IHSAA 2018 Cross Country Sectionals Previews

Sectional 13 - Bellmont

Teams: Adams Central, Bellmont, Bluffton, Fort Wayne Canterbury, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, Fort Wayne South Side, Fort Wayne Wayne, Heritage, New Haven, Norwell, Smith Academy for Excellence, South Adams, Woodlan

Girls: Again with that class of 2020 being on fire this year. Sydney Lambert of Norwell looks like the easy pick to take the individual title. She holds a season PR of 18:44. Her closest competition comes out of Sarah Busch from the Luers in 19:34.

Norwell looks to run away with the team title, potentially scoring all 5 in the top 20. The Bishop Luers look to take 2nd with a solid 3-5 pack to close them out. South Adams should be able to round out the top 3 putting their scoring 5 in the top 35. The 4-5 spots will be a really tight race between FW South Side, Heritage, Adams Central and Bluffton.

Boys: This boys individual race will be a close one. With 5 guys sub-17 and within about 10 seconds of each other, this finish could be very interesting. Evan Walda and Kyle Lawson, appear to be the two that will challenge the most for that individual win, holding PR's within just a second of each other.

Bellmont has a crazy good 1-5 split of just 36 seconds, and has the potential to place all 7 of their runners in the top 20. Behind them looks to be New Haven who could get all 5 of their scorers in the top 25 range. Heritage's 2-4 are all super close to each other, which will be important for them to be able to get that 3rd advancing spot. Norwell, South Adams, South Side and Bishop Luers will all fight for those two remaining spots to advance.

Sectional 14 - Marion (IWU)

Teams: Blackford, Eastbrook, Huntington North, Madison-Grant, Marion, Mississinewa, Northfield, Oak Hill, Southern Wells, Southwood, Wabash

Girls: Mollie Gamble has had a great season, winning most of the races she has run or at least being in the top few spots. She holds a PR of 18:39 for the season, and could win this race by about a minute. Her closest challenger is her teammate Kinzie Robey, who sits at 19:42. These two girls could take Saturday as an opportunity to just race with each other and get those low 3 points for Oak Hill to help advance them as a team.

Oak Hill should easily be able to win the team title here and potentially place all 7 in the top 15. Huntington North looks like they can easily grab that 2nd spot, holding an average time of 21 minutes. Those final spots will be a tight battle between Northfield, Mississinewa and Southern Wells.

Boys: Brennan Butche has tons of experience on this course, and should be able to show that off Saturday. He has the ability to win this by about a minute easily, but he doesn't have to do that. He may hold back on pushing that pace so quick and just take this weekend as a good run to work out the kinks and grab another individual title.

Wabash may not have the top runners in the state, but they still look pretty good this year with just a 28 second spread and an average of 16:48. These guys look to take the team title. Huntington North and Oak Hill will challenge each other for that 2nd and 3rd place finish. Eastbrook and Mississinewa should also be able to advance to the regional.