The Reynoldsburg High School boys cross country team's performance in the Division I district meet last Saturday at Watkins Memorial amid cold and muddy conditions was far from perfect, but it didn't prevent the Raiders from advancing to regional.

The Reynoldsburg High School boys cross country team's performance in the Division I district meet last Saturday at Watkins Memorial amid cold and muddy conditions was far from perfect, but it didn't prevent the Raiders from advancing to regional.

The Raiders were the top seed among the 13 teams in the district 3 race, but scored 69 points and had to settle for second behind champion New Albany (67). Also advancing to regional were Olentangy Liberty (76), Hilliard Davidson (114), Hilliard Bradley (118) and Thomas Worthington (141).

"Unfortunately, we haven't had a race yet where all the guys have run well as a team," senior Lamar Booker said. "But as long as we have four guys who can run well and pick up for the other guy's slack, that's what we need to do."

Reynoldsburg runs at 2:50 p.m. Saturday in the regional meet at Pickerington North. The top four teams and the individuals not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance to the state meet Nov. 7 at Scioto Downs. The Raiders have reached state as a team the past two seasons, and have had at least one individual at state in nine of the last 10 years.

"I feel confident that we can (get to state)," Booker said. "Like (coach Denny Hammond) said, we just need to get that solid team back together. If we can do that, we can be one of the best teams in Ohio."

The Raiders were led at district by junior Hiruy Abraha, who finished seventh in 17 minutes, 28.16 seconds. Also scoring were Booker (10th, 17:34.7), Tsehaye Hiluf (16th, 17:47.84), Khalid Omar (17th, 17:51.09) and Jeremy Richard (19th, 17:53.59).

Also competing at district were Yeamne Abebe (27th, 18:18.15) and Paul Newell (53rd, 19:07.21).

Reynoldsburg ran in the final race of the day, and the wet course was in rough shape from the 12 previous races.

Only two runners broke 17 minutes in district 3, including champion Blake Taneff of New Albany (16:40.1).

"It was bad," Abraha said. "It was muddy, and my leg was hurting. I don't know what I did. It was just so muddy."

•The girls team will be represented at regional by Dani Watson, who had her best district performance, placement-wise, of her career. She finished ninth in district 2 in 20:57.45, behind champion Keelin Gorman of Dublin Scioto (20:15.38).

"It was really muddy and slippery, and it was kind of upsetting because halfway through, it started to rain," Watson said. "It was like, 'Great, let's just make this worse.'"

Reynoldsburg placed seventh (190) of 13 teams, behind champion Scioto (23). Also qualifying for regional were Dublin Coffman (63), Pickerington North (84) and Hilliard Darby (127). Placing fifth and sixth were Westerville Central (137) and Liberty (155).

Watson runs the regional race at 12:35 p.m. Saturday at North. Last season at regional, she was well-off her personal best and finished 70th (21:06.11), but she's confident about her chances this year.

Those regional runners not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance to state.

At district, Loni Marchello just missed finishing in the top 16 and advancing to regional, as she finished 20th (21:41.39), less than 10 seconds behind the final individual regional qualifier, Claire Grace of Dublin Coffman (21:31.08).

Also scoring for the Raiders were Kyrsty Rider (42nd, 22:28.09), Lashina Rhynehardt (60th, 23:45.64) and Kenzie Purtell (61st, 24:06.13). Michelle Snyder finished 65th (24:50.18).

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg boys and girls cross country teams:

Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished second (69 points) at Division I district 3 meet at Watkins Memorial, behind champion New Albany (67); Girls: Finished seventh (190) at district 2 meet at Watkins Memorial, behind champion Dublin Scioto (23). Dani Watson qualified for regional by finishing ninth (20:57.45).

Saturday -- At regional meet at Pickerington North. 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.