For the first time since 2009, McNicholas Cross Country sent an individual qualifier to the State Championship Cross Country Meet at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio on Nov. 2. Junior Charlie Taylor represented McNicholas at the OHSAA State Meet after qualifying at the district and regional levels.
Taylor ran 16:59.1 at the Troy Regional Championship meet on Oct. 26, which earned him a chance to compete at the state level. Taylor ran 16:56.8 at the State meet placing 70th out of 182 runners.
“I wasn’t expecting to make it to State this year, but after Districts I felt confident that I could make it to State, and I’m really excited to represent McNick,” Taylor said about running at the State level.
Head Cross Country coach Bill Valenzano expressed great pride towards Taylor. “I was thrilled [when Charlie qualified for State]. I absolutely see both the boys and girls team getting stronger in the years to come; we are moving in the right direction,” he said.
After the State meet, Valenzano said that he is “very pleased with Charlie’s performance. It was fantastic that all the other varsity boys and most of the varsity girls were there to support him and cheer for him; it motivated McNicholas High School.”
Assistant Cross Country coach Emily Gilbert also expressed gratitude about Taylor’s State performance.“Charlie’s awesome efforts at his first state appearance are proof that paying your dues at practice pays off. Most impressively, he has remained humble in his success. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Rocket Cross Country,” she said.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Geoff Blankenship for Enquirer Media and Gannett.