TIFFIN — The Perrysburg girls cross country team made history on Saturday afternoon by winning a regional championship for the first time in team history.
Clay sophomore Haley Hess created her own history at Hedges Boyer Park by becoming the Division I regional champion with a personal-record time of 18:31.26. Her day helped the Eagles finish among the top four teams, which qualified Clay for a return trip to the state championship.
"I'm just really happy that I finished first and our team got fourth," Hess said.
The Yellow Jackets, anchored by Taylor Monheim, captured the regional title by placing five among the top 25 finishers to finish with 61 points. Brunswick ran second with 104 points, followed by Rocky River 106 and Clay 163.
Monheim ran third with a time of 18:41.34. Courtney Clody placed eighth (19:04.16), Jordan Doore 14th (19:14.25), Emily Henry 20th (19:31.75), and Grace Lahey 24th (19:39.42).
"It is absolutely amazing," Monheim said, about the team title. "I knew we would be able to do special things this year, but I honestly did not expect this."
Perrysburg coach Jon Monheim said the Yellow Jackets entered the race looking to make history.
"We thought we were one of the best four teams here and the race plan worked to perfection," he said. "We didn't expect to win by that much, but our goal was to win a regional title, so we were thrilled to do it."
Clay's Sydney Hess placed 16th (19:21.54), Caitlyn Kuecher 27th (19:45.33), Hannah Hess 64th (20:33.7), and Brooke Gyori 87th (20:53.95).
"We're fourth and that was the goal, to get out," Clay coach Dave Hess said. "You have to have kids step up and we definitely had kids step up today. So, when you lose your No. 1 and can still get out, that's a good team effort."
Clay senior Erin Gyurke, who placed first at the district meet, fell near the end of the race Saturday. The Eagles coach said Gyurke had been bothered by a hip injury and wasn't sure about the severity of it heading to the state competition.
Southview's Alexandra Wainstein took fourth overall (18:49.66). Notre Dame's Stephanie Sherman placed sixth (18:58.13) while Whitmer's Abbigail Dorn ran ninth (19:05.19). The top four teams and top 16 individuals qualify for the state competition.
The boys from St. Francis de Sales placed second for the second straight week.
St. Ignatius won the regional championship with 83 points, followed by St. Francis with 141, Strongsville 164, and Ashland 169.
"We've taken a lot of pride all season on building a complete team race and we had our eyes on today to run our best, so I'm just really excited for the team," St. Francis coach James Neary said. "They performed well and earned themselves a trip to Columbus next weekend."
Despite running roughly half the race without one shoe after someone stepped on the back of his foot, David St. John paced the Knights by finishing 14th with a time of 16:09.07.
St. Francis' Daniel Siebenaller finished 19th (16:17.24), Jacob Baugh 44th (16:46.37), Mitch Kaiser 47th (16:48.0), and Jason White 49th (16:48.91).
St. John's Tevin Brown made a strong showing to finish second overall with a time of 15:45.31. Central Catholic's George McCartney is making a return to state after a sixth-place effort (15:54.24). Fremont Ross' Loius Guardiola ran seventh (15:56.18) and Findlay's Isaiah Gaines finished 12th (16:07.24.)