For Nordonia’s returning state qualifier, the march to return to the state meet continues.
For the rest of the Knights cross country teams, however, the run is over for 2019.
Nordonia’s boys team finished ninth out of 14 teams with 235 points Saturday at the Division I district meet at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds. Hudson won the boys team title with 47 points.
Meanwhile, the Knight girls finished 10th in the 12-team Division I girls field with 287 points. Hudson won the Division I girls race with 41 points.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals in each race at Cortland advanced to the Division I regional meet at Boardman this Saturday.
"We knew it was good competition," said Knights coach Mike Martin. "We were hoping we would be in the mix for one of those last three qualifying spots. You can see we’re young. When you look at the number of freshmen and sophomores in those races … it was good game day experience for them."
Wimbush had set a goal for himself of setting a personal record at each of the three postseason races. That didn’t happen at Cortland, however, as he finished in 18th place in 16:44.74
Martin noted Wimbush started well, but cramps limited him in the second half of the race.
"Jayden didn’t run a great race," Martin said. "He cramped up about a mile and a half into it. He was running in the top five at that point.
"That was the first time this season we’ve run later in the day. Hopefully getting that meet out of the way will help. He’s been running really well the last three weeks."
Boardman’s Mitchel Dunham won the boys Division I race in 15:53.25.
Nordonia freshman Chris Turner saw a solid rookie year come to an end, as he took 42nd place in 17:32.70. Fellow freshman Nathan Gerhart came home next, taking 57th place in 17:58.66.
Senior Scott McCabe (59th, 17:58.06) and sophomore Alex Bye (62nd, 18:06.98) rounded out the scoring runs for the Knights.
Senior Jeff Sajovie (66th, 18:11.09) and junior Evan White (70th, 18:20:45) rounded out the scoring runs for Nordonia.
Meanwhile in the girls race, Nordonia had hoped junior Autumn Westbrooks would earn her first trip to regionals as well.
However, Westbrooks fell just short of regional berth, as she finished 24th in 20:19.05. Hudson’s Story Jones took 20th place in the 20:09.02.
"We knew we probably had to run under 20 minutes to get out," Martin said of Wesbrooks. "I think she could have been a little more aggressive the first mile, but she wanted to make certain she had something left. We passed some people, but not enough."
It was a rough run for the rest of the Knight girls, Juniors Mikayla Bell (55th, 22:11.69) and Great Heiser (56th, 22:12.75) came in together, while sophomores Kylie Frantantonio (75th, 24:05.29) and Kat Gillespie (79th, 24:27.27) rounded out the scoring runs for Nordonia.
Freshman Leah Lammers (81st, 24:39.39) and sophomore Grace Sajovie (82nd, 24:44.36) also ran at districts for the Knights.
The Division I boys regional race will be 3 p.m. Saturday at Boardman. Wimbush will need to finish in the top 32 places to secure his second straight berth at the state meet.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_GHO