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DALTON CROSS COUNTRY: Two headed to state

Dalton seniors Evan Hodkinson, left, and Mitchell Kutz qualified for the state cross country tournament.

DGKN staff report

Dalton’s cross country teams ran hard at Saturday’s regional meet at Boardman High School and returned home with bittersweet final results, Coach Jodi Augspurger said.

“We just came up a bit short of our goals,” she wrote in an email. “I’m proud of how the athletes fought through a cold day with a wet and muddy course; they didn’t give up!”

Two Dalton runners qualified for the state meet this weekend. Seniors Mitchell Kutz placed sixth (17:24.9) and Evan Hodkinson came in 12th place (17:41.8).

Waynedale’s Johnathan Varner came in 13th (17:42.8). Dalton senior Jordan Wenger came in 48th place (18:59.5).

Overall, the girls team, which earned the district title the previous weekend, finished fifth at regionals. Dalton was just one spot away from heading to state. The first four teams qualify for state. In Division III, Gilmour Academy, Maplewood, Mineral Ridge and Smithville qualified to advance.

“That was tough for our girls after having beat Smithville twice in the previous two weeks’ competitions,” Augspurger wrote.

Individually, top Dalton runners included sophomore Brianna Chenevey who placed 20th (21:55.7), junior Molly Soehnlen came in 40th (22:54.8), freshman Emy Nolt placed 41st (22:55.8), and senior Bailey Chenevey came in 44th (22:58.3). Waynedale’s Kylee Gray came in fifth (20:49.5).

The boys team finished sixth place overall, which was one place ahead of the district champions – Elyria Catholic, Augspurger said.

East Canton placed first, followed by Canton, Maplewood, South Range and McDonald.

“As we got off the bus on Saturday, they all said they’d be at practice Monday to make sure that Mitchell and Evan are ready for State,” Augspurger wrote.

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