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Fairland's Wireman will run for Wildcats

Jun. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

PROCTORVILLE, Ohio -- Fairland High School's Raine Wireman will continue his track and cross country career at the University of Kentucky.

Wireman will start in the fall as a walk-on for Wildcats coach Edrick Floreal. Academic grants and an ROTC scholarship will cover his tuition.

"I'll be running against the best now," Wireman said as he looked ahead to competition on the Southeastern Conference level. "That's only going to help me get better."

Wireman lettered for four years in track and cross country for Fairland coach Chuck Wentz.

He wrapped up his career in June in the Ohio Division II state meet at Ohio State's Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus. He placed eighth in the 1600 (4:21.03). He also ran a leg on the 4x800 relay team for the Dragons.

Wireman said he'll increase his training levels as he prepares to head to Lexington in mid-August. He'll focus on strength, flexibility and speed areas.

"I know I'm going to be pushed," said Wireman, who plans to major in civil engineering. "The times have to come down."

Wireman also had an interest in Iowa State. On Saturday, the Cyclones hired Martin Smith as their new coach, so Wireman suddenly became UK bound.

In college, cross country races are either 8K or 10K. Wireman said he's not sure what his distance specialty will be in track.

"I'm excited for him," Wentz said. "The training we've put him through over the years, there's been a true progression. He's ready to step up."

Wireman is familiar with one of UK's recruits. Buffalo High's Dylan Rich from Putnam County finished his career as one of the top distance runners in the state. He won four events and was high-point scorer in Class AA at the West Virginia High School Track Championships in Charleston. He also won the 800 and mile in the Heart of the Bluegrass meet in the spring. Kentucky was the host.

"The goal is to give kids the opportunity to do something," Wentz said. "Whatever they do with it is up to them."

Wireman is one of five Fairland track/cross country athletes who signed with colleges this year. Megan Ashton, Sydney Petitt and Logan Rowe are headed to Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Mariah Chaffin is going to West Virginia Wesleyan.

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