ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A senior from Fairland and a junior from Gallia Academy took the respective boys and girls individual cross-country titles Saturday at the Dragons Run By the River meet.
The win was special for Ethan Lafon who wanted to win his final race on his home course.
"I just came to ride the Rock Hill kids and hopefully win," said Lafon. "It feels alright since its my last time running on my home course. It's a pretty good way to end my senior year."
Lafon's official time of 17:24 wasn't his best time. That came his freshman year during a race at Piketon when he finished with a mark of 17:02.
"17:24 is ok for this course," Lafon said. "It's a hard course."
The Run By the River featured boys and girls races for middle school, a "fun run" for runners in first through sixth grades who were not already on a middle school team, and then a girls high school race and boys high school race.
Lafon finished just ahead of a trio of Rock Hill runners who made the boys' high school competition a tougher race for the winner.
The Redmen, led by Noah Wood's 17:34, took the boys high school team title with 31 points easily defeating second place Huntington High, which finished with 102.
Sarah Watts, a junior, won the girls individual high school race with a time of 20:12 to take first place by 48 seconds over second place finisher Camryn Miller of Rock Hill.
She said the win surprised her.
"I've been playing soccer as well this year so I can't go to any cross country practices, I just go to soccer practices but I've been training really hard outside of that so I'm really happy," Watts said.
Watts said she wanted to beat her time from last year but wasn't sure how she'd fare overall with teams from West Virginia in the competition she had not seen before.
Wayne, led by its top finisher Emily Williamson whose time of 21:40.00 was good for fifth place, and Olivia Queen who finished 11th at 22:22.01, took first place in the girls standings with 63 points to edge out Rock Hill with 69 points.
Top 10 runners in each race received medals while racers who finished 11th thru 25th received ribbons. The top three team finishers in high school and middle schoolers received trophies.
Full results of the Dragons Run By The River are available at baumspage.com.