SECTIONAL CROSS COUNTRY

Athenians advance to regional as Mounties send individuals

Fountain Central's Hayden Kler wins sectional, North boys 2nd

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BROWNSBURG — Crawfordsville’s cross country teams are headed back to the regional after a pair of top-5 finishes at the Brownsburg IHSAA Sectional No. 17.

The girls were fourth with 122 points, behinf Avon (23), Brownsburg (57), and Plainfield (83). Southmont placed seventh with 175.

The boys were fifth with 144 behind Avon (45), Brownsburg (54), Plainfield (67), and Danville (111).

“They (boys) knew they were going to have to run well and competitively like last weekend,” Crawfordsville coach Megan Craig said. “I really do think the momentum with the girls coming off a good race last weekend prepared for this weekend and that’s what he had hoped for.”

The top individual finishes though belonged to Southmont’s Faith Allen and Mason Cass. Allen placed third in the girls’ race with a time of 19:48, while Cass was sixth in 17:03. The girls winner was Avon’s Jessica Hegedus in 19:10, while Avon’s Samuel Clore won the boys’ race in 16:32.

Aaron Evans, who placed 37th in 18:42, and Heaven Smith, who placed 37th in 24:18 also advanced as individuals for the Mounties.

“They ran great,” Southmont coach Shelley Allen said. “I am so happy with the way everyone performed today. And we are taking four to the regional. It’s fantastic, and I could not be happier. The teams as a whole, we moved up places from last year.”

Crawfordsville’s boys were led by Ryan Miller’s 10th-place finish in 17:11, while Max Brumett placed 32nd in 18:30, Hutton Haas 33rd in 18:30, Roman Contreras 34th in 18:30, and Tyson Fuller 35th in 18:41. Arthur Ruano was 40th in 18:59 and Ian Hensley 47th in 19:36.

The girls were led by freshman Sophia Melevage’s eighth-place finish in 20:36. Shelby Greene was 23rd in 22:22, Elyse Widmer 30th in 23:04, Olivia Biddle 31st in 23:06, Skylah Strawser 33rd in 23:57, and Karla Fernandez 34th in 24:04. Gabby Warren was 38th in 24:35.

“They looked good,” Craig added. “The girls especially stayed together and really pushed. And this is the first time really all year that I think I’ve seen the boys run the majority of the race together as a pack. And now I think they understand it helps when they have their teammate right next to them pushing.”

It is the seventh-straight year the Crawfordsville boys have qualified for the regional, and the third in a row for the girls.

“I think it’s tremendous when we look at the teams that are ahead of us that are going out of this sectional,” Craig said. “We are the smallest school. The girls went out as a fourth seed. Compared to Plainfield, Avon, and Brownsburg. I think that gives the younger kids to understand that it’s not a class sport, but we can still be competitive in that arena.”

Other finishers for Southmont included Rachel Rhoads 49th in 26:30, Grace Simpson 53rd in 26:39, Tomoko Greiner 55th in 27:14, and Kylee Reeves 57th in 27:16 on the girls side, and Hunter Alesi 44th in 19:18, Skyler Woods 58th in 20:55, Brett Keller 62nd in 21:10, and Clay Allen 76th in 23:04.   

Kler wins BC Sectional, North boys second

Fountain Central sophomore Hayden Kler won the boys’ sectional race at Benton Central on Saturday with a time of 17:30, while North Montgomery senior Elijah McCartney was second in 17:58. McCartney helped the Chargers to a second-place finish overall behind Benton Central and their first regional qualification since 2012.

Paul Lueking was 11th in 18:48, Tim Lueking 12th in 19:02, and Nolan Yarger 14th in 19:22. Jack Rogers was 38th in 20:53.

Fountain Central’s Nathan Solomon also advanced to the regional with a 15th-place finish in 19:26.

On the girls’ side, the Mustangs advanced to the regional with a fourth-place finish.

Freshman Brailey Hoagland was third in 20:40, while Hadlee McBride placed 22nd in 24:05, Alydia Mellady 26th in 24:41, Courtney Sims 28th in 24:45, and Madisyn Morgan 47th in 33:14.

North Montgomery senior Claire Bonwell advanced to the regional with a 15th-place finish in 23:07, while Payton Kunz placed 42nd in 29:08 and Nicole Hoffman was 45th in 31:27.

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