IHSAA 2018 Cross Country Sectionals Previews

Sectional 5: Benton Central

Teams: Attica, Benton Central, Covington, Fountain Central, Frontier, North Montgomery, North Vermillion, North White, Seeger, Tri-County, Twin Lakes

Girls: Maggie Gutwein will be looking win this sectional for the third time in her career. She has the best season record by 100 seconds. The Twin Lakes senior will be looking to cap off her high school cross country career with a great post season. No one else in this sectional has broken 20 minutes but that will most definitely change as many teams will be fighting to continue their seasons.

Twin Lakes has been the most talented team all year. They should win this comfortably. Benton Central will comfortably advance and have an outside chance of winning. Seeger and Frontier will battle for third place and both should advance. North Montgomery, Tri-County, and Fountain Central will all be in an intense battle for the fifth and final advancement spot.

Boys: This sectional's individual race is solely about Lucas Pietrzak. The Fountain Central senior has the season best time in this sectional at 16:32. The next closest runner is Seeger's Patrick Hennessey at 17:27.

The hosts Benton Central are the favorites to win. They boast a solid top 3 for this sectional and their 4-5 won't be many places back. Seeger will challenge Benton Central for the win. They will need their 2-4 to step it up to accomplish that. Frontier, Fountain Central, Twin Lakes, Tri-County, and North Montgomery will all make runs at advancing to the regional race. Frontier and Fountain Central should advance safely.

Sectional 6: Harrison (Tippecanoe Amphitheater)

Teams: Clinton Central, Clinton Prairie, Delphi Community, Faith Christian, Frankfort, Harrison (West Lafayette), Lafayette Central Catholic, Lafayette Jefferson, McCutcheon, Rossville, West Lafayette

Girls: This meet will be dominated by the West Lafayette ladies. The individual winner will be whichever Red Devil runner is on their "A" game that day. Seniors Mary Schultz, Ellie Tate, and Emma Tate will be fighting for the individual win.

The West Lafayette girls are not just expected to win, they are expected to dominate. The Red Devils have all 9 runners that have broken 20 minutes this year. A perfect 15 point total is a real possibility if they elect to run all of their top runners. Harrison and McCutcheon will battle for second and third while Frankfort, Faith Christian, and Clinton Prairie will battle for the final two qualification spots to the regional round.

Boys: The boys race in sectional 6 will be a highly competitive battle between individuals from cross town rivals West Lafayette and Harrison. Harrison's Caleb Williams, William White, and Caleb Beimfohr will battle with Mitchell Curl and Harry Shook from West Lafayette. All 5 of these runners can take the individual title. White and Curl have had the most impressive track careers with White running 9:19 and Curl having 1:54 while Williams has the season's best XC time in 16:19.

The team battle will be extremely tight. West Lafayette barely edged out Harrison the last time they faced each other at the New Prairie invitational a few weeks ago. Using our virtual meet tool for this sectional shows a tie between the two rivals. This race will come down to individual performances to decide the winner. It could be come down to who was able to get their top 2 across first to score those low 3 points and help block the other squad. McCutcheon, Frankfort, and Lafayette Jefferson should all advance as they have distanced themselves from the rest of the field.