there should be an asterisk on the results because Jenny couldn’t run. She will rehab and be back next year better than ever.”
As for Matt, his time of 16:46.02 placed him 14th in the regional meet, good enough to earn the state berth. Last year, he was a medalist at the state meet, finishing 20th and he will be looking to improve on that in the finale of his high school career.
Also competing in the regional meet was the West Union Dragons boys squad, after they earned a team spot with their district performance. At the regional meet in a field of 129 boys’ runners, West Union’s leader was sophomore Steven Runyan who placed 86th (18:44.34). In his final high school race, Dragons’ senior Adam Fulton finished 94th with a time of 19:01.51. The rest of the West Union runners in the regional were senior Garrett Vogler, 117th (20:22.32), freshman Braxton Blanton, 120th (20:32.24), freshman Jai-Michael Knox, 121st (20:33.11), sophomore Ethan Prather, 126th (21:22.12), and sophomore Grant McCarty, 129th (22:27.07).
The Southern Hills Athletic Conference will have a team competing in the state meet as the Fairfield Lions claimed their second consecutive regional championship and will be making their fifth consecutive trip to the state meet.
“The conditions were rough today and many of the athletes weren’t at their best,” said Coach Stephens. “Matt wasn’t happy about how he ran but we talked afterwards about how at this point it is all about advancing and he did what he had to do.”
“Matt is a gamer and he will be ready on Saturday.
Without Jenny Seas, the Peebles girls team still competed in the regional meet, with their top finisher in a field of 133 being sophomore Kierra Stone, who placed 74th with a time of 22:31.94. Next was freshman Lilly Gray, placing 85th with a time of 22:59.39. Rounding out the Peebles runners were sophomore Alisan Behr, 101st (23:21.21), and senior Abby Faulkner, 102nd (23:24.80).
West Union also had a girls’ runner at the regional meet as sophomore Anna Shupert had a very respectable 50th place finish with a time of 21:33.01.
The SHAC will have a female runner at the state as Fairfield sophomore Ciara Colwell will be the first Lady Lion is school history to make state as she placed eighth in the regionals, claiming an individual berth in Columbus.
Matt Seas will be competing in the Division III boys race on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the National Trail Raceway, with his race scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.