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Unlike most other sports competing in the 2021 season, the Taft 7-12 cross country team had the honor of competing in the State Championships last weekend.

Prior to the state meet, the Taft boys and girls teams competed in the District Championships on April 1 at Cheadle Lake Park in Lebanon. The boys race featured three Tigers in Brayan Mateo, Cooper Fitch and Nozomi Umenishi.

Mateo was the fastest for Taft, finishing in the top 20 runners with a time of 21:04. Fitch finished in 22nd overall with a time of 22:48 and Umenishi finished in 28th at 24:52. Mateo and Fitch’s times were enough for them to qualify for the State Championships.

For the girls at districts, six runners were competing. Finishing in the top two spots for Taft and qualifying for state were Makaia Kessinger with a time of 24:26.1 and Claira Tolan with a time of 25.05. The pair finished 11th and 17th respectively among the field of runners.

Also turning in strong performances were Ashley Reyes-Estrada (29:47.3), Kaydince Beach (30:22.0), Diana Lucas (33:32) and Yanelli Hermosillo-Carrasco (35:58.40).

At the state championships, the runners had the benefit of running the same course again in Lebanon on April 10.

For the girls, Kessinger bested her previous time on the course at 23:29.13 to finish in 55th overall. Tolan also ran a quicker time at 24:08.69 to finish 69th overall.

On the boys side, Mateo and Fitch also ran at a quicker pace than at Districts. Mateo finished 65th overall with a time of 20:34.11 and Fitch was right behind him to finish 71st overall at 21:16.25.

With the conclusion of the 2021 cross country season, many of the athletes will now shift gears and prepare for track and field this spring.

The short track and field season, which is subject to change, includes two meets as of right now:

April 17 - Toledo High Meet at Toledo High School

April 21 - Taft Invite at Taft 7-12


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