Semi-State Previews: Shelbyville

Blue River Cross Country Course Map 

The Indy area semi-state features teams from the Ben Davis, Noblesville, Rushville, and Shelbyville regionals. This semi-state constantly contains many top teams and top individuals. For the boys, 3 of the last 4 State individual runners-up, the last 4 individual state champions, and the defending State Champion Carmel Greyhounds have all been from the Shelbyville (formerly Carmel) semi-state. On the girls side 3 of the last 5 individual state champions, including defending champ Emma Wilson, 3 of the last 5 individual runners-up, and every team champion except 1 since 2005 have came from this Semi-State. This year the field is still very strong in both the boys and girls races after some minor postseason realignments moved some teams in and out of this Semi-State.

Girls

Teams: Zionsville, Cardinal Ritter, Brownsburg, Avon, Southport, Brebeuf Jesuit, Noblesville, Pike, Carmel, Cathedral, New Palestine, Franklin Central, Roncalli, Rushville, Mt. Vernon, Center Grove, Batesville, Franklin Community, Greensburg, Whiteland Community.

Advancers:

6 Franklin Central Flashes

The Flashes are looking to continue their successful season and qualify for the state meet next weekend. Franklin Central had an all-state 4x8 at the track state meet last season and returned all 4 from that team. That success has carried over to the cross country season. The Flashes had a bad showing at the Regional meet, losing to Rushville by 3 points, but usual front runner and potential all-stater Jada Reedus had an off race.

5 Pike Red Devils

Pike is lead by track break out star Elizabeth Stanhope. Stanhope was one of the top girls over 800 meters in the spring and has transitioned into a solid cross country runner. Pike is really strong through 3 runners, and this strong lead group should lead the Red Devils to a State Championship berth.

4 Noblesville Millers

The millers have been a team that has been flying under the radar all season. Racing in the same meets as Carmel and Zionsville constantly has taken the focus off of them. The Millers don't have an elite front runner this year but have a really strong pack. At the regional meet the Millers finished with a very impressive 1-5 spread of 32 seconds, which will put them in contention to win any meet.

3 Carmel Greyhounds

The Greyhounds have the luxury of having an automatic 1 point against Indiana competition in Phoebe Bates. Bates has only lost to 2 runners all season, both being from Ohio. The only girl who will be competition for Bates is Greencastle's Emma Wilson, who is competing as an individual. Carmel has a strong 2-7 spread that would put them high up in meets even without Bates. The key question for the Greyhounds is who will be racing on Saturday. They have had 13 different athletes compete in either the Sectional or Regional and could not race full strength this weekend.

2. Brebeuf Jesuit Braves

The Brebeuf Braves were Semi-State champions in 2017, beating Zionsville by a margin of 25 points. The Braves are lead by Junior Zoe Simmons and Freshman Madeline Keller. They finished 1-2 at the uber competitive Noblesville Regional and lead them to an impressive victory. The Braves' only weakness in their 5. Last week they had a 40 second 4-5 spread. This needs to improve if they want to win a second consecutive Semi-State title.

1. Zionsville Eagles

The defending State Champions looked like this season could be drastically different then last season with front runner Katelyn Wasson not competing until the Hoosier Crossroads Conference meet. Now with Wasson back the Eagles are clicking on all cylinders. One key question for the Eagles is the health of Lauren Rinehart. Rinehart has only competed in the HCC and Nike Valley Twilight meets. If she is running and performs close to her full ability on Saturday the Eagles will look a lot like last year's champion team.

Individual Battle

Spectators at Shelbyville will get to watch another great battle between the two giants of Indiana girls running, Emma Wilson and Phoebe Bates. Bates currently has the state leading time of 17:36 but Wilson is not far behind in 17:49. Wilson is the defending state champion from last year but that means nothing this year. The two State Champions on the girl's side before Wilson (Tyler Schwartz and Sarah Leinheiser) both won as Juniors but failed to repeat at Seniors, and Bates will be looking to beat Wilson this week and next week. The last time a girl was able to win the state cross country meet both her junior and senior year was in 2006 and 2007 when Alexandria Banfich of Culver Academies won 3x in a row.

Individual State Qualifiers

1.      Emma Wilson (Greencastle)

2.       Gillian Cridge (Cathedral)

3.       Ellie Schroeder (Guerin Catholic)

4.       Maria Mitchell (Hamilton Heights)

5.       Sarah Greer (Lawrence North)

6.       Mary Anna Werhle (Cardinal Ritter)

7.       Gracie Carr (Cathedral)

8.       Brenner Hanna (Greensburg)

9.       Mariah Wehrle (Cardinal Ritter

10.   Brooke Dixon (Brownsburg)


Boys

Teams: Zionsville, Avon, Brownsburg, Ben Davis, Cardinal Ritter, Cathedral, Carmel, North Central, Westfield, Noblesville, Franklin Community, Center Grove, Batesville, Whiteland Community, Mooresville, New Palestine, Franklin Central, Roncalli, Warren Central, Greenfield Central.

6. Franklin Community Grizzly Cubs

A relative newcomer to the top end of high school running this year, Franklin Community is looking to qualify for their first state meet appearance in over 10 years. The Grizzly Cubs are lead by Senior Andrew Bixler and Junior Wyatt McCullough. The two young men have been a great 1-2 punch for Franklin Community, and will need to perform on a high level once again to ensure getting their team into the State Meet. Their 3-5 have been good, but not great. A strong performance from their pack could cause Franklin Community to finish as high up as 3rd on Saturday.

5. Avon Orioles

Avon has turned into a common fixture at the State meet in the last few years. Having prioritized pack running in recent years, the Orioles now have a strong top 2 in the form of Senior Ethan Goddard and Junior Nathan Beeler. Goddard has shown flashes of being an elite level runner, having run sub 9:30 for 3200 in the spring. Avon's success relies a lot upon their 3-7, who run close together, nut not always far up in the meet. Their two low sticks will be enough for them to advance to state, but the rest of their team will need to improve if they want to challenge HCC foe Zionsville.

4. Zionsville Eagles

The Eagles should Qualify for their 3rd consecutive state meet. The Eagles have a strong front three in Jesus Garcia, Robby Pratt, and Andrew Stuff. Stuff and Pratt took a few weeks to get up to speed but now they are running amazing. Garcia seems to be back from injury and ran well last week. He will most likely improve from last week's performance and lead Zionsville back to Lavern Gibson. The Eagles have had a weak 4-5 for most of the season, but they have shown a lot of improvement in the last few weeks. Joe Romanyk and Will Pitts will be the key in the Eagles run to the state meet.

3. North Central Panthers

The Panthers have started to build an elite program in the last two years. Last year they qualified for the state meet for the first time since 2014. The panthers have been performing very well this year, even with top runners missing multiple meets this year. Senior Eric Petersen started off the season really strong but missed Flashrock, MIC, and Marion County. Junior Alex Frey has also been a top runner for the Panthers, he has missed both the sectional and regional meet. Alex and Eric have only raced one meet together this year. If both race on Saturday the Panthers could challenge Cathedral. Jack Hawes and Jon Deem-Louriero will be the key to where North Central finishes.

2. Cathedral Irish

Cathedral started the season off with a very rough showing at the State Preview meet. They quickly turned it around with a very good showing at Flashrock and Nike Valley Twilight, just losing to Carmel by a very small margin at Nike. Jackson Carlile's absence from varsity races the beginning of the season really hurt the Irish. He is back now and the Irish are clicking on all cylinders now. The Irish have a great 2-3 in Ryan Pehlman and Nick Hruskoci that could serve as great number 1s at many schools, but serve as amazing 2-3s because of the legendary Cole Hocker. Cole has made many attempts at sub 15 this season, just missing by the slimmest of margins at Nike Valley Twilight. At Shelbyville's electric course we could finally see Cole reach the elusive 15 minute barrier.

1. Carmel Greyhounds

After losing to the Cathedral Irish at the regional meet Carmel will be looking for revenge. Carmel rested their top runner, Senior Calvin Bates, at the regional meet. Carmel has embarrassment of riches in their pack. At the Noblesville regional their 1-5 had a ridiculous 18 second split. Add in Bates and that is a lethal team. Having Bates in the race will limit Cathedral's low stick and the strong pack of Gastineau, Murphy, Harless, Moon, and Campbell should be able to mix up well with Cathedral's pack.

Individual Battle

This race is Cathedral Senior Cole Hocker's to lose. The real race here is between Cole and the clock. Cole has been trying to break 15 minutes all season. Shelbyville is a great place to do it. Curt Eckstein and Gabe Fendel have both broken 15 on the quick course. Even though some changes to course have been made, it is still one of Indiana's fastest. Cole's closest competition will come from Quinn Gallagher. Quinn has ran 15:25 this year and could very well come close to 15 minutes if he tries to stay with Cole.

Qualifying Individuals

1.       Quinn Gallagher (Guerin Catholic)

2.       Nick Perkins (Roncalli)

3.       J.T. Hodges (Pike)

4.       Jack Kovach (Brebeuf)

5.       Will Jefferson (Whiteland)

6.       Paul Stamm (Cardinal Ritter)

7.       Travis Hickner (Noblesville)

8.       Shewaferahu Gared (Ben Davis)

9.       Ean Loichinger (Batesville)

10.   Alex Freeman (Brownsburg)



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