Shawnee’s Dillavou, DeSantis headed back to state cross country for fourth time

Shawnee's Jordyn Dillavou runs in the Division II regional cross country meet Saturday in Troy. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED
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Shawnee's Jordyn Dillavou runs in the Division II regional cross country meet Saturday in Troy. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

West Liberty-Salem girls, boys teams advance as regional champ, regional runner-up

TROY – The elements were only part of the challenge for Shawnee senior Jordyn Dillavou.

Dillavou, like hundreds of other runners Saturday, planned his steps carefully through the wet grass and mud of the regional cross country course along the banks of the Great Miami River.

“It was tough,” he said. “It was muddy.”

The toughest obstacles for Dillavou, however, were a strained quad in his right leg and a strained hamstring in his left leg. But Dillavou had enough healthy parts of those legs to advance to his fourth Division II state meet and the third time as an individual.

“Today was just about survive, just get in a chase pack and just make it through,” Shawnee coach Brian DeSantis said.

Dillavou placed 10th with a time of 17 minutes, 13.2 seconds. Last year at state he finished 28th. This week he will continue therapy on his legs with a goal of running better than last year.

“Hopefully get all healed up, get podium – top 20 – that’s really all I want,” he said.

Shawnee senior Audrey DeSantis will also be running in the Division II state meet for the fourth time and the second as an individual. She placed fourth with a time of 19:38.4.

“You see those conditions and you think anything could go wrong today,” Brian DeSantis said. “To see her make it I was just elated that she gets that chance to run one more time at state.”

Audrey DeSantis tagged along with her dad to many regional and state meets over the years. Last year she finished 17th.

“I would really like top three to five – that’s my goal,” she said.

West Liberty-Salem’s girls and boys teams are headed to state again. The girls won the Division III race Saturday by six points over Fort Loramie. This will be their 11th trip, all since 2000, and they are looking for their first title. They finished second in 2019.

The Tigers were led by individual champion and senior Megan Adams in 19:09. Sophomores Ashley Yoder (19:51.7) and Addison McAuley (20:37.5) finished third and seventh, respectively.

The West Liberty boys run in Division II for now and finished second in their quest to win a regional meet for the first time since 1988. It was their first runner-up finish since 1989.

“Our intent today was to win a regional title,” coach Mike Louden said.

Dayton Carroll, however, ran a dominant race to win with 49 points by placing three runners in the top eight, including champion Jack Agnew, and five in the top 26.

Seniors Dylan Lauck (17:01.6) and Tate Yoder (17:12.9) placed third and ninth, respectively, to pace the Tigers to their third straight Division II state meet, fourth straight overall, and 20th in program history, dating to the four-time state champions of the 1970s.

“To do that, with the alumni and the storied runners we’ve had over the years and the kids I’ve coached, this is for, not only for the program this year, but for those guys as well,” said Louden, who has coached the Tigers for 16 years.

Also advancing in the Division II girls race is freshman Hailey Nash of Graham. She finished 12th in 20:39.7.

In Division II boys, Mechanicsburg advanced to state for the first time with a third-place finish behind Fort Loramie and Botkins. Sophomore Will Negley led the Indians in 11th place with a time of 17:45.6.

Advancing as individuals are Cedarville junior Caleb Sultan, who placed eighth in 17:40.9, Cedarville sophomore Isaac Wallis, who placed 14th in 17:50.6, and Emmanuel Christian senior Jacob Kittles, who placed 16th in 17:52.3.

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