CONNERSVILLE – On a cool Saturday morning, the IHSAA hosted a cross country sectional at Connersville.
In a tight battle for the sectional title for the boys, the Lions edged Cambridge City Lincoln by three points to claim the sectional title for a second straight year.
Rushville finished with 55 followed by Lincoln 58, Hagerstown 74, Centerville 129, Connersville 143, Franklin County 154, New Castle 190, Northeastern 200, Union County 200, Richmond 216 and Knightstown, Seton Catholic and Tri incomplete.
The top five teams and top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams qualify for the regional to be held this Saturday at Rushville.
Rushville placed six runners in the top 25. Cole Dixon led the Lions with a fifth place finish in a season best 17:41. Kyle Stanley and John King finished sixth and eighth with times of 17:46 and 17:54. Caleb Krodel came in 15th place with a time of 18:25. Keith Bacon and Sam Sterrett finished 21st and 23rd with times of 18:51 and 18:59. Ryan Schindler ran a season best time of 19:05 to finish 28th overall.
Hagerstown Senior Elijah Halcomb won the individual sectional championship for the second straight year with a time of 17:03.
“One of the main goals of this team from the beginning of the season was to have our best race at sectional and today the guys achieved that goal. We knew that it would take our best in order to win today and that is what the guys brought. I am incredibly proud of how all of our guys prepared for today and then performed in the race. They have put in the work all season and it paid off. I’m really happy for our guys and I am excited for their opportunity next week at regional,” Coach Marlatt said.
For the girls, Centerville won the sectional title with 51. Rushville was second with 60 followed by Franklin County 81, Union County 95, Hagerstown 99, Lincoln 107, and Connersville, New Castle, Northeastern, Richmond, Seton Catholic, Knightstown and Tri incomplete.
Olivia Wehr led the way for the Lady Lions in ninth place with a time of 21:42. Sofia Kemple ran a season best time of 22:56 to finish in 14th place. Morgan Adkins and Yanitza Norvell came in 19th and 20th with times of 23:17 and 23:22 (season best). Cyndi Tush finished in 25th place with a time of 24:01. Josie Cudworth and Abby Herbert finished 34th and 39th with times of 25:29 (season best) and 26:44.
Centerville’s Emily Tedder won the individual title with a time of 20:26.
“Our girls really ran hard today. They were disappointed because they wanted to win, but they gave their best effort and in the end that is the most important thing. Our girls should be very proud of how they competed today. Today is great experience for our team that features four freshmen in the top five runners. These girls can use the disappointment of today as motivation to put in miles and work hard for next year. I have confidence that this group will win a sectional before they are finished. Next week is another opportunity to run well and hopefully advance to semistate,” Coach Marlatt said.
The regional at Rushville begins at 10:30 a.m. with the boys’ race. The girls’ race follows at 11:15 a.m.