SHELBYVILLE — A total of seven area runners all were vying for a spot in the state finals on Saturday afternoon as they competed across two different sites at the IHSAA Cross Country Semi-State.
At Shelbyville, Crawfordsville had three individuals competing in Sophomore Ryan Miller, Freshman Sophia Melevage, and Junior Elyse Widmer.
Miller in the boys race set a personal record with tinme of 16:33 and placed 48th overall. Melevage placed 65th in the girls race with a time of 20:09, and Widmer ran an overall time of 21:52. While neither of the three runners were able to advance to the State Finals, Crawfordsville coach Megan Craig was still very pleased with all three of her runners.
“Being able to bring this many to the Semi-State, I think sets a tone going into the off-season,” she said. “We really have such young group, it gets them the opportunity to witness what this stage is like. With Ryan you couldn’t have asked for a better race for the end of the season, pr’ing by almost 30 seconds.”
Competing against the likes of Brebeuf, Center Grove, Carmel, and Zionsville is no easy task. That’s why this time around Craig is wanting them to enjoy the experience and not worry so much about the race itself.
“None of them have been on this stage before,” she said. “Sometimes that can be intimidating but along with Ryan, both Sophia and Elyse I thought ran well and enjoyed the experience.”
Southmont’s Faith Allen joined the Athenians at the meet after a tenth place finish at last weekends Regional. Allen placed 50th overall with a time of 19:57. After falling short in her third trip to Semi-State, Southmont coach Shelley Allen reflected on her season.
“She did have a great year overall by breaking the school record and everything she accomplished,” she said. “It’s still a little dissappointing to come up short. For her it’s going to take not just a stronger mindset, but also pushing harder in th summer to build a better and faster base.”
Allen will now look to her senior season as the final chance to finally break through and qualify for the State Finals.
Up north at the New Prairie Semi-State, North Montgomery senior Elijah McCartney concluded his cross country career with an 18:11 run. Charger coach Cassi Hicks talked about McCartney and what he’s meant to the program over course of his career.
“I’ve been very blessed to be able to be his coach,” she said. “He works so hard at what he does and is a very driven person. I told him that this race doesn’t define his season or even his career.”
Ending his career on a high note with competing against some of the top runners in the state, Hicks knows he will only continue to get better.
“He wants to run at the next level,” she said. “Compeitng in a race like this, will only help him continue to improve and I’m really looking forward to seeing where he goes from here.”
Two Fountain Central Mustangs joined McCartney at New Prairie. Freshman Brailey Hoagland earned a 50th place finish wiht a time of 20:39 while Sophomore Hayden Kler finished wiht an overall time of 19:02.
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