TROY — Wayne senior Lucas Houk qualified for the state cross country championship by placing 10th in the Troy regional Saturday.
Despite the cold, wind and light drizzling rain the Division I boys race got off to a blistering start. Houk ran a smart race to finish in 16:07.89 to punch his ticket to state.
“After finishing twentieth and just barely making it last year getting back and being in the top ten was definitely the goal,” Houk said. “The race got out quick and I knew that was going to be the case. I knew people would be anxious and nerves going, so my goal was to just stay relaxed and stay patient until the end.”
Houk was with the lead pack of runners on the first leg of the race along the river levee. When asked if there was any point in the race where he started to feel a little tight due to the chilly temperatures, he said at one point that did happen.
“About two and a quarter miles in I started realizing I was tying up a little bit and there was a gap forming. I just tried to stay out of my own head and make up that gap before the people behind me caught up,” Houk added. “Eventually I did and I was just trying to finish strong.”
Only the top five teams and top 20 individual runners advanced. Conant Smith of Middletown took 1st place honors with a time of 15:23.09 more than 24 seconds ahead of second place runner Ben Burkett of Centerville.
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind