The Fairfield Lions cross country team finished 16th at the Division III state meet in 2014. On Saturday, they cut that finish in half, making it into the top 10 teams with an 8th place finish.
The Lions were led by sophomore Matthew Mangus, who finished 42nd with a time of 16:46.9.
Next was sophomore Noah Richmond in 57th place with a time of 16:58.6, Wyatt Evans in 90th with a time of 17:29.5, Andrew Davis 91st overall at 17:29.9, Dillon Burley 100th with a time of 17:39.5, Trent Swisher 108th at 17:53.4 and Austin Setty who came in at 113th and a time of 18:00.3.
Our goal this season was to reach a finish of eighth,” said Fairfield head coach Raymond Friend after the meet. “To reach that, I knew it would be tough. There is very good competition up here. Coming from 16th last year to 8th this year, puts a smile on a coach’s face thinking about what we can do next year with all returning varsity runners and years to come.
“Very happy with my sophomores today. Noah Richmond really rebounded from last week. He didn’t have a great race then but came through today. Matthew Mangus once again had a stellar race. For a sophomore, to be up here and get 42nd overall is awesome. Wyatt Evans has been dealing with some injuries this season and he came through for us today.
“Racing in a pack is what got us into that 8th spot.
“This year has been just a phenomenal season for these student athletes. It’s really something I think we can build upon. I hope they’re not happy with 8th next year and I hope to see some of them on the podium next year.”
The individual champion of the race was Tristan Dahmen of Maplewood with a time of 15:18.8.
Peebles, who won the Southern Hills Athletic Conference was also competing in the race on Saturday. Peebles runner Dan Seas was 10th overall with a time of 16:08.2.
Eastern Brown’s Blake Rigdon was 51st with a time of 16:55.1.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.