With six of his top seven runners being seniors, Miamisburg cross country coach Jeremy Wysocki had high expectations for this year’s team.
How high? Well, the last time the Vikings accomplished what they did Saturday at the Division I district meet was the same year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Miamisburg won the D-I district championship for the first time since 1969 , sending the Vikings into the regional championships on Saturday motivated for more.
“We’ve had good teams in the past,” Wysocki said. “I had high expectations for this year. But really the team had higher expectations than I have all year. They’ve been the ones setting the goals for themselves. I go along with what their goals are.”
The top five teams in the D-I boys regional meet qualify for next week’s state championships at National Trail Raceway in Hebron. The D-I field is loaded with talent. The Vikings plan to be part of it.
Two weeks ago Miamisburg finished behind Centerville and Beavercreek in the Greater Western Ohio Conference meet. At last week’s district meet in Cedarville, Miamisburg beat both teams.
“This year we have a really motivated group of seniors. It’s kind of a large, dedicated group who have had a natural progression for the last four years of improving a little bit every year,” Wysocki said. “They’ve been a goal-oriented group who’ve had their senior year in their sites for a long time.”
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Parker Hines led the Vikings at the district meet finishing sixth overall in 16:09.06. Junior Corey Reese, the lone non-senior among the top seven, was eighth (16:15.53). Ethan Johnson finished 13th (16:30.55), Clay Campbell was 27th (16:48.29), Brenden Evans was 34th (17:01.63), Nathan Shatto 37th (17:08.40) and Thomas Williamson was 51st (17:25.45).
That added up to 83 points, good for a 33-point win over Centerville.
It also earned Miamisburg some accolades from across the country. Wysocki said he received an email after the district meet from a former Vikings’ runner now living in California.
“I received an email just out of the blue by a guy who was on the 1969 team,” Wysocki said. “He was our No. 1 runner and he taught at Miamisburg in the 1970s for a little while before moving out west. He sent me an email saying he got word about our district title. He congratulated us and had some words of advice for the guys. I read that to them on Monday. It’s kind of neat to have that connection to history and hear from some of the past members of the team.”
As far as Wysocki can tell, Miamisburg’s best finish at regional was eighth in 1969. It’ll take another district effort to improve on that Saturday. Seven teams are ranked ahead of Miamisburg in the D-I state poll.
“That’s really been the pinnacle of our goals this year. Finishing in the top five is a goal that’s attainable, but it’s not going to be easy,” Wysocki said. “It’s not something that’s going to be handed to us because there’s a lot of really good teams in the region. … It’s been an exciting year for us. We hope to keep our composure this week and try to do what we’ve been working all year for.”