If there was ever a doubt how good Tippecanoe’s Mitchell Poynter and Troy’s Morgan Gigandet really are, one could just look at the regional cross country meet last Saturday at Troy High School.

Both runners had comfortable finishes at regionals, as they led their teams to the state meet this weekend in Columbus. They will be joined at state by the entire Tippecanoe girls’ team, and several other runners from the area.

Poynter, who was a key member in last year’s state title for the Tippecanoe boys’ team, won the Division Two boys’ race with a time of 15:39.11, 17 seconds ahead of Taylor Hopkins of Heath. Tipp was victorious in the Division Two race, and will take their team to the state meet looking for a repeat.

Thomas Chaney also placed well, finishing ninth with a time of 16:22.55, while Spencer Ranft was 14th (16:31.08), Keenan Fraylick 18th (16:39.03), and the trio of Jacob Stillwagon (16:45.46), Tim Andrews (16:46.22) and Jordan Brown (16:48.44) who all finished consecutively starting at number 21.

Not only did Gigandet secure herself as a favorite for a state title, she set a new Division One regional record with a 17:38.54, and the second place finisher…the defending state champion Lainey Studebaker from Centerville…was 24 seconds behind her.

Gigandet led the charge for the Lady Trojans, who also qualified as a team with a third place finish. Also heading to the state meet will be Megan Myers (18th, 19:01.20), Emma Shigley (22nd, 19:12.61), Kate Pence (25th, 19:23.72), Rachel Davidson (32nd, 19:36.97), Olivia Tyre (66th, 20:13.29) and Megan Studebaker (106th, 21:08.46).

*Also winning a regional title was the Tippecanoe girls’ team, as they won with a total of 58 points, and their top five runners all placing in the top 20. The edged Alter for the title, who finished with 66 points.

The Red Devils’ Kaili Titley placed eighth overall with a time of 19:20.68, while her teammate Abbi Halsey was tenth with a finish of 19:24.74.

Laura Fink had a 12th place finish for Tipp with a time of 19:31.10, Katie Taylor was 14th (19:33.39) and Stephanie Fink placed 19th (19:43.75). Also for Tippecanoe was MaKenzie Dietz who was 33rd (20:23.35) and Emily Wolfe 37th (20:28.68).

*Three individuals from the area will also be running at the state meet, as their time was low enough to qualify for Columbus.

Bethel’s Korry Hamlin placed ninth overall in the boys’ Division Three race, as he ran 16:39.22 and that placed him in the top 16 and sends him to Columbus. Fellow Cross County Conference runner Brady McBride (Newton High School) won the regionals with a time of 16:06.19.

Stephen Jones heads to state after finishing second at regionals. Also running at the regionals was Bethel’s Coleman Clark, as he finished 64th overall with a time of 18:03.66.

Justin Prack from Northwestern ran a solid race in the boys’ Division Two event, as he finished tenth overall and qualified for the state meet with a time of 16:22.71. The Northwestern team finished seventh overall and missed going as a team, but Prack will represent the Warriors in Columbus.

Also running at regionals for Northwestern was Kyle Jamison (26th, 16:51.34), Ryan Cleland (61st, 17:25.63), Liam Randall (62nd, 17:26.67), Jacob Boop (121st, 18:43), Levi King (135th, 19:38.79) and Justin Adamson (136th, 21:05.35).

Also qualifying was Troy senior Stephen Jones, who battled near the top of the regional race until he finished second overall with a time of 15:44.37, earning his spot to Columbus. The regional champion with a time of 15:23.49 was Dustin Horter of Lakota East.

*Finishing 20th overall in the Division Two boys’ race was Greenon’s Max Pettit. While missing out on the trip to state by only four spots and 12 seconds, he ran a very respectable 16:45.46 to give him a top 20 finish overall.