GALION - There was no big front runner for the Tornadoes, but what they lacked individually, they made up for as a team as Columbian squeeked into the final regional spot at Tiffin, finishing fourth with 143 points. Ottawa-Glandorf was nine points behind with 152 points, for fifth.
"It was definitely possible and I knew going in that we were going to have to race real well (to make it out and advance to regionals)," Columbian coach Nikki Hintze said.
Hanna Musil (21:06) and Abrie Smith (21:12) both cracked the top 20, finishing 18th and 20th, respectively.
"Abrie ran pretty awesome today, she stuck right to the back of Hanna (Musil)," Hintze said.
The next three to cross the line were all freshmen, with Cassandra Gooding leading, followed by Amanda Schwartz and Alexis Desjardins.
For Columbian, at least one week still remains.
"I think the girls are excited and happy to run another week together. Some girls have been gunning for certain goal times," Hintze said.
Gibson, Gates advance for Columbian
OREGON - Brandon Gibson took fourth place while teammate Chris Gates ended 13th; each earning a spot in the Division I regional at Tiffin next Saturday.
The top 16 individuals and four teams advance
Gibson crossed the line in 16:29.2 while Gates trailed 33 seconds behind, registering a 17:02.2.
Columbian boys finished seventh in the team race with 172 points.