By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The Mogadore High School girls cross country program made history on Saturday, becoming the first-ever group to qualify for the state championships as a team.
The Wildcats had previously celebrated individual qualifiers, but never the entire team.
Winners of the Division III Boardman Regional, the Wildcats took on Fort Obetz and placed seventh overall for a historic finish that capped a historic season.
“It seemed that we had the largest cheering section in the place, with a huge sea of green there to cheer on our Cats,” Mogadore head coach Diana Morris said. “I have a feeling this is the beginning of a new tradition for our program, and I could not be more proud of each of our girls.”
Junior Katie Lane earned All-Ohio status. She placed 28th overall and ran a time of 19:40.7. Lane had previously qualified for the state meet the last two seasons. She was joined at the state meet last season by Rachel Whetstone.
For her senior season, Whetstone improved her Fort Obetz time by 40 seconds and placed 42nd in 20:01.1. She placed 94th last year as a junior.
The remainder of the Wildcats’ runners were all making their debuts at the state level for a team that showcases four underclassmen.
Mia Gaetjens finished 98th (21:14.3) and Kai Gaetjens finished 103rd (21:27.9), with Emma Quillen placing 114th in 21:38.0.
Julie Tompkins was 129th in 22:07.0 and Alana Santiago was 143rd in 22:27.8.
As the first girls cross country team to ever compete at the state level, the Wildcats also hold high classroom honors as every runner on the team are also Academic All-Ohio.