TIFFIN — Wauseon first-year girls cross country coach Joe Allen couldn't have asked for much more from the Indians on Saturday at the Division II regional championships.
Led by Taylor Vernot, who repeated as the individual regional champion, Wauseon earned a state trip by placing third with 77 points. Bay claimed the regional chamionship with 46 points while Lexington was runner-up with 68.
"We're excited," Allen said. "At this time of the year, it's all about live to fight another day."
Wauseon's Quintin Reiser is moving on after winning the boys race with a time of 15:59.38.
"I just stayed with the top pack for most of the race and I ended up feeling great, so I just took off and ran my own race," Reiser said.
The Bryan boys qualified for state as a team for the first time since 2006 after finishing third overall with 108 points. Jacob Will led the way for the Golden Bears by finishing 10th with a time of 16:30.27. Evan Morr finished 13th (16:35.58), Brandon Krupp 20th (16:57.64), Michael Sheridan 31st (17:08.58), and Levi Carr 52nd (17:32.96) to help Bryan's cause.
"We just knew what we needed to do, as far as packing our runners in there and we're very excited to finish third," Bryan coach Kurt Plouck said.
Defiance became boys regional champion with 71 points, followed by Van Wert as runner-up with 104 points.
The top 16 individuals also qualified to run at the state championships Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
Otsego's Brandon Avers kept his season alive by finishing fifth (16:15.18). Lake's Tyler Rickman earned a spot by running 11th (16:33.04). Oak Harbor's Tyler Sievert finished 14th (16:36.40) and Eastwood's Tim Hoodlebrink placed 16th (16:46.08).
In the meantime, Vernot ran a tactical race and reached the finish line with a winning time of 18:14.97. Kylie Archibeque finished 11th (19:33.25), Aneesa Volkman 15th (19:46.79), Lindsey Archibeque 22nd (20:03.93), and Aleea Volkman was 29th (20:12.37).
The last time the Indians made it out of regionals was two seasons ago.
"Our No. 1 goal was to get out [of the regionals]," Allen said. "If we placed in the Top 2 that would have been good."
Vernot, a junior, didn't have much of a problem repeating as a regional champion. She showed up ready to defend her title.
"This year I felt more confident in the race than I did last year," Vernot said.
Eastwood's Hannah Sponaugle (19:25.09) and Maddie Jackson (19:32.40) finished seventh and 10th, respectively.