After some time away, the Sagamore Conference cross country meet will return to the challenging hills of Southmont on Saturday.
For Crawfordsville, North Montgomery, and Southmont it will be the third time on the course in competition this season. And nearly every runner saw an improvement from the ‘Leap into September’ meet to the Montgomery County meet.
Southmont freshman Mason Cass improved his time by nearly three minutes, placing second behind Crawfordsville’s Hunter Hutchison at the county meet with a time of 17:56. Mountie coach Shelley Allen expects Cass and sophomore Aaron Evans to be right there competing for a spot on the all-conference first-team.
“I don’t believe there is any limit to how far they will push their bodies in pursuit of their goals,” Allen said.
Southmont’s Faith Allen, who placed fourth last year in the SAC meet at Danville in the girls’ race, is tabbed to compete with Western Boone’s Audrey Knoper for the individual title.
Crawfordsville’s girls have won three out of the last four team titles, and have a trio of runners who made first-team all-conference a season ago.
Shelby Greene, Halle Smith, and Elyse Widmer all finished in the top-12 last season.
“The conference has been tough the last few years and we have been fortunate to have good runs placing us in the top teams,” Crawfordsville coach Megan Craig said. “This year we have a young team that will have to continue to push out of their comfort zone and make sure that they take every spot they can.”
On the boys’ side, Hunter Hutchison placed eighth as a junior in 2019, and is expected to be joined by freshman Ryan Miller in pursuit of all-conference status.
“Hunter (Hutchison) and Halle (Smith) bring a competitive spirit that prepares the younger runners for conference and the rest of the tournament season,” Craig added. “I look for both of them to continue to push themselves in a way that sets the group up for a positive finish Saturday.”
North Montgomery’s Elijah McCartney placed 28th last season and hopes to improve his placement in 2020. The senior ran an 18:26 at the county meet.