HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY

Athenian girls second, as pair of Mounties finish second individually at SAC meet

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DANVILLE — Crawfordsville’s girls were second, while Southmont’s Faith Allen and Mason Cass each finished second individually at the Sagamore Conference cross country meet Saturday morning at Danville.

Led by Sophia Melevage’s fourth-place finish in 19:42, the Athenians posted a score of 56 to finish second behind Western Boone (39).

“I was very pleased with the girl’s performance yesterday,” Crawfordsville coach Megan Craig said. “We run through a hypothetical meet scenario a few days before the meet. In that meeting with the team we look at what it is going to take to make a run at a top overall finish. Yesterday they followed that game plan. I told Elyse she needed to shoot for 8th place and get close to 21:30, she went out and took 8th place finishing in a 21:12. Skylah Strawser did the same thing, we needed her in the 22’s and she shaved a minute off her time to get there.

“Olivia Biddle, Gabby Warren and Karla Fernandez all ran PR’s yesterday to pull us ahead of Lebanon, who has a great program. Sophia Melevage came out as a freshman and was determined to race until the finish, to lead our pack. It’s a tough race when you don’t have experience, and she went in there and ran like a veteran.

Elyse Widmer placed eighth in 21:12, while Shelby Greene was 14th in 21:54, Olivia Biddle 16th in 22:13 and Skylah Strawser was 17th in 22:15. Karla Fernandez placed 21st in 22:39 and Gabby Warren 26th in 24:01.

Allen paced the county in the girls’ race with a time of 19:18, finishing second behind Western Boone’s Audrey Knoper (18:42). Allen’s teammate, Cass was second in the boys’ race with a time of 16:47.

“They both did amazing,” Southmont coach Shelley Allen said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better job from either one of them.”

For the Mountie girls, Heaven Smith placed 24th in 23:28, Rachel Rhoads 30th in 25:33, Grace Simpson 32nd in 25:50, Tomo Greiner 33rd in 26:02, and Kylee Reeves 37th in 26:31 and Katelyn Ebert 40th in 26:54.

On the boys side, Aaron Evans placed 19th in 17:57, Hunter Alesi 34th in 19:47, Brett Keller 37th in 20:16, Skyler Wood 42nd in 21:04, and Clay Allen 45th in 23:13.

Crawfordsville’s boys competed in a deep field, finishing fourth with 87 points. Danville won with 48, followed by Lebanon and Frankfort. Southmont was fifth and North Montgomery sixth.

Ryan Miller paced the Athenians with a fifth-place finish in a time of 17:04. Freshman Max Brumett was 14th n 17:51, and freshman Hutton Haas 18th in 17:56.

“The boys times were the fastest in the conference I have seen since taking over the program,” Crawfordsville coach Megan Craig said. “Typically you have two or three dominate teams and this year, Lebanon, Danville, Frankfort and Crawfordsville all averaged times in the 17’s. That’s a fast field. We are proud of the way this young group competed yesterday.”

Tyson Fuller was 24th in 18:14, Arthur Ruano 26th in 18:36, Roman Contreras 27th in 18:37, and Ian Hensley was 31st in 19:11.

North Montgomery senior Elijah McCartney led the Chargers with a third-place finish in the boys’ race in 16:52. Tim Lueking was 25th in 18:19, Paul Lueking 28th in 18:52, Nolan Yarger 35th in 19:47 and Jack Rogers 39th in 20:31.

On the girls side, Claire Bonwell placed 19th in 22:18, Payton Kunz 36th in 26:18, and Nichole Hoffman 42nd in 31:39.

“Everybody ran close to a PR,” North Montgomery coach Cassie Hicks said. “Eli broke 17 for the first time, so he was super excited about that. Claire was really competing, not only going for her goal time, but wanting to be a competitor and that’s exactly what she did.” 

Runners that finished 1-12 earned first-team all-conference, and runners that finished 13-24 earned second-team all-conference.

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