Central boys finish second in Region 2A East meet

Mason Lucy-Speidel

EARLYSVILLE – For the second straight year Central’s boys cross country team left the 5K Panorama Farms course with a trophy.

Central finished second as a team, led by three all-region runners, in the Group 2A East meet on Wednesday. The top two teams are awarded trophies. The Falcons advance as a team to the Group 2A state meet next weekend at Great Meadows in The Plains.

“That was the goal for the day, and we achieved it,” Central junior Gus Wightman said. “We’re really happy about it.”

Strasburg’s girls team just missed qualifying for regionals as a team. The top six teams and the top 10 runners not on those six teams qualify for the state meet. The Rams were seventh in the girls meet, just seven points out of sixth.

The Falcons finished second with 91 points, while defending state champion Maggie Walker was first with 43 points.

Gus Wightman

Central finished second to Maggie Walker at both the regional and state meet last year.

“We were worried coming in, because overall as a team we’re not as strong as we were last year,” Sawyer Lucy-Speidel said, while clutching the team trophy. “But getting second kind of proves to us that we’re still in the game like we want to be.”

Mason Lucy-Speidel placed eighth for the Falcons in a time of 17:21. He was followed by Wightman in ninth (17:24) and Sawyer Lucy-Speidel in 12th (17:31).

“I felt really good out there. I felt loose,” Mason Lucy-Speidel said. “It’s a nice course. Me, Sawyer, Gus and really all the guys – they really did run well. Our fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh they all had some really good times today.”

The heat was a factor for all the runners, but Mason Lucy-Speidel said the key was just trying to not think about it and pushing through it.

Grace Dellinger

Mason and Sawyer Lucy-Speidel and Wightman said that making all-region was also a big goal the trio had set before the race.

“We couldn’t have done it without each other,” Wightman said. “We all push each other and that’s probably the reason why we all got all-region.”

Strasburg’s Grace Dellinger finished 21st in the girls race in a time of 22:10. She was followed by teammates Rachel Palmer in 25th (22:21) and Hannah Dellinger in 26th (22:21).

All three girls qualified for the state meet.

“I felt good today. It was a good hilly run. It was hot,” Grace Dellinger said. “I didn’t really have any expectations for myself, but I’m really happy I got 21st.”

Rachel Palmer

Palmer said that running with her teammates helps her a lot on the course.

“It helps push me,” Palmer said. “I know I can stay up with them. So it drives me to go faster with them.”

Central freshman Olivia Wightman finished 30th in a time of 22:28 and also advanced to the girls state meet.

“I’m very excited for Olivia to have that opportunity,” Central coach Melissa Wright said. “She’s stayed the course all year. She’s worked hard. It’s nice to see some good things come her way, and I know she’s excited to have that experience to go to states. And I, as her coach, and her being a freshman, I’m really excited she gets this opportunity to go and experience the atmosphere and the race. It should be a good week for her.”

Strasburg’s Ryan Davis also advanced to the boys state meet with a 30th place finish in a time of 18:37.

Maggie Walker won the girls team title with 47 points. Strasburg finished with 196 points, while Central finished in 11th with 284 points. The girls race was won by Bruton’s Clara Wincheski in a time of 19:54.

Strasburg was 10th in the boys meet with 234 points. Maggie Walker’s Ryan Buscaglia won the boys race in a time of 16:35.

Strasburg coach Jeff Rudy said it was a bittersweet day for his team.

“Tough day of racing,” Rudy said. “It’s sad that it didn’t turn out better for a lot of really, really good kids. A lot of seniors that have worked really hard through the years, and put in a lot of time and blood and sweat to the program. And it will be sad to see them go.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com.