High School Cross Country

XC: Athenians, Mustangs advance to regional with North and South individuals

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Crawfordsville’s boys and girls cross country teams outran the competition and on their way to the regional with a pair of fith-place finishes at the IHSAA Sectional on Saturday. at Brownsburg.

The Athenians placed fith with a score of 149 on the girls side. Brownsburg was the champion with 32 points led by winner Abigail Lynch in a time of 18:59.. Crawfordsville scored 155 on the boys side, while Brownsburg won with 48 led by champion Trevor Nolan in a time of 16:31.

“I think the biggest thing was understanding that bubble position and that every place matters,” Crawfordsville coach Megan Craig said. “That you have to go after every position.”

On the girls side, Shelby Greene led the Athenians with a 26th place finish in 22:06, while Halle Smith was 27th in 22:18. Elyse Widmer was 29th in 22:29, Gabby Warren 39th in 23:20 and Olivia Biddle 340th in 23:29. Skylah Strawser was 54th in 25:52 and Olivia Fichter 64th in 28:44.

For the last several years the Athenains have relied on a top runner to lead them in big races, but Saturday’s race was a complete team effort.

“This year I came in with a group of runners that were determined,” Craig said. “Nobody was in that No. 1 role, but together they accomplished what at the beginning of the season seemed almost unattainable.”

Hunter Hutchison led the boys’ with a 12th place finish in a time of 17:28, Ryan Miller was 23rd in 18:19, and Roman Contreras 37th in 18:58. Nathanial Million was 40th in 19:08, Peter Kearns 43rd in 19:26, and Ian Hensley 47th in 19:43. Arthur Ruano was 48th in 19:51.

“Our 3-4-5 runners come in almost consecutively and that gives us an edge,” Craig said. “Every person on this team matters.”

Southmont’s Faith Allen set the pace in the girls’ race before taking second place with a time of 19:03. She joins teammates Mason Cass, who finished 17th in 17:47, and Aaron Evans, who finished 32nd in 18:36 as regional qualifiers.

“I’m so proud,” Southmont coach Shelley Allen said. “They all had goals and all met them. She’s (Faith) definitely figured out the distance and figured out her pace.”

Cass, just a freshman, set a personal best with his time of 17:47.

“He sets a goal in his head and there’s nothing he will not do to get it,” Allen added.

Southmont’s Brett Keller was 55th in 20:10, Connor Keller 65th in 21:11, and Toby Casteel 79th in 24:09. Rachel Rhoads placed 49th in 24:47 and Grace Simpson 53rd in 25:50.

At Benton Central, the Fountain Central boys team advanced to the regional with a fifth-place finish with 98 points. 

Carson Pietrzak led the Mustangs with a seventh place finish in 18:22, Hayden Kler was 20th in 19:12, and Dan Adams 23rd with a time of 19:27. Nathan Solomon was 29th in 20:07 and Justin Butts was 30th in 20:07. 

Fountain Central’s Tyler Bowling placed 21st in 23:52, Kenna Bible 26th in 24:19 and Courtney Sims 28th in 24:47, all advance to the regional on the girls’ side.

Elijah McCartney paced North Montgomery with a sixth-place finish in the boys’ race with a time of 18:13 to advance to the regional with teammate Claire Bonwell, who placed 36th in 25:49 in the girls’ race. 

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