The Gahanna Lincoln High School cross country team will be represented at the Division I regional meet by Harry McFann. The regional meet is Saturday at Pickerington North and the top four teams and individuals not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance to the state meet Nov. 7 at Scioto Downs.

The Gahanna Lincoln High School cross country team will be represented at the Division I regional meet by Harry McFann. The regional meet is Saturday at Pickerington North and the top four teams and individuals not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance to the state meet Nov. 7 at Scioto Downs.

Facing a tough field, McFann hopes to advance to the state meet and coach Larry Schwade believes the senior has the capability to do so.

"He's got state meet form. He's pretty strong physically and mentally and he's really coming on well at the end of the season. So, I think he's got a good chance of being in the top 16," Schwade said. "His times are pretty favorable and comparing him to similar runners, he fits right in there. I think he could finish in the top 12 at the regional, so he's definitely in the mix."

McFann advanced to the regional meet by running well at district last Saturday at Watkins Memorial. McFann finished sixth overall in 17 minutes, 17 seconds, behind champion Jeff Hannaford (16:39) of Westerville North.

Following McFann for Gahanna were Trent Champlin (32nd, 18:27), Jason McDonald (41st, 18:43), Tim Schiefer (45th, 18:51), Cory Kanz (47th, 18:55), Nate Uber (50th, 19:03) and Luke Pietrykowski (61st, 19:20). Overall, the Lions finished eighth (171 points), behind champion Westerville North (68).

"We knew we were on the bubble going in and the competition for the fifth, sixth and seventh spots were real close. That's just the way it goes sometimes," Schwade said. "We had a young team this year and they've learned what they want to do for next year.

"We had some terrible conditions for our race. The course was muddy to start with and as soon as our race began, it started to pour. It was a driving rain and then it let up a few minutes after our race ended."

•The girls team won't be represented at the regional meet on Saturday. Nobody from Gahanna advanced out of district.

The Lions tied for seventh (209) with Lancaster and behind champion Upper Arlington (45). Kay Kay Garber was the top finisher for Gahanna (23rd, 21:53). She was followed by Katie Mackall (38th, 22:38), Brittany Muncy (50th, 23:27), Gloria MaClean (54th, 23:41), Julie Magnusan (55th, 23:45), Audrey Moorhead (58th, 24:01) and Colleen Hall (60th, 24:52).

"We didn't run well at all," coach Ernie Ziegler. "It just didn't look like we had our legs with us today. We didn't look like we were ready to race."

With five higher-seeded teams ahead of the Lions entering the race, Ziegler knew his team needed some good performances to advance as a team or to get an individual out. The strategy he laid out was for Garber to get out to a fast start and for everybody to run with her, hoping to maintain their places as long as they could.

"We hadn't been able to beat Pickerington Central, (Olentangy) Orange or Dublin Jerome all year, so we decided to take an aggressive approach," Ziegler said. "We sent everybody out with Kay Kay to be aggressive on the first loop and maintain it for the second loop, and we never really got it to work to our advantage. Kay Kay was one of the better runners in this field, but she had been sick and we kind of knew it could go either way. It wasn't a good day, but I don't fault the effort of the girls at all."