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Parks, Lightfoot are All-Ohioans

November 5, 2012
By RON FIRTH - Journal Sports Editor , Morning Journal News

HEBRON - After earning All-Ohio honors in track, United junior Allison Parks and Minerva senior Kaele Lightfoot followed it up as All-Ohioans in cross country.

Lightfoot was 11th in Division II and Parks placed 13th in Division III at Saturday's state cross country meet at National Trail Raceway.

"Eleven is my lucky number," Lightfoot said as she pointed to her jersey number.

A former state track champion, Lightfoot was 11th out of 145 Division II girls runners in a personal-best 18 minutes, 41 seconds over the 3.1-mile course.

"My senior year, my last race - I'm super excited," she said.

Lightfoot didn't take the lead like she did last year and picked her spots this time.

"I kept working," she said. "I made sure I didn't get in a fog while running. I got through it."

She had enough left for the finish.

"I placed myself where I wanted to," she said. "It's the state meet, you just go."

This was her fourth trip to the state cross country meet and the first time she was on the podium.

"I'm extremely happy," Lightfoot said. "I PR'd (personal record) by seven seconds.

"It's cross. I wasn't looking to get first or second."

Dayton Oakwood freshman Mary Kate Vaughn won the race by 39 seconds in 17:41.

"All of us just let her go," Lightfoot said. "She's really good."

Parks was 13th out of 141 Division III girls runners in 19:00, missing her personal best by one second.

"I am super excited with how I did today," she said. "I loved the race I ran. I had some great competition."

Parks got caught in some traffic at the start and worked her way through the field.

"I had to make up for what I did," she said.

Running in a pack down the final stretch, Parks used her track speed to surge ahead for her 13th-place finish.

"I knew if I would just cruise it in and get 17th," Parks said. "I decided to kick it in and see what I get."

Coldwater sophomore Sarah Kanney won in 17:58 after placing ninth last year.

A two-time state qualifier in both cross country and track, Parks is not going to overboard on goals for the future.

"I just want to get better," she said.



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