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Woodard leads Rockets to regional cross country title, SJO 4th

Unity's Erica Woodard crossed the finish line at the St. Teresa regional at 18:21 good for fourth place overall in a field of 89 runners. The Rockets' rising star was followed in by five teammates all finishing in top 15 places to secure the postseason title at Hickory Point Golf Course on Saturday.

Just 27 seconds over her best time in her short prep career on Saturday, Woodard turned in the best time of her prep career back on September 19 at Darcy Trails for the Shelbyville-Marshall-Unity triangle meet.

Caelyn Kleparski, Taylor Joop and Olivia Shike clocked in within a 16 second period 8-9-10, respectively, for 24 points. Malia Fairbanks rounded out the top five Rocket runners 13th overall at 19:33.9. Unity finished with a meet best of 40 points.

Unity along with St. Joseph-Ogden, who finished in fourth place with 104 points, advance to next Saturday's sectional meet to run on the same course.

The Spartans were led by junior Ava Knap and her season best time of 19.33.3.

Crusing in behind Knap for the Spartans was Helene Jones. A freshman, Jones went out for cross country when the fall volleyball season was put on-hold due to restrictions by the state in the effort to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Setting a new PR of 19:36.0, the first-time harrier shaved nearly three minutes off her initial three-mile time of 22:14.

Later, 22 minutes and 37 seconds after her race started Chloe Burkhalter was followed in by teammates Malorie Sarnecki and Ashlyn Lannert to pick up needed points to extend the Spartans' running season one more week.

Regional Results:
4. Erica Woodard (Unity) 18:21.0
8. Caelyn Kleparski (Unity) 19:13.8
9. Taylor Joop (Unity) 19:15.3
10. Olivia Shike (Unity) 19:29.4
12. Ava Knap (SJO) 19:33.3
13. Malia Fairbanks (Unity) 19:33.9
14. Helene Jones (SJO) 19:36.0
15. Elizabeth Hulick (Unity) 19:43.0
18. Caroline Bachert (Unity) 20:03.8
25. Chloe Burkhalter (SJO) 20:37.6
28. Malorie Sarnecki (SJO) 20:52.3
30. Ashlyn Lannert (SJO) 20:57.5
34. Kailyn Ingram (SJO) 21:02.6
38. Addie Allen (SJO) 21:16.9

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