The Division III girls regional at Hedges-Boyer Park has long been known as challenging, with tough hills, interesting weather and fierce competition.
But no matter the conditions, it was a given that area runners - and more than likely a team or two - would advance to state.
Three top-10 teams and another ranked 15th, all with fast packs, combined with a muddy course to snare the majority of individual state berths available, resulting in 2012 being the first time since a year began with a 19 that an area school won't have a runner at the state meet.
"This is a tough regional. You've probably got the No. 1 and 2 teams in the state coming out of our region in Coldwater and Liberty Center, and Liberty-Benton's probably a top-five team," Calvert coach Stewart Behm said after his team ended 11th. "This is a very tough region.
"But to finish as well as we did ... We beat a few teams that beat us the last couple weeks," he said. "My girls ran very good today, I was pleased with how they ran today."
Behm was close in his assessment.
Coldwater, tied atop the state coaches poll, held off fourth-ranked Liberty Center 52-61 for the team crown, while No. 10 Liberty-Benton claimed third (117).
Meanwhile, 15th-ranked Spencerville captured a three-way battle for the fourth and final state berth, scoring 170 points, while Fort Recovery edged Toledo Christian 176-178 for fifth.
The top 16 individuals and top four teams qualified for the state meet.
Calvert outscored Hopewell-Loudon 269-280 for 11th, with Sandusky St. Mary taking 13th (288).
It marked the second week in a row the Senecas had upended Midland Athletic League rival Hopewell-Loudon after H-L won the league title. St. Mary had beaten Calvert for second at the district meet last week.
"The girls ran very good today. I couldn't be more pleased. I think it was a very good experience for the underclassmen, and we're going to start next year where we ended this year," Behm said.
Olivia Smith, in just her second race after nursing an injury for six weeks, ran 20th (20:52.88) for Calvert to lead all area runners.
Behm said having the junior reach state for the second year in a row would have been difficult in any year, but moreso now because of her injury and the overall depth of the teams at the regional - 10 of the individuals in the top 16 came from teams earning state berths.
"It would have been tough [for her to advance] anyway," Behm said. "I'm always going to look back on the season and wonder what she could have done if she'd been injury-free all season, but that wasn't the way it was meant to be this year, and we'll pick up next year where we left off and do even better."
Sydney Berlekamp added a 75th (22:13.52) for Calvert.
Hopewell-Loudon got a 48th from Shelby Raudebaugh (21:38) and a 55th from Erin Reinhart-Anez (21:45.63).
As with Smith, three other area 2011 state qualifiers did not earn a return this year.
Lakota junior Cariss Reese claimed 23rd (20:55.33), St. Wendelin sophomore Jocelyn Reinhart clocked in 29th (21:07.14) and Mohawk senior Julia Daniel finished 42nd (21:30.96).
Seneca East's Anna Willman came in 39th (21:20.42), St. Wendelin's Victoria Volpe ended 52nd (21:40.21) and Old Fort's Kayla Garza took 79th (22:19.82).
Meanwhile, Columbian found the Division II race to be just as challenging - six of the top seven teams entered with state rankings, and 11 of the individuals finishing in the top 16 came from state-qualifying teams.
Top-ranked Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary cruised to the team championship with 27 points, with No. 12 Woodridge upsetting No. 3 Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy 92-103 for second. Crestwood, ranked 13th, claimed the fourth and final team berth with 117 points.
Seventh-ranked Napoleon (171), Wauseon (173) and No. 20 Bellevue (174) finished fifth through seventh.
Columbian ended 13th with 334 points.
"We were shooting for top 10. We didn't get that, but the girls ran good, and that was the main thing we wanted to do," TC coach Nikki Hintze said. "We're very happy to be here, obviously, and for all the girls to go out on their last race [this year] on a good race will always be the most important thing for the team.
"It would have taken a really, really, really good team race and a really, really good individual race [to advance]. So just knowing the girls ran their best was the most important thing," she said.
Senior Hanna Musil's 67th (21:47.57) paced the Tornadoes, and sophomore Abrie Smith came in 73rd (22:06.06).